TAUNTON'S prestigious Castle Hotel has closed temporarily due to the Coronavirus crisis.

The Brazz brasserie which operates alongside the family-run hotel is also suspending operations, including its takeaway service set up just days ago.

The Chapman family who run the hotel have issued the following statement: "It is with deep regret that the Chapman family announces the immediate closure of Taunton's Castle Hotel.

"In our view, this is a temporary but essential measure in the heat of the current emergency.

"We believe it is our duty to support the government's resolve to defeat COVID-19, and in doing so, we want to do everything in our power to protect the health and safety of all our clients and visitors.

"Not least, we must protect the wellbeing of our staff.

"In making this decision, we also want to thank them for their loyalty and great forbearance through these testing times.

"For these reasons, we have also decided to suspend our new bespoke takeaway service GRAB-a-BRAZZ until further notice.

"In conclusion, we appeal to all our friends, suppliers, partners and colleagues to stay safe, to keep smiling...and to carry on!

"The Castle and Brazz may have gone into a state of hibernation for a while.

"But we shall wake up before long to welcome you back with open arms."