A small family run smokery, started 31 years ago here in Somerset, we produce the finest smoked eel and salmon as well as a whole range of delicious smoked foods including smoked chicken, duck, lamb and trout. You will find over forty products in our shop as well as hampers and selection packs which all make fabulous gifts to friends, family or business - or better still yourself!
Having learnt how to smoke eel in Germany in 1981, we use simple wood fired systems with beech and apple for eel and oak for salmon, trout and all our other products. We are totally non-industrial, specialising in small scale batches, smoked to order and produced with love, care and dedication.
We use two methods of smoking, hot smoked and cold smoked. These are two completly different processes that produce differing products in terms of flavour and texture.
Attached to the smokery is our award winning restaurant serving food fresh from the smokers, simple, delicious and reasonably priced. An experience that you cannot miss! There is also a well stocked shop where you can buy any of our products.
We learned to smoke in Germany in the early 80's. We use simple wood fired smokers with no technology or electricity.
Hot smoking is a short process, about 1-2 hours in total. The product is intially roasted over an open fire until our master smokers are happy the product is fully cooked. At this point sawdust is added to the fire, killing back the flames and acting as a blanket over the fire. The embers of the fire are still buring underneath the sawdust to create the smoke. This process ensures our products remain succelent with a hint of smokiness. This technique is ideal for eel, chicken, duck and trout.
We use oak for all of our products apart from our eels. If we used oak to smoke our eels all the eel flavour would be lost. This is due to the eel being such a delicate flavour. The beech offers a much milder flavour and doesn't over power the delicious eel flavour.
Cold smoking is totally different. It is a much longer, gentler process where the product is purely being smoked. There is no fire in a cold smoker, purely a trail of oak sawdust fuelled with the hot embers from the hot smoker. The trail of sawdust smolders like a slow burning fuse producing masses of smoke but very little heat.
In total the process lasts 15-20 hours and is ideal for salmon, trout, haddock, kippers, hams and cheese.
From smokery to restaurant
In our family travels we found that many smokehouses in Germany and Holland offered their own produce hot and fresh out of the smokers, often served in very simple settings but always tasting delicious: fresh smoked eel or trout in warm bread with a glass of beer seemed the food of the gods. That got us thinking. So too when visitors to the smokery shop would exclaim, " This all looks wonderful, it's making me hungry, where can we eat round here?" And we would dutifully point them in the direction of a pub or inn.
And then in 1999 the barns adjoining our smokery, which had been used as a dairy and granary, fell vacant, so we decided to turn the idea into reality. Though we smoked food, neither of us had had any experience in running a restaurant. My wife was a nurse and a very good cook. After twenty five years of nursing she felt she was due for a career change; she would run the restaurant. We opened in November 1999 and it just took off.
What we did not know was what a beautiful building was hiding under the false ceiling of the dairy and the dust and grime of the granary. The builders uncovered soft stone and brick walls and a perfect set of warm coloured oak umbrella beams. With the stone flag floor it makes a perfect setting for an informal restaurant, somewhere peaceful to sit with the papers over a good cup of coffee or to come with friends for a delicious lunch. In the good weather you can eat in the courtyard outside and watch the swallows