My Pub

My Pub: the Candlelight Inn, Bishopswood, Somerset

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Shining star: the Candlelight Inn in the West Country
Shining star: the Candlelight Inn in the West Country

Related tags Gastropub Food Chef Charlotte Vincent

Double AA Rosette-awarded gastropub the Candlelight Inn has recently taken on former Great British Menu chef Charlotte Vincent in its quest to climb to even greater heights.

The site is run by Mike Rose, who tells The Morning Advertiser​ all about the destination pub located near Chard in Somerset.

The pub

Nestled in the picturesque village of Bishopswood, the Candlelight Inn is a very special place at the heart of the community.

Our journey began when we stumbled upon this hidden gem, captivated by its historic charm and tranquil surroundings.

The pub boasts a charming garden that enchants visitors with its serene beauty, making it a sought-after destination venue for both locals and travellers.

Surrounded by the lush Somerset countryside, the Candlelight Inn offers a rustic yet refined atmosphere that’s perfect for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Candlelight Inn courtyard garden

The publican

I am the publican and have a background in finance. I bought the pub in 2016 and my vision was to preserve the essence of the Candlelight as a testament for creating welcoming spaces where people can connect, unwind and make lasting memories.

Since taking over the pub, we have completely renovated the old skittle alley into a delicately modern bar section that adjoins the older, more traditional side of the Candlelight. The setting is a favourite with drinkers.

mike rose and charlotte vincent
Mike Rose and Charlotte Vincent

The trade

The Candlelight Inn has become a loved gathering spot for a diverse range of patrons. From locals who come in for their regular pint and hearty conversation to tourists seeking an authentic taste of village life, our doors are open to all.

We are proud to welcome all sorts of visitors from muddy puppy paws, horses to the occasional celebrity. Our trade is a harmonious mix of drink-led enjoyment, complemented by a menu curated by head chef Charlotte Vincent and her team to satisfy traditional tastebuds to enthusiasts seeking modern and experimental culinary experiences.

Candlelight Inn food combo1

The team

Behind the scenes, our talented team works tirelessly to create seamless operations. From the welcoming front-of-house team that greet you with a smile to the skilled kitchen crew who conjure up delectable dishes – every member plays a crucial role.

With a balanced team of both front-of-house led by Michaela Young and her team, and our behind-the-scenes team, we ensure each guest’s visit is nothing short of exceptional.

Candlelight Inn team

The drinks

At the Candlelight Inn, we take pride in our diverse selection of beverages.

From locally crafted, gravity-pulled ales, carefully curated extensive wine menu and cocktails, our drink selection caters to every palate with wine paring options on many of our menus.

Our speciality lies in showcasing regional cask ales that our customers have grown to adore, making every visit a journey through the finest flavours. We are also very proud of our bespoke artisan gin named after my red setter – Beau.

Candlelight Inn bar

The food

Our food menu is a harmonious blend of innovative and seasonal creations using produce grown in the Candlelight gardens.

While our head chef Charlotte and her team bring a touch of culinary magic to the table, it’s not just about the food – it’s about the whole experience.

The Candlelight Inn has become a destination for food enthusiasts who appreciate the perfect marriage of ambiance and exceptional cuisine.

We are now the proud owner of two AA Rosettes and finalists for Chef of the Year for the Great British Pub Awards 2023​ and Charlotte is a finalist in the prestigious National Chef of the Year competition.

Candlelight Inn food combo2

The events

Throughout the year, we host a variety of events that reflect the spirit of our community. From local jazz to talented singers our events bring people together in unique and memorable ways. We have also been known to host beer festivals and the occasional quiz to help raise money for local charities.

The future

We’re committed to continuously enhancing every aspect of our pub, from refining our food and drink offerings to introducing new and exciting events that resonate with our patrons.

Soon, we have the Great British Menu​ evening and a special tasting evening showcasing the incredible work of head chef Charlotte Vincent​. All of our events are listed on our website and are updated regularly.

Candlelight Inn inside window table

Sample dinner menu


Brixham scallops, buttermilk dashi, rhuboshi, sesame seaweed – £12 

Duck liver parfait, grelot onions, roasted onion tuille, port & early summer berry ketchup, duck fat soldiers – £11

New season cauliflower velouté, chive oil, onion bhaji toastie – £9


Cornish line-caught hake fillet, samphire, sea salt Hasselback potatoes, brown shrimp & smoked potato split sauce – £28

Rump of Devon hogget, lamb fat carrot, lamb croute, sheeps’ yoghurt, lamb jus, pomme Anna – £26

Juniper salt-baked beetroot, Tenderstem broccoli, savoury walnut crumb, smoked yoghurt – £18


Raspberry & passionfruit petit gateaux, vanilla ice cream – £9

Enoki mushrooms, doughnut batter, cinnamon, toasted cep powder, white birch syrup, vanilla ice cream – £9 

Affogato, freshly churned vanilla ice cream, hot espresso – £8

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