A FAMILY run restaurant in the heart of Over Stratton, South Petherton, have won the Taste of the West Gold award for another year.

Head chef Jane Bond, 51, husband Crispin Bond, 58, and sister Sue Seaton have owned New Farm Restaurant for 26 years.

Although the restaurant has been in the family much longer. Jane and Sue’s father, grandfather and great grandfather lived and farmed there.

Before that it was thought to be a Carters residence (what we would think of now as haulage and storage). The family have deeds dating back to 1735 for the sale of the building from Josiah Hebditch.

However, the restaurant is not dated and the trio do their best to keep adding new ideas, new dishes and new décor to keep the restaurant looking good and the food tasting delicious.

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The Taste of the West awards are focused on local produce and that is exactly what New Farm Restaurant is all about.

Jane said: “We don’t go for a lot of awards, but that one means a lot just because it’s about the West Country you know. We like to showcase that we are local.

“I am a farmer’s daughter born and bred so it has always been about local produce. We’ve got a kitchen garden here and we’ve got bees too.

“We’ve always been about sourcing local from when we started because being a farmer’s daughter I just assumed that everyone makes fresh food.”

A lot of food is grown on the farm – fruit, veg, eggs and honey from their bees – but if not, then it is sourced locally and within a 35-mile radius.

From Andy Winters Butcher in South Petherton to rapeseed oil from Fussels, Jane and Crispin know that local produce is important.

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Jane added: “What really flies out is fish – we’ve got local seabass and we do a trio of three different fish on a plate which people love. I’ll do a tempura of one and then some scallops and then something else.

“If we go away I get inspired by something, then it makes me want to cook. We want to have dishes on that people won’t make at home.

“We like to keep dishes new but the standards the same.

“I like to know what’s going on trend wise and putting my own twist on things.”

New Farm Restaurant also offer theme evenings once a month.

They have recently held a Moroccan and Persian evening and are hoping to hold a Hungary-themed night soon as well.

For Halloween, the family are putting on a murder mystery event with a rocky horror theme.

Jane added: “I think people love coming back because we are a family-run business – it is just us and my sister (as well as a few part-time waiting staff) – so we get to know our customers and people come back. We want them to have a great experience. It is all about the service.

“If Sue’s not in people will ask where she is. So, if we go on holiday, then we just shut because it is about us and we don’t want to bring in someone else.”

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Although they like to focus primarily on the restaurant, Jane, Crispin and Sue are also happy to host events too – birthday parties, christenings, anniversaries, funerals and so on.

And they are looking forward to hosting more, finding new dishes for the restaurant and growing local produce on the farm.

Crispin said: “2019 has been a really good year for New Farm Restaurant with more people than ever visiting us for the first time and discovering why we think Somerset produce is the best.

“Winning Gold in the Taste of the West awards is really the icing on the cake and we are looking forward to introducing even more customers to our seasonal dishes in the months ahead.”

For more information visit www.newfarmrestaurant.co.uk or call 01460 240584.