The Rock Inn

Laid-back country chic dining

Jodie Kidd, Liam Gallagher and Joss Stone have all been spotted imbibing at the 400-year-old The Rock Inn at Waterrow. Yet it’s not just models, rock stars and soul singers who make a beeline for the rural charms of this Somerset gastro-pub.

Scrubbed tables, open fires and chalk board menus are a magnet for those seeking out local gourmet dishes with robust flavours. Awarded a star for outstanding food in the Good Pub Guide 2016, the stylish yet relaxed dining room sees pub classics sit alongside succulent contemporary dishes. For the latter, think luxurious Somerset baked brie fondant with a melting centre or posh braised steak – feather blade of Angus beef marinated in black garlic and cooked for 14 hours with a treacle sauce.

Daren Barclay, previously of The Goodwood Estate for 11 years and a trio of top South West hotels (The Royal Crescent in Bath, The Castle Hotel in Taunton and Calcot Manor near Tetbury) heads up the kitchen. While wife Ruth oversees a well-stocked bar and cellar, with finely-kept real ales on tap from local breweries Quantock and Otter.

Leaning into the hillside in the heart of a steep valley, the charming “Tudorbethan” inn is ideal for discovering the wilds of Somerset and a stop-over in one of eight country-style bedrooms is an opportunity to explore the beaches of the South West peninsula.

Being on the edge of Exmoor National Park, the dog-friendly inn is popular with fly fishing and shooting enthusiasts with nearby streams and lakes ideal for trout and salmon.

Insider’s tips

Drive across Exmoor National Park to Lynton and visit the spectacular Valley Of Rocks where you can take a splendid coastal walk complete with stunning rock formations and friendly feral goats.

The Rock Inn, Waterrow, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 2AX

01984 623293

Opening hours

Lunch:
Wednesday–Saturday, 12pm-2pm
Sunday, 12pm-2pm

Dinner:
Tuesday–Saturday, 6.30pm–9pm

Chef: Daren Barclay

Owner: Ruth & Daren Barclay

Bedroom rate from: £65

Bedrooms: 8

  • Kids welcome
  • Dog welcome
  • Wifi
  • Disabled access
  • Parking available
  • Private dining available
  • Gluten free options
  • Online booking

Awards

Outstanding Food Award from Good Pub Guide 2016

Sample menu

Starter

Baked soufflé omelette with smoked haddock and cheese, £7.95

Main

Free range duck breast with season vegetables, merlot and orange
scented sauce and tartiflette potatoes, £17

Pud

Gateaux opera, layered Belgian chocolate, £6

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