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The Castle at Taunton, Somerset, Luxury Castle Hotel in the West Country



Previous Special Events at The Castle Hotel


The Castle at Taunton is a superb events venue, hosting regular chamber music weekends, literary lunches and special interest workshops as well as gastronomic and wine evenings.


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The Castle at Taunton, Somerset - One of the Finest Castle Hotels in The West Country


Previous Events in Taunton Somerset


Felix Francis - Taunton Literary Festival

Saturday, 22nd September at 6.30pm

From Felix Francis, bestselling author of 'Gamble' and co-author (with Dick Francis) of 'Even Money' and 'Crossfire', comes 'Bloodline' (Sept 2012), the latest Dick Francis novel. Set in the cut-throat world of horse racing, Bloodline is a pacy thriller packed full of suspense, mystery and intrigue.


Join Felix Francis for his talk at 6.30pm followed by a book signing and an opportunity to have dinner with the author at 7.45pm in our beautiful Wisteria Garden Room.


Cost: £6.50 for the talk; £43 for free talk ticket and 3-course set dinner with wine.


Alexander Waugh - Taunton Literary Festival

Saturday, 22nd September at 4.00pm

Alexander Waugh has written extensively on music, was Opera Critic of the Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard, but is best known as the author of Classical Music (1995), Opera (1996), Time (1999) and God (2002), for his family biography Fathers and Sons (2004), which was made into 90-minute documentary film by BBC4, and for the House of Wittgenstein (2008) a story of the Austrian family of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. The talk will begin at 4.00pm followed by a book signing. There will also be an opportunity to have Cream Tea with Mr Waugh at 5.30pm.


Cost: Talk £6.50; Free Talk Ticket and Castle Cream Tea £14


Sir Roger Carrick - Taunton Literary Festival
Saturday, 22nd September 2012 at 11.00am

The Castle at Taunton is proud to participate in Taunton's second annually Literary Festival courtesy of Brendon Books. On Saturday, 22nd September, we will host three separate authors, commencing at 11.00am with Sir Roger Carrick. 'From Bulgaria to Berkeley, Indonesia to Australia, Roger Carrick has travelled the world as an English diplomat. He was shadowed by the secret police in Sofia, witnessed the 1968 riots in Paris, befriended Shirley Temple at Stanford University and negotiated the withdrawal of British troops from Singapore. In between he rose to the heights of ambassador to Indonesia and High Commissioner to Australia. All in a day's work for a distinguished diplomat. "Diplomatic Anecdotage" (May 2012) is a reflection on his career and on the ups and downs of diplomatic life. By turns witty and thoughtful, it is an absorbing and appealing read and a unique behind-the-scenes look at diplomacy in action. It is also an account of a changing world, whose author has played a discreet role in shaping its course.' There will be an exclusive opportunity to dine with Sir Roger Carrick following the talk.


Cost: Talk only £6.50; Free Talk Ticket and 3-course set Lunch with wine £36



The Castle Summer Wedding Fayre

Sunday, 15th July from 11.30 - 4.00

After it's recent success, The Castle will once again be hosting a Love Actually Wedding Fayre, giving you the opportunity to meet with our Wedding Co-ordinators, take a tour around the hotel's facilities and meet with a large selection of wedding suppliers, from jewellery makers to photographers. Entrance is free and you'll receive a glass of bucks fizz and a goody bag on arrival. Doors open at 11.30am and the fayre closes at 4pm. We look forward to welcoming you!


Castle Annual Garden Party

Sunday, 1st July 2012 at 12:30

Our Annual Summer Garden Party promises to be even bigger and better than before! This year's Baddest Blues Band, led by soulful singer Zoe Schwartz, plays an exhilarating modem mix of blues and jazz funk and our quintessential afternoon tea picnic will bring you the very best of local produce prepared by Head Chef, Jamie Raftery , and his experienced team. To download a copy of the menu, click here. At £59 this will be a fantastic afternoon, kicking-off in The Castle's Norman rose garden at 12.30pm.


Diamond Jubilee at BRAZZ

2nd -5th June 2012

BRAZZ will be running their very own Diamond Jubilee Menu during the extended bank holiday.  Prawn Cocktail, Jubilee Coronation Chicken and Sherry Trifle for £20.  With Taunton's Family Fun Day taking place on Monday 4th June, as always we'll be offering our fantastic value children's menu - a main, ice cream & soft drink for £8.

