Moat & Turret ‘Cafe by the Castle’
Moat & Turret ‘Café by the Castle’ is the new name of the former Castle Kitchen on Castle Green in Nunney, which reopened on Friday 17 February.
New tenants Jane and Graham Harvey from Trudoxhill serve brunch, lunch, teas and cakes and refreshments six days a week.Graham told Visit Nunney: “Jane and I are both born and bred in Somerset. We are both originally from South Somerset and both from farming families.”
The couple met and married 21 years ago. They were both working in tennis at the time, officiating as chair umpires and working at the Grand Slams, ATP, WTA and ITF events around the country and the world.
Jane was one of the first professional umpires to be hired fulltime by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). She umpired 5 Wimbledon singles finals and numerous others finals at Grand Slams events and also umpired 4 Gold medal finals at 4 separate Summer Olympics.
“It was on our travels – particularly Australia – when of love of good coffee and the ‘New’ coffee culture that originated and exists in those cosmopolitan cities of Australia began,” Graham explained.
Cheese and deli specialist
In 2007 Jane and Graham opened the hugely successful and popular Bramble & Sage ‘Deli on the Farm’ in Sutton Montis, a small village off the A303 and close to Sherborne.
“The business took off and all too quickly outgrew the premises,” Graham said. “In the coffee shop we struggled to seat people on wet days, due to the space limitations.”
Reluctantly they moved on. At the same time, Jane was offered a job as technical operations manager for the 2012 London Olympics to the tennis event held at Wimbledon.
A move to the South coast took them to Chichester, from where Jane commuted to London for a year and a half. Graham took up a role within the JLP group as a cheese and deli specialist for Waitrose.Trudoxhill
In 2015 they relocated back to Somerset to be closer to relatives. Graham and Jane both fell for the appeal of Frome’s independent traders and its artisan flair.
Only after they settled in Trudoxhill, did Graham discover that his father was born in the same village in 1932 and spent the first 5 years of his life at Bellevue Farm.
His great great uncle had also lived and worked on the farm from the very early 1900s and then passed it onto Graham’s grandparents. Graham’s father and his three elder sisters all attended Nunney School.
“My grandparents moved in 1938 to what was and still is the family farm in Chilthorne Domer, a few miles from Yeovil,” Graham added.
“It’s almost unbelievable, but in the same year – or very soon after their departure – Jane’s great uncle Alan moved in to Bellevue Farm and stayed there until the 1950s.”
The café was the original Bird & Sons village shop from 1923. More recently it was a hairdressers before being converted to Café De la Mere and subsequently Castle Kitchen.
When Graham and Jane discovered that the lease for Castle Kitchen was up for grabs, they didn’t hesitate.
They had already fallen for the charms of Nunney long before, walking their dog Woody around the fields and village twice a day.
Graham said, “We saw the potential in having a lifestyle business in one of the country’s most attractive villages. We want Moat & Turret ‘Café by the Castle’ to become just that again: a café, a coffee shop or a tea room – whatever you want to call it, but nothing more than that.”
“We hope that it will be a place where people will feel comfortable and welcomed, a real home from home. The castle and village exude peace and tranquility and we want Moat & Turret to reflect this.”
Not a gastropub
The Harveys have opted for an eclectic, almost quirky mix of antique furniture combined with canvases on the wall of local interest. Some of the furniture has a French style about it to echo the French style of the 14th century Nunney Castle.
“We don’t want to be too clever with the menu,” Graham pointed out. “We’re not a gastropub or restaurant. But we will offer a brunch and light lunch menu.”
Their Italian style coffee is roasted down the road in Bruton. Jane and Graham will also offer a vast range of teas, comforting hot chocolate and soft drinks, including smoothies and milkshakes. Last but not least, they promise to stock a good selection of delicious homemade cakes and tray bakes.
The café is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10am and 5pm. Moat & Turret ‘Café by the Castle’ is closed on Mondays, except on Bank Holiday Mondays when it will operate Sunday trading hours.
The café is dog-friendly, even including a few treats on the menu for dogs along with a constant supply of fresh water.
“We very much want the locals and villagers to have a place that they can feel is an integral part of their community and use it as a ‘hub’ to relax and catch up with others, whether they want to read the newspapers or to work using our free WIFI,” Graham concluded.
Moat & Turret ‘Café by the Castle’
Somerset BA11 4NJ
Telephone 01373 837 361
Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm
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