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The Castle at Taunton, Somerset
Housed in a grand, wisteria-covered building overlooking Taunton, complete with a fluttering Union Jack, The Castle was once a Norman Fortress, and has been welcoming visitors to the West Country since the 12th century. Its 44 rooms are individually designed with comfort and elegance at their heart, and some are more luxurious, with space for families, bridal couples and even parties. The rooftop Penthouse offers commanding views and serves as a picturesque sun-trap. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty can be spotted from many of the windows, reflecting the hotel's easy access to the Blackdown, Brendon and Quantock Hills as well as Exmoor National Park. Brazz adds an extra layer of modern comfort, with Brasserie-style food and a buzzing atmosphere at breakfast.
The central location means you're a short walk from the city's amenities, but you'll feel miles away from the bustle once you're surrounded by The Castle's elaborate interiors. Plus, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty abound in just about every direction.
Located just off North Street on Castle Green.
By car: 1 hour from Bristol or 1 and a half from Bath or Plymouth, around 2 and a half from Southampton. There is plenty of on-site parking.
By train: 4 hours from Leeds, 1 hour 20 minutes from Plymouth, 2 hours from Cardiff and 4 and a half from York. Taunton station is a 5-minute drive or 15-minute walk away. thetrainline.com
By bus: Taunton bus station is less than a minute's walk from the hotel.
Style & Character
The hotel is perfect for parties, families celebrating special occasions and locals who love to take afternoon tea. Although there's an historic feel that lends itself to dressing up in the evenings, dining with other guests in the bustling brasserie for breakfast is a laid-back and joyful affair. Feature lighting accentuates the green-tiled bar and swanky coffee machine which are kept sparkling clean, and adds character to this modern restaurant.
Service & Facilities
There's an excitable atmosphere at breakfast, which is award-winning and has been served by Gerry Barge, The Castle's breakfast chef, for more than 40 years. A ramp with stylised handrails, as well as a ground-floor street entrance makes Brazz more easily accessible. The hotel is happy to take well-behaved dogs and cats with pre-arranged booking.
- Brazz restaurant
- Cocktail bar
- Afternoon tea
- Events and parties
- Family rooms
- Free Wi-Fi
- Rose garden
- Penthouse suite
Crisp white bedding, soft, spotless carpets and shining bathrooms make even the single rooms feel luxurious - and the beds are supremely comfortable. The Garden Room has a country-house feel with patterned fabrics, antique mis-matched furniture, giant bed and garden-view windows.
Cosy Room, Castle Double, Castle Deluxe Double, Garden Room, Castle Suite
Facilities include: satellite TV, work desk, WiFi, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe, room service, hair dryer, ensuite bathroom. Family rooms are a Deluxe Double and Deluxe Twin joined by a hallway or door.
Food & Drink
The chunky farmhouse bread and salty butter served as you sit down is scrumptious, but starters steal the show - the homemade salsa verde served with warm chickpea fritters is zingy and refreshing.
Brazz: Café, bar and diner. Modern, chic interiors, booth seating. Open Tuesday - Saturday for breakfast (guests only), lunch and dinner. Dinner mains from £13.50.
Bow Bar: Cocktail bar and café. Artisanal food & drinks including coffee, cakes, bar snacks, charcuterie platters, afternoon tea. Historic archway entrance. Open weekdays 9am-3pm, Fridays & Saturdays til 10pm.