The Castle Dining Club Spring Gastronomic Dinner
Friday, 27th April 2012 at 7.00pm

Louise and I are delighted to announce the next Dining Club Dinner which will take place on Friday, 27th April featuring a line-up of some of the best wines from the Loire and Rhône Valley.


The Nash Ensemble at The Castle
Friday, 23rd – Sunday, 25th March 201

The Nash Ensemble has built up a remarkable reputation as one of Britain's finest and most adventurous chamber groups, and through the dedication of its founder and artistic director Amelia Freedman and the calibre of its players it has gained a similar reputation all over the world.

The Chilingirian Quartet
Friday, 17th – Sunday, 19th February 2012

The dates of this weekend fall almost to the day of the Chilingirian Quartet's first concert performance forty years ago. For these special concerts, they perform a programme including three of Beethoven's late string quartets.


Wine Seminar, Tasting & Lunch: "Old World vs New World"
Thursday, 2nd February 2012 at 11am

Guests will be invited to compare and contrast the styles of the principal grape varieties from the Old and New Worlds under the expert guidance of Mike Lury of Corney & Barrow.


Academy of Ancient Music

Friday, 27th January - Sunday, 29th January 2012

Players from the Academy of Ancient Music return to Taunton with an enticing programme exploring the theme 'Gods & Mortals' – prompted by the desire of the group to perform François Couperin's two 'Apotheoses', by Lully and Corelli.

Exeter Cathedral Choir at The Castle
Friday, December 9th at 6.30 pm

An evening of entertainment in two parts. A Christmas recital by the Choir in the Music Room followed by musical entertainment through dinner in the restaurant!


Politics Weekend at The Castle
Friday – Sunday, November 25th – 27th

The Politics & Politicians weekend will gather some of the most distinguished and exciting historians in Britain here at The Castle Hotel.


An Evening with Michael Buerk
Friday, November 18th

Join us for what promises to be an extraordinary evening with Michael Buerk, one of Britain's leading broadcast journalists and presenter for the Radio 4 programme, the "Moral Maze".


The Somerset Community Foundation - Lord Digby Jones
Monday, 14th November 2011 at 6.30pm

Lord Digby Jones will be discussing the importance of education and investing in our next generation, and the responsibility of businesses investing in their local communities.


Richard Kay - 'Mona Lisa'
Thursday, 27th October 2011 at 12.00 noon

The talk examines the extraordinary worldwide fame of the picture, the reasons for its rise to prominence, its sensational theft in 1911 as well as the numerous and varied interpretations.


Craig Brown's One-Stop Literary Festival
Friday, 21st October 2011 at 6.45pm

Craig Brown has been described as 'Our greatest living satirist' by The Sunday Times and "the most screamingly funny writer alive today" by Barry Humphries in the Mail on Sunday.


Taunton Literary Festival - Kit Chapman Literary Lunch
Thursday, 22nd September 2011 at 11.30am

Join Kit Chapman for a literary lunch at The Castle to talk about his book, My Archipelago, on Thursday, 22nd September.


An Evening with Salley Vickers - Taunton Literary Festival
Thursday, 15th September 2011 at 6.45pm

In September, Taunton will be staging its first ten day Literary Festival with The Castle launching the inaugural event on Thursday, 15th September. Author, Salley Vickers, talking about her latest book, Aphrodite's Hat.


The Castle's Annual Garden Party
Sunday, 3rd July from 12 noon

One of Taunton's social events of the year, the Annual Castle Garden Party in the beautiful rose garden is an alfresco lunch and seafood spectacular amid the rose bushes and walls of the Castle's medieval keep. All spiced with the sounds of our resident jazz band.


Father's Day Lunch - BRAZZ@The Castle
Treat Dad to a delicious lunch in BRAZZ@The Castle!


An Evening with Lord Dannatt, GCB, CBE, MC
Friday, May 13th

Lord Dannatt is a former senior British Army officer, was appointed Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the army in 2006 and was awarded the Military Cross in 1973. Lord Dannatt will be joining us for dinner and what a fascinating story he has to tell.


Emma Johnson and Friends - Schubert Plus Music Weekend
Friday – Sunday, April 29th - May 1st

Emma Johnson, one of the world's greatest clarinetists and one of Britain's best-loved classical musicians, has devised a programme for this weekend at The Castle Taunton that celebrates the melodic richness of Schubert's compositions.


