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The Firehouse, Curry Rivel

Just checked out the new kid on the rural block: the newly opened The Firehouse, a pub and restaurant in the village of Curry Rivel, just a few miles to the west of Langport. Located off the main drag, in what was previously the Old Forge Inn, the old village pub has had a complete makeover in every sense. Come on in and see what’s inside…

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When you go through into the reception area and wait to be seated, take note of the sleek, stone-fired pizza and the pizza chefs doing their stuff – you might be having one later.

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The place is a bit of a warren with a bar and five separate dining areas as well as an outside space. First the bar. Although The Firehouse styles itself a pub and restaurant, during the day at least, the bar feels more like the sort of place to have a quick drink before eating, rather than a dedicated watering hole.  You can perch on one of the tractor stools to watch cocktails being shaken and stirred, or sink into some armchairs for a quiet têteà-tête.

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Each of the five different dining areas has its own name and different decorative theme within the overall look of the place.  There’s the Kilner Room (where we ate) …

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…with stairs (love the light fitting made from Kilner jars – what else?) leading up to The Library with its book wallpaper and colourful chairs, and onto the Sitting Room beyond.

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There are stairs down to The Vault, which has been decked out like a Spanish bodega with a tiled floor and long communal dining tables – looks great for a party.

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There are more stairs up from the reception to yet another dining area, the light and airy Hayloft. There are a lot of stairs.

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Much care and attention has been paid to the decoration – all the work of Kate, who owns and runs The Firehouse as well as the Living Pretty tea and interiors shop across the car park, and this place has a similar feel.  The unusual light fittings are fun.

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You don’t need to be told there’s a connection with Sandpits, the nearby wood-burning stove/fireplace business (a great shop, and where I bought my little wood-burner a while back). Not only is there a clue in the name (The Firehouse) but there’s also a stove or fire – some very impressive – in almost all of  the rooms. Should be toasty in winter.

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The set menu is fairly standard pub fare – a couple of burgers, a steak, a ploughman’s, fish and chips, fishcakes, lasagne, risotto, although all are made using locally sourced ingredients – and of course, the stone-fired pizzas. As a nice touch, they’ve been named after local areas, from the The Levels (a basic Margherita, obviously) through to the Burrow Mump (spinach, marscapone, Parmesan, thyme, with a free range egg on top as the Mump). Here’s Glastonbury Tor waiting about to whisked away to a diner…

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The couple at the next table were tucking into huge prawn cocktails (come back Fanny Craddock, all is forgiven) and then some impressive looking burgers. We plumped for a couple of dishes off the daily specials menu, bypassing herb-crusted pollock with ratatouille and black olive tapenade (I’m not sure why now, it sounds delicious) in favour of mussels cooked in Burrowhill cider and bacon, and a white bean and fennel soup. Both were good. The mussels were huge and succulent and served with some skinny fries. I would have liked more of those but then Muddy Somerset is a very greedy girl.

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My friend’s  huge bowl of soup also hit the spot.

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The Firehouse has a nice atmosphere and serves up good, unpretentious food with some interesting dishes amongst the daily specials. I’ll be back with the Muddies, soon: after all, they’ve got a pizza named after our village on the menu.

MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: casual eating out, families (though I didn’t see a garden for kids to run around), groups of friends, larger parties (as well as the separate dining rooms here are private rooms for hire). For alfresco eating, there’s a little terraced area planted up with herbs, lavenders and box which is growing nicely. With all those fires it should be fab in winter.

Not for: couples wanting an intimate space to talk, fine diners (this is fairly standard fare), anyone who finds stairs and different levels an issue.

£££: Reasonable: pizzas are from £9-£12.50 (kids’ pizza £4); burgers £12; lasagne £12; steak and chips £22. There’s an early bird dinner Mon-Fri 5.45pm-6.45pn with main courses around £8. On the daily specials menu, soup £5.50; mussels £12; mains £14-£24. Glass of house wine around £4. Cocktails £5.50-£7.

The Firehouse, Church Street, Curry Rivel, TA1 0HE. Tel 01458 887447. thefirehousesomerset.co.uk

2 comments on “The Firehouse, Curry Rivel”

  • angela June 11, 2016

    Nice to have another place to eat without driving into taunton or yeovil.

    Reply
  • Carolyn October 6, 2016

    We went there a couple of weeks ago, and the food was excellent. Service relaxed, to the point of being a wee bit slow, but fine if you are not in a hurry. Would definitely recommend.

    Reply

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