Food and drink
Relax and enjoy a taste of history in one of our four dining rooms – each with its own character and opulent décor – or down in the dungeons** for some real atmosphere... Let our attentive waiting staff take care of your evening, serving a delectable range of traditional fare or more contemporary cuisine with an international flavour. Pick up the wine menu, and our expert sommelier can help you select exclusive vintages from our cellars or the finest of New World wines.
For hundreds of years, the kitchen garden has provided much of the food used at Thornbury Castle, and under the enthusiastic skills of head gardener and groundskeeper Kate and her team, the vegetables, edible flowers and seasonal fruit used by our chefs are just about as fresh and flavoursome as you can get.
Head chef Mark Veale who spent several years working for Gordon Ramsay in London, knows that selecting the best ingredients is vital to creating the most mouthwatering dishes. He uses grass-fed lambs from local suppliers who nurture their flock like family pets, and gets first dibs on the venison and grouse from nearby Everleigh Farm. Another favourite is rhubarb grown in a shed under candlelight, which is then slowly poached in orange juice, basil, cardamom and cinnamon for a delightful fragrant addition to soups, crumbles and sorbets. Veale also regularly takes his team of chefs to Brixham fish market in Devon to help them understand and respect the process involved in getting fresh fish from the sea to the Thornbury dish.
History is as infused in the kitchens as it is in the entire castle: Thornbury has a dazzling food heritage, particularly since the ‘70s, where it became the place for international stars such as Sophia Loren and Laurence Olivier to wine and dine in salubrious style. Chef Pepe Gomes Rivas, now aged 68, tells great tales of the extravagant parties and visiting celebrities, in an era when head chef Kenneth Bell became the first chef outside of France to earn a Michelin star.
You can be sure to get the best advice from our sommelier, Savvas Simeonidis – a surgeon from Greece who followed his passion and re-trained as a sommelier, enabling Thornbury Castle to win an ‘Excellence’ award from Wine Spectator last year. Add to that a team of discreet yet attentive waiting staff, and you get a truly high-class dining experience.
**Please note that dining in the dungeon is available for parties of four or more guests and minimum spend on drinks/wines is £200