On Location…. The New Inn

The history of West Coker’s ‘newest’ pub dates back to the 1600s.  The site of today’s ‘New Inn’ has been through many transformations as a pub in the last four hundred years. Today it’s been revived, sympathetically refurbished and returned to something close to its origins, All thanks to a Green Grocer called Nick.

West Coker is a tiny village in Somerset that has a heritage rich in flax twine and canvas sailmaking. Coker Canvas was a sought-after material. With sails that lasted twice as long as others, it was used by the Royal Navy to equip Admiral Lord Nelson’s fleet.  Pirates use it too! Inns and pubs in those days would have been full of local workers from the flax fields and twine makers and it’s in one of these Inn’s I found myself earlier this year.

The New Inn West Coker, Somerset
18th Century Styled Dining Room at The New Inn West Coker

Inn Keeping with it’s Heritage

In the 17th century, the pub was known as The New Inn.  At a point in history, the name changed. Back then you could only be an ‘Inn’ if you had rooms to let.  Various names have adorned the swinging sign outside the pub.  The Ham stone building on Church Street was closed up in recent years.  

At the end of 2022, Nick was given the green light to revive this historic building, returning the pub to Inn status by providing rooms.  His vision was to create a pub where you can enjoy an easy pint, a fabulous meal or get your head down for the night while travelling through or discovering the delights of the area.

The brief for this shoot was ‘charm and comforts of an old fashioned Inn’.

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Dining Room Elegance at the New Inn, West Coker in Somerset

Old Charm

Typical of buildings of its era, the New Inn is a charming slightly higgildy-piggildy pub that’s been allowed to retain its old-world charm.  Naturally, there are some modern touches to indulge in, such as a state-of-the-art coffee machine and some interesting locally brewed moonshine!

PUB CULTURE

There’s no 21st-century gastro-pub decor here, just a wonderful mix of stained glass windows, a roaring log burner and a traditional West Country skittle alley to enjoy on a pint-supping visit.

DINING ROOM STYLE

Upstairs has a different feel with a graceful, elegant dining room.  A tastefully decorated room that is easy to believe Mr Darcy or Lord Nelson might wander through.  Although the trendy cocktail machine in the corner might confuse them.  

Produce is sourced locally – the fruit and veg through Nick’s own Greengrocery business.  The meat is mostly from the butchers across the road.  Themed nights to tickle the tastebuds are now a popular feature.  

A PLACE FOR YOUR HEAD

In the sprawling courtyard lies a number of simply furnished, comfortable rooms with more being renovated this spring.

Keeping Traditions Alive

Nick, his wife & their head chef, are motivated to ensure that the residents & locals of West Coker have an Inn they can enjoy once more. The energy and commitment behind the New Inn are really easy to see.  This is actually the 49th pub that Nick has brought back to life. It’s really obvious he understands how to get the heart of a community beating once more.  Like all good landlords, he’s easy to talk to and got a solid team around him. 

Their recent X-Treme Sausage & Mash night was a sell-out.   With 15 sausage options, including GF and Veggie, 6 mash options and 6 gravies, to mix and match, you begin to understand how Nick has a habit of reviving tired venues in a happy, familiar way with a new touch.

Thanks for reading.

Rachel x

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