High Street, DUNSTER, TA24 6SG
Dramatically sited on a wooded hill, Dunster Castle, the Luttrell family home for 600 years until 1976, looks down over the film-set village, where stands the imposing sandstone-built Luttrell Arms, and in the near distance, the Bristol Channel. In the street outside is the early 17th-century, timber-framed, octagonal Yarn Market. One of Britain's oldest post-houses, it retains its galleried courtyard, fine plasterwork ceiling, stone-mullioned windows, wood-panelled walls and open fireplaces; it was from here that Oliver Cromwell directed the siege of Dunster Castle during the English Civil War. Until the 1950s one would book a table by telephoning Dunster 2; the Luttrells had the pleasure of answering "Dunster 1". You can see the castle from the inn's hidden garden; here's as good a place as any to savour a pint of Exmoor Ale from nearby Wiveliscombe, or Thatchers Cheddar Valley cider, while perusing the menu. The Old Kitchen Bar offers hot ciabattas and sandwiches; chef's pie of the day; and two types of ploughman's. In Psalter's restaurant, the choice is narrower but more sophisticated, with a typical winter menu starting with beetroot and vodka cured salmon, home-made fennel bread and lemon mayonnaise; and mains such as grilled fillet of bream with pineapple salsa, herbed new potatoes and seasonal salad; duck and noodle stir-fry with bok choy and plum sauce; and green vegetable risotto topped with a poached egg and parmesan. A trio of local sausages with champ mash and green beans; or ham, egg and chips keeps pub food traditionalists happy. Children get to choose from their own menu - perhaps scampi, chips and peas; or pasta with tomato sauce.