Yeo Valley Canteen, Blagdon, Somerset
The Yeo Valley Canteen, in the beautiful Somerset countryside, is a unique restaurant as it’s shared by both staff and customers alike. With its quirky interiors and scrumptious food, it’s one to put on your foodie map when visiting the West Country.
Yeo Valley Staff Canteen Blagdon
Inviting customers into the Yeo Valley world has gone down a treat. Over 50,000 visitors now visit the farm each year.
Go for lunch at the staff canteen in Blagdon and when you next go to the supermarket, you’ll never look at a pot of their yogurt in the same way again.
You’ll be thinking of the beautiful view from the restaurant terrace, the bold and colourful interiors, the friendly staff and the delicious glass of local wine you drank with your lunch.
Creative, quirky and tongue-in-cheek, I love it. It will instantly make you want to work for them (and of course, buy more Yeo Valley yogurt, keffir, butter, ice cream etc).
I often stop by for lunch when I’m driving down to the West Country. The good news for Londoners – there’s now a Yeo Valley Cafe near Kensington Gardens.
Enter the World of Yeo Valley
In the deep Somerset countryside but just 30 minutes from either Bristol or Bath, there’s a warm welcome awaiting you at Yeo Valley’s Headquarters.
The Mead family started farming in the area in the 1960s with just 30 cows and a few sheep. These days, it’s still a family business but Holt Farm, which lies between the Mendip Hills and the Chew Valley, is much bigger. The 400-strong Lakemead pedigree herd is now spread over two farms.
The company supplies supermarkets with their organic milk, yogurt, butter, cream and ice cream. And they don’t rest on their hooves, they cleverly added another foodie string to their bow back in 2015 by opening up their staff restaurant to the public.
Food is ‘fodder’ at Yeo Valley Canteen
Glitter balls hang from the ceiling
Eat in Yeo Valley’s Staff Canteen (it’s unlike any other)
If there was an award for ‘Best Staff Canteen’, Yeo Valley would be up there on the shortlist. Be prepared to be surprised and delighted.
The interiors are distinctly ‘funky in the country’. You’ll see glitter balls, photos of rude veg, padded felt clouds on the ceiling and even fake trees extending their branches along the walls. The chef serves ‘Fodder’ through a hatch and there’s a stylish bar, too. It’s all tastefully done and looks fabulous.
Ladies, just make sure you pop to the loo (aka The Throne Room). Decorated in Art Deco style, it would be at home in any top hotel. Lucky, lucky Yeo Valley employees.
Felt clouds hang from the Canteen’s ceiling
Smoked trout terrine
Eat Delicious Fodder and Admire The View
The Yeo Valley Canteen offers a simple menu serving seasonal dishes using the best local produce. The trout comes from nearby Blagdon lake (caught by Malcolm and Pete), organic meat from Holt Farm and vegetables from a local Community Farm.
Sit at a table on the terrace and you’ll have a superb view not only of the lake but, on a clear day, the Bristol Channel in the distance.
Tuck in to fish & chips on Fridays and dip your spoon into scrumptious puddings. They showcase the farm’s dairy products – apple crumble with Yeo Valley double cream, yogurt panna cotta with apple & blackberry compote and chocolate brownie with madagascan vanilla ice cream. You get the idea.
Sit on the terrace and admire the view of Blagdon lake
Go Potty in The Yeo Valley Shop
Did you know that yogurt was first invented as a way to preserve milk? By adding special bacteria to it, the milk would keep for much longer.
Before you head home, you can browse the entire Yeo Valley range in the shop. The company has also published The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook which is full of tasty recipes (try baking the Somerset scrumpy and apple cake).
One of the private dining rooms
Freshly baked cakes
Look Out For Yeo Valley Events
Fancy putting a foodie date in your diary? The Yeo Valley team run an interesting programme of special events including pop-up supper clubs, cooking demonstrations based around a monthly theme and outdoor cinema nights.
The company regularly invite special guest speakers, such as Guy Watson, vegetable supremo and founder of Riverford Organics (another one of my favourites), to give talks. Yeo Valley is also a partner for ValleyFest, one of the South West’s most popular food and music festivals.
If you’re planning your own party or special gathering, there are several private rooms available to hire, each with its own unique character.
Visit The Yeo Valley Canteen in London
If you live in London, 2019 saw the arrival of the Yeo Valley Canteen. You’ll find it on Queensway, not far from Kensington Gardens. It’s a handy place to re-fuel on cheese toasties, yummy pancakes and warming soup if you’re tredding the capital’s streets.
- Yeo Valley Canteen is very popular so booking is essential
- If you’re visiting in the summer or early autumn, drive a few miles down the road to the Yeo Valley Organic Garden & Café for a stroll around the garden and a slice of cake
- Combine your visit to Blagdon with a cycle or walk along the former Strawberry Line where you can taste Cheddar Cheese and Thatchers Cider
- The Canteen’s proximity to Bristol airport and the M5 motorway, make it a handy stopping off point on a long journey to the South West
Where to Stay in Somerset
Please check directly with Yeo Valley.
How to Find Yeo Valley Canteen
Yeo Valley Canteen, Rhodyate, Blagdon, North Somerset, BS40 7YE
The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.