Fine Food and Fantastic Coffee
Benedict Street Kitchen is an exciting addition to Glastonbury’s growing good food scene. It’s a little way out of the Town Centre, a couple of minutes walk down Benedict Street, in a beautiful old building that was once the Town’s Courthouse.
I recently met with owner Lucy Wyatt, who asked me to share the story of this new eatery with you. She tells me it all started out with a family farm in Suffolk, where she decided on the principles on which BSK is founded. Primarily these are Farm to Fork and high animal welfare, local and seasonal rather than certified organic.
Lucy was delighted to find the premises, latterly a youth centre, up for auction. She’s the daughter of an architect so was excited by the restoration project, she’s adapted it to modern standards but preserved the spirit of the building, keeping the oak floorboards and opening up the fireplace, she even shows me where the magistrates podium stood. Lucy incorporated sacred geometry into the redesign and is excited by how close to the building the Michael Leyline passes. Interestingly the Mary Leyline touches the new farm in Wellington.
Not only is the interior light filled and lovely, but the building is set in a large garden with a view of the Tor. In Summer shade will be provided by the large and ancient Beacon Oak. In a ‘Normal For Glastonbury’ moment Lucy tells me that ‘Gordon the Tree Wizard’ gave her invaluable advice on tree care.
It’s important to Lucy that BSK serves the town’s locals, not just it’s visitors. They showed their commitment to this aim by opening in August 2020, and then staying open three days a week for takeaway throughout the Autumn and Winter lockdowns. They lost money but proved they were consistent by serving good food and coffee to a growing number of locals attracted by word of mouth recommendations. Lucy tells me that since they’ve been able to open the garden up to diners they’ve seen trade really lift off. She can’t wait to open up inside from May 17th.
They want to become part of the town, reserving a corner for locals even in busy times and encouraging mothers with toddlers to come along on Monday mornings, as they appreciate the town lost an important resource when the Sure Start centre that the building once housed was closed.
“It’s all about the food”
Once Chef, Giles Sampson, arrived in late January, they increased their opening days from Tuesday to Saturday. They are hoping to start opening for evening meals and ‘taste experiences’ with a set menu. Giles has recently been joined by a second Chef, Shane Vant, who built a two AA rosette business near Radstock.
Lucy shows me around the beautiful and spacious kitchen, introducing me to Giles, he’s a Somerset boy, lives in Shepton and has cheffed in Bristol and London. Giles talks with great enthusiasm about local suppliers : Plotgate, Paddington Farm, Root Connections (who work with homeless people). He buys his fish from Ben on the Glastonbury Market, uses local cheeses and the ‘Somerset Charcuterie’ business rather than importing from Europe. When planning their meat dishes they follow the nose to tail principle rather than using prime cuts. There’s a beef stock bubbling on the hob, the bones came from Stephen’s Butchers on the Market Place where they source most of their meat.
This is one of the two kitchens, Lucy leads me into another which has a specialist oven with stone shelves for pizzas and sourdough breads. It’s an ideal space for preparing food for outside catering. They’re looking for a resident baker.
Next, Lucy shows me around all the toilets, as she’s particularly pleased with their copper surfaces and tasteful flooring. The attention to detail and quality is clear everywhere you look in the building. We head out to the garden and Lucy points out that the restaurant is ideal for wheelchair users, with ramps from the garden and a large wheelchair accessible toilet.
Lucy is not new to Glastonbury, she has been visiting for nine years, has made friends here and clearly has a great affection for the town. She’s one of the speakers at the Town’s yearly Megalithomania conference and is fascinated by sacred geometry, even writing a book on the subject ‘Approaching Chaos‘. She would like to get local speakers in to do talks and some musicians too.
Lucy’s family bought the new farm in Wellington to serve the eatery. She tells me it’s in a beautiful location, with a mile of river. One day she’d like to start a community there. She plans to grow the business incrementally, not rush into it or compete with existing businesses in the town. She says “I’ve been really blown away by the feedback we’ve had. We’ve not done a big ad campaign, people have found their way here anyway, recommended to try us out by friends”.
“It’s really important to me that we serve good coffee, we went to a lot of trouble to track down the best supplier and the cost of the coffee machine made my eyes water, but we’re not prepared to compromise”.
With its commitment to good, locally sourced food I am confident that Benedict Street kitchen will help put Glastonbury on the map as a foodie destination.
BSK offer a good selection of vegan and vegetarian options and a range of plant milks.
Opening Hours: As of now (May 2021) BSK are open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.
Accessibility: BSK is wheelchair accessible and has an accessible toilet.
Dogs and Cyclists: They are dog friendly and have a cycle rack in the garden.
Takeaway: BSK use eco friendly cartons for takeaway, all compostable or recyclable.
Find out more
You can find Benedict Street Kitchen at The Old Police Court, Glastonbury BA6 9EX, it’s only a three minute walk from the Market Place and is an ideal place for lunch or coffee and cake if you are walking the Glastonbury Way.
This post was kindly sponsored by Benedict Street Kitchen, the opinions are all mine. Photos copyright Vicki Steward or Benedict Street Kitchen.
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