Easter Sunday Lunch Menus
Join us for Easter Sunday Lunch in The Castle Dining Room or our trendy brasserie and restaurant, BRAZZ@The Castle.


Royal Dinner Party
Thursday, 21st April

Celebrate Will and Kate's wedding day and join us for a Royal Dinner featuring a line-up of spectacular wines from Royal Warrant holders, Corney & Barrow and a very regal menu devised by Chef Jamie Raftery.


Charles Collingwood Literary Lunch (Brian Aldridge from The Archers)
Friday, April 8th

In 1975, Charles joined The Archers, when he created the role of wealthy gentleman farmer, Brian Aldridge. However, his career has been extremely diverse and, consequently, he has many anecdotes from The Archers and the world of broadcasting and theatre. Lunch promises to be highly entertaining.


Mothering Sunday Lunch
Sunday, April 3rd

This is a big family day. A day when you all tell Mum you love her. And the best way to do that is to treat her to a wonderful lunch at the Castle! And remember, mums love their puddings.


The London Haydn Quartet - Haydn Quartets, Mozart Quintets Music Weekend
Friday – Sunday, April 1st – 3rd 2011

The London Haydn Quartet was born out of a passion for Haydn's string quartets. Performing on gut strings and with classical bows, authenticity of sound is a central feature of their performances.


St Patrick's Day Celebration of Irish Poetry and Food
Raftery & Raftery: Father & Son: Poet & Chef

Thursday, 17th March, 2011

Join us for a unique party on Thursday, 17th March when Chef Jamie Raftery will be joined by the distinguished poet (his father!) John Malachy Raftery for a celebration of poetry and food inspired by their beloved County Galway in the West of Ireland.


Mr. Paul Chan, Kit Chapman's Hong Kong Tailor, returns to Taunton
Wednesday, 9th March

Just to let you know that our old friend and tailor extraordinaire from Hong Kong, Paul Chan, will be in residence on Wednesday, 9th March.


World Book Night at Waterstone's in Taunton
Saturday, March 5th

Join Kit Chapman and other well-known authors at Waterstone's to talk about books, writing books, favourite books. If you get there early, you might be one of the lucky ones who receive a free copy of 'Love in the Time of Cholera'.Wine and light refreshments will be serveSaturday, March 5th


The Dante Quartet – Great Last Works Music Weekend
Friday – Sunday, February 18th – 20th 2011

This exceptionally alluring programme consists exclusively of the last string quartets to be composed by many of the masters of the medium. Each is to a large extent the summation of a lifetime's experience…


Valentine's Day Menu
Make this St Valentine's extra special with the added romance of one of the great castle hotels of England in the heart of the West Country.


The Schubert Ensemble – From Vienna to Prague
Friday – Sunday, January 28th – 30th 2011

The Schubert Ensemble at The Castle this weekend explores repertoire from the great Viennese and Czech Romantic traditions, each concert taking the listener on a journey 'from Vienna to Prague'.


Inauguration Party: The Castle's 60th Anniversary Orchard
Monday, January 17th

To start the year and to mark the Chapman Family's 60th Anniversary at The Castle, we are planting our own orchard of 60 English apple trees at Charlton Orchards near Creech St Michael.


Kate Adie Literary Lunch
Friday, November 19th

Join us for lunch with Kate Adie, author and broadcaster, who became such a familiar figure to viewers through her work as the BBC's News Correspondent.


Writers at the Castle: History Weekend
Friday – Sunday, November 5th – 7th

A gathering of six of the most distinguished and exciting historians in Britain talk about their books, their research and the nature of the study of history today.
Join us at The Castle for an exclusive weekend in the company of Mary Beard, Tim Blanning, Richard Holmes, Tristram Hunt, Helen King, Ian Mortimer.


60th Anniversary Celebrations – Gala Dinner
Saturday, October 9th

Kit Chapman writes, 'Our celebrations for the Chapman family's 60th Anniversary as custodians of the Castle are taking shape. The Gala Dinner will feature a menu devised and presented by Gary Rhodes, our very own Richard Guest, and our son Dominic. Special guest for the evening will be Henry Blofeld OBE who has been a great friend of the Castle, Taunton and Somerset cricket for these 60 years.'


