There's a new restaurant opened in Kilver Court, Shepton Mallet. Called, “Stage 1”, it's themed on theatre stages and decorated with bits of sets that were previously used in British films - façades, lighting, props, etc. The entrance lobby has directors' chairs, the menus are on wooden clipboards, all part of the feel of theatre. The overall effect is extremely stylish, a real pleasure to be there. At the time of writing halfway through Nov 12, it's only been open for about a week, and I'll write something about it's expected life at the end of this critique.
The props and general look of it makes it feel vaguely as if you're somewhere in Europe in the 1930s. We went in winter and it was warm and welcoming. Soft, beaty music plays in the background. It's light and airy, not cramped. The tables feel period, the seating is comfortable, you get cloth serviettes (that's a treat).
The food choice is broad, with a strong feel of English in there. They serve seasonal, locally-sourced food where they can. I like that, it's good for the environment and it provides regional meals that you wouldn't find much outside the West Country. The food prices are quite reasonable. They have small meal choices if you wish. You don't have to eat a lot, you could certainly eat lunch for under £10 per head, and even if you went bigger you could get under £20. We didn't take wine, but the list seems to have an expert touch; here the prices reflect that.
My wife and I both ordered fish pie and it was superb, generous, well balanced and cooked perfectly. It came with greens and they were exquisite! If I say the food was simple, that may give the impression of ordinary and it absolutely isn't that. What I mean is that it wasn't over-herbed, there was no lacing in of garlic, those sorts of things. This is very much first-half of the 20th century, top-class expertise. The service was attentive and hit that line between friendly yet not intrusive.
I talked to the staff at the end of the meal. They told me that this restaurant has been set-up at the start as a pop-up business. Next spring they intend to auction the sets and props for charity and close. I suppose if they catch a wave, well maybe they'll work out a way of continuing, but in the meantime, take advantage, give yourself a big treat and at take a meal here this winter.
Kilver Court, Kilver Street, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5NF
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