Dating back centuries, Taunton excels when it comes to cosy pubs, craft ales, real beers and – of course – dozens of varieties of cider, the local delicacy!
Nightlife in Taunton
With pub grub ranging from scampi and chips to ham, egg and chips, you know you’re in a proper English boozer at The Grove – the portions are generous and well priced, with two main meals costing just £10. The city centre pub has a relaxed atmosphere, enhanced by the chilled-out acoustic soundtrack. The Wednesday night quiz sessions are always popular, and they have a wide range of guest ales to keep the guessers lubricated.
Taunton is home to one of the prettiest cricket pitches in England as Somerset play their home games at the town-centre pitch. And The Plough Inn is just 100 metres from the action, making it perfect for a post-game session. A CAMRA pub, they have a wide range of casks from local breweries with around four guest ales at any one point, as well as eight different ciders on tap.
A 15-minute drive or taxi ride from our Taunton Central North hotel, The Lethbridge Arms is a popular pub to the north east of town, in Bishop’s Lydeard, and is a popular weekend spot for walkers. A dog-friendly pub, the Lethbridge has a large beer garden, a wide range of beers and ciders, an open fire for winter months, pool tables and a dart board and does a mean Sunday roast. The food comes highly recommended, including a selection of three different Ploughmans and they also offer a reduced menu takeaway until 9pm each evening.
It’s a beguiling mix, but somehow The Chapel pulls it off. A pub set in the grounds of a converted church, the food is either pizzas from their wood-fired oven or Thai classics including satay and spring rolls. Yet despite that mish-mash of food, The Chapel has become a much-loved institution, with the cavernous roof echoing with fun and laughter late into the night every weekend.
With its low ceilings, white-washed walls and dark wooden bar, The Maypole Inn is your quintessential British pub – and true to that remit, it does the basics well. The beers are well sourced and varied, the food is a blend of classics and new-world flavours and the welcome is always warm and genuine. Located out of Taunton, it’s the perfect place for a country walk, with our Taunton Ruishton hotel just a 10-minute drive away.
You can’t come to Taunton without supping at least one of the region’s famed ciders – and none is finer than Sheppy’s Cider, a family-run apple-fermenting business that’s now into its sixth generation. They recently opened Sheppy’s House of Cider, a café, bar and restaurant that serves all of their cider varieties, and also acts as the home of their annual cider festival held every September. You can also take tours around the vats, sample some of the produce and, of course, pick up a case of their award-winning brew to take home.
The Plough Inn
Pitcher & Piano
A café and restaurant serving Thai dishes by day, Mambo – no relation to the famous Ibiza café of the same name – really comes into its own as a bar. Less than 10 minutes’ taxi ride from our Taunton East hotel, the outdoor terrace is packed when the sun shines, and with a 3am licence on weekends, it’s one of the town’s main dancing and drinking spots. The music is upbeat and commercial and attracts a mixed crowd that gradually gets younger as the night gets older.
True to its German roots, Bierkeller Taunton is a beer-lover’s dream serving over 80 bottles from around the world, 10 draught beers and – of course – hulking great two-litre steins for the really thirsty. With traditional wooden benches, a live oompah band and huge portions of sausages and chips, the atmosphere is always buzzing – but can border on bawdy when stag or hen parties get going later on in the night. Located on the High Street, the bar is open daily and is free entry, but seats need to be reserved on the weekend.
If you’re looking to host your own round of pub Olympics, Allstars Sports Bar is the place – with pool, snooker, darts and poker tables as well as a TV setup that can screen up to 10 different events, sports fans won’t want to leave. Pub grub classics will keep you going during the day, and if you fancy a change of sport, there’s table football, fruit machines and indoor boxing games dotted around the bar.
You know what you’re getting with the Pitcher & Piano chain and the Taunton branch is no different. With its plush interiors, suck-you-in sofas and well-made cocktails, it attracts a good mix of drinkers. The food is decent as well, featuring a well-priced lunch menu and a popular Sunday roast. Open from breakfast until 1am at weekends, there’s always a good buzz in the bar which is found on Corporation Street in the heart of Taunton.
A five-room behemoth, Zinc is Taunton’s leading nightclub. Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday until 4am, the real action takes place on the main stage where CO2 cannons and a powerful light and laser display put you in the heart of the action. With different DJs in each room and five bars to choose from, you’re bound to find the right fit for your night out, with the lounge playing RnB, the Rubix room, replete with a Saturday Night Fever-style dance floor, playing pop classics, and the rooftop terrace opting for more sultry vibes. There are some excellent drink deals (although you might not be saying that the next morning), and booths for up to 15 people can be booked if you’re celebrating or looking to share a bottle or two.