F.east in Ilminster, Somerset.
F.east at Ilminster has been one of my regular lunch haunts for some time, and was previously based in a converted cottage just off the centre of town. However, recently the owner Claire and her team upped sticks and moved to a converted mill building on the edge of Ilminster and what a great move that has proved to be. The extra space has really allowed F.east to spread its wings and the eclectic look and industrial styling suits it down to the ground. Even though the space is bigger, I was pleased to see that there is now a comfy sofa corner – perfect for coffee and cake! F.east is a vegetarian restaurant, also catering for gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan requirements and regardless of your preferences, always top-notch nosh. There is usually a choice of 6-7 main course dishes, and on this visit I went for the fried cauliflower and broccoli with lentils, halloumi and salad. Always beautifully presented and packed with a cornucopia of delicious flavours, I was pleased to find that the new kitchen didn’t detract from this at all. I’m not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy meat-free days and when they’re as delicious as the dishes Claire dreams up – it’s an absolute treat. I was meeting and eating with two other people and our food arrived promptly and caused a brief lull in our meeting chat while we fell to, and demolished, our lunches. The two people with me hadn’t been to F.east before and both pronounced it absolutely delicious – and that was before we had chosen our cakes from the laden shelf of treats at the counter. I had a gluten-free marmalade cake which was a perfect sponge, with the orange bitter cutting through the sweetness of the icing and leaving me wondering if I should buy a piece to take home. For me, great food places can sometimes be let down by the quality of the coffee they bring to you at the end of the meal – but my cappuccino was absolutely spot on and provided a perfect end to a very delicious and enjoyable meal. You can find F.east on Tripadvisor https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g1077115-d1603818-Reviews-F_east-Ilminster_Somerset_England.html