Locanda on the Weir, Porlock Weir, Somerset: B&B review

The inventive food at this stylish restaurant-with-rooms is a real treat after walking on Exmoor or the South West Coast Path

Porlock Weir, a coastal hamlet a couple of miles west of Porlock village, has much to recommend it: sweeping views of sea and wooded hills, cute cottages, fishing boats in the tidal harbour. Some love the otherworldliness of its beach, though it’s not the place for a relaxing stroll: its “shingle” is actually large, grey and pinkish stones on which you don’t so much walk as hop precariously from one boulder to the next. And now Porlock Weir has another draw: stylish rooms and Italian-influenced dining at Locanda on the Weir.

Pio Catemario has been a passionate foodie ever since he was a child growing up in Naples and hanging around the family kitchen seeing how favourite meals were prepared. It was the chance to indulge this passion that led him and partner Cindy to take on the run-down Café on the Weir, overlooking the beach and harbour. They updated the beige interior (“It looked like a 1980s nursing home,” says Cindy) and relaunched the property as a restaurant-with-rooms last year.

The bay-windowed Locanda has clearly shaken off the whiff of cream teas and fish and chip lunches. In a bar/lounge with smart sofas and interesting artwork, husband and I sip on smart and interesting aperitivos. Aperol is so over; we now favour the more sophisticated Bèrto – less sweet and a less-luminous orange than the famous brand.

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