Dig out the CV and start polishing the covering letter, after lunch at Yeo Valley you’ll want to make this your staff canteen, says Kathryn Lewis
After a retro revamp in 2015, the swanky new kitchen at YV HQ received such rave reviews from its workforce that the family farm decided to invite the public along for breakfast and lunch, too.
Almost two years later the Canteen boasts a herd of awards, including one for Best Canteen in the UK, and what was once a secret spot has become one of Somerset’s busiest kitchens.
VISIT FOR a snoop around HQ followed by lunch overlooking the lush Mendip Hills. You won’t find limp lasagne or soggy sarnies here; this is the home of a three course menu blooming with luscious local vegetables, Somerset cheese and fish plucked from Blagdon Lake.
Head chef Paul Collins and team reflect the seasons in dishes that rival the rainbow decor. We started with Somerset charcuterie accompanied by golden pickled cucumber and crisp sourdough crostini before launching into a veggie mille feuille stuffed with earthy beetroot, green beans and salty Ubley feta between layers of crumbly cheese-spiked pastry. Our greedy lunch break could only be finished with a couple scoops of Yeo Valley ice cream smothered in warm salted caramel sauce.
DON’T VISIT for Saturday spoils; there’s no working on the weekend at this staff kitchen.
WE LIKED spotting the quirky elements that pepper YV HQ. Full marks if can find the Spice Girls doll lampshade, the disco ball, topless Poldark poster, cage of wigs and rugby leg stools.
INSIDER’S TIP Don’t leave without stocking up on organic goodies at the tuck shop. With prices around a third of what you’d pay in the shops, grab a stash of greek yoghurt, ice cream and milk to haul home.
What we ate (dinner)
Starter Somerset charcuterie, Dorset pickled cucumbers, sourdough crostini and organic salad
Main Strode Valley beetroot, green bean and Ubley feta mille feuille
Dessert Yeo Valley ice cream (Madagascan vanilla and double chocolate) with warm salted caramel sauce