Yogi Bear. Garfield. A Big Daddy wrestling poster and a TV Comic book with Basil Brush and Tom and Jerry inside. No. We’re not talking about the contents of a secret drawer in our bedroom! :) This little list is just a fraction of the retro stuff on the bar, shelves and walls inside The Sheppey Inn - a secret treasure trove of cool memorabilia (and David Hockney prints) on the River Sheppey near Glastonbury.
And did I mention it serves great booze and gorgeous food too? Well it does. In fact, this is exactly the sort of place I hoped we’d find when we started writing about all things Somerset cool! It’s a complete one-off. A pub packed with personality and from the outside, you’d have absolutely no idea what’s behind the front door. We love that.
You can find the The Sheppey down a quiet country lane in the peaceful village of Lower Godney - out in the wilds of the Somerset Levels, surrounded by national nature reserves and peat moors.
Rocking up at 7pm on a Friday night, the silence was absolutely golden on the outside but when we opened the door, we were met with a secret little den of tucked away creativity. Stepping out of one countryside world in to the buzz of another completely different one, made it all the more special.
There was a great Friday night feel inside the pub, with an eclectic mix of customers, staff and the band (a folk trio who were brilliant by the way). Music clearly matters here, so if you’re after great live performances or old skool DJ's, definitely check out what’s on. We weren’t disappointed and you won’t be either. The guys there couldn’t have made us feel more welcome too (I just wish I’d worn my hat! The lovely bloke that looked after us had his on… so, you know, if you’re a hat wearer, you won’t be out of place at The Sheppey :) ).
We’d only been sat at our table for a couple of minutes, when we were offered a taste of some of the fab local ciders to try. Cider has a very special history at this particular Inn, as before the pub was revamped and taken over last year, the previous owners made the schoolboy error of running out of the stuff! They subsequently lost the trust of two generations of locals and now there are several casks of grown-ups’ apple juice on the bar, to make sure something like that never EVER happens again!
“Don’t get drunk on those though” was the advice to us, so we moved on to the wine and ordered some food.
The Sheppey serves Modern European and does it very, very well. I had the tasty spiced sweetcorn fritters, cornbread, shallot puree, basil salad and basil oil to start, followed by the crispy parmesan potato dumpling - lovely sausage-shaped pieces of comfort food, served with wild mushrooms, spinach balls, parmesan crisp and peanuts. Cor!! Graeme plumped for the emperors cocktail of peeled prawns, crab claw meat and king prawns with salad, Marie Rose sauce, red onion and tomato salsa... and the good old favourite Fish & Chips in ale sour dough batter. It was all absolutely delicious and there was lots of it too!
Of course, we made room for pudding though. As soon as Graeme said “oh we’ll have a little look” when asked if we'd like to see the dessert menu, I knew the warm chocolate fondant and the chocolate and kalhua cheesecake, were pretty much nailed on!!
And another thing... outside, on the perfectly formed terrace overlooking the river, we met Spencer the cat - a beautiful stray kitty who gets lots of love and roast dinners (his favourite) at The Sheppey. This is cast-iron proof that they’re lovely people, as well as cool ones!
So - I guess what we’re saying is go there! We’ll definitely be going back to play Ker-Plunk with some mates over a wine or three! There’s basically no higher recommendation! :)
Our review in three words: Wicked waterside gem.