Literary lunch - The Launch of Kit Chapman's new book, My Archipelago
Thursday, October 7th

The Castle's proprietor reveals the untold story of the drama, stresses and strains of a family business…. I love books, I love writing. But the process is always a mixture of pleasure and pain….


Richard Guest's Cooking Demonstration and Lunch
Wednesday, 29th September, 2010

Join Kit & Louise Chapman for a morning's Masterclass under the expert tutelage of award-winning chef Richard Guest who will demonstrate a number of simple, mouth-watering seasonal dishes which you can try at home.


Kit Chapman Book Signings and Radio
Wednesday, September 29th

BBC Radio 4 "Midweek". 10.00am live.
If you missed the programme, you can listen here.


Sue Hawker at BRAZZ
Sunday, August 1st

Sue is a full-blown jazz singer and has performed at all the major UK venues including Ronnie Scott's and the Festival Hall. Her voice has a hazy, husky quality, strong on jazz feeling.


The Gentlemen of St. John's College, Cambridge
Friday 23rd July 2010

An evening of fun, song and entertainment from the Choral Scholars of this celebrated award-winning choir who have toured the world with thrilling performances at such venues as London's Royal Albert Hall, Tokyo's Suntory Hall and the Sydney Opera House.


Richard Guest Masterclass: Cooking with Herbs and Flowers
16th/17th July 2010

Richard Guest hosts a special cookery weekend on the theme of 'flowers and herbs'. Renowned for his passion for ingredients from the Somerset countryside, he will pass on recipes and tips, lead cookery demonstrations, as well as host a tour of the herb garden at Hestercombe…


Will Shakspeare, Taunton, glassblower, BRAZZ, cardholders, demonstration
Friday, July 2nd 6.00pm - 8.00pm

We have arranged a BRAZZ cardholders-only session at the studio of Taunton glassblower Will Shakspeare. Come along and enjoy a glass of wine while watching Will demonstrate his fascinating art. During the demonstration, you'll see one of our exclusive Castle Hotel baubles being made and get a real insight into the world of glassblowing.

Special price of £10 (normally £35) and 10% discount in the Shakspeare Glass shop.
For info and to book call 01823 333422


Father's Day Lunch, Taunton
Sunday June 20th 2010

A delicious lunch presented by Chef Richard Guest in the Castle's restaurant.
Three courses £22.95. Two courses £17.95.

Book now on: 01823 272671 or


Charlie Hearnshaw and Maxine Green
Sunday, June 6th

So popular were Charlie with Maxine when they last appeared in BRAZZ, we have great pleasure in welcoming them back to perform classic jazz songs, as well as French chansons by Edith Piaf and Georges Brassens.


Great Burgundy Wines Dinner
Thursday, May 13th

A whistle-stop tasting tour through some of the most famous names in Burgundy in the company of top London wine merchants, Bibendum, led by Tim Marson, Britain's newest Master of Wine.


An Evening with Timothy West and Prunella Scales
6.45pm, Friday, 23rd April, 2010

Theatrical reminiscences from two of Britain's most celebrated thespians

Kit Chapman writes …
Louise and I are particularly thrilled to welcome Timothy West and Prunella Scales back to the Castle this month. Their association with us stretches back to 1979 – a time when Fawlty Towers was enjoying its huge success on our screens.


Rupert Leighton
Friday, 26th March

Pianist and composer Rupert plays an exciting blend of acoustic and electric jazz, deep groove, funk and chill.


From Jazz to Joni Mitchell. ECLECTICA! in concert
Friday, 26th March, 2010: 6.15pm in the Music Room
An Evening of Jazz and Songs from the Americas with a Latin Gypsy Flavour. This exciting quartet has attracted great critical acclaim for "redefining" the string quartet with recitals all over Britain.


The Schumann Weekend at The Castle
Friday – Sunday, March 12th – 14th

The Music Room at The Castle is ideally suited to performances of chamber music, solo piano and song and therefore to celebrate the bicentenary of Robert Schumann's birth. Joining us for the Schumann Weekend will be the Mandelring Quartet, Ian Fountain (piano), Stephan Loges (baritone) and Eugene Asti (piano).


An Evening with Jonathan Dimbleby
Thursday, 5th February

Dimbleby is a legendary name in the world of broadcasting. Jonathan ranks with his late father Richard and brother David as one of Britain's great commentators, in print, on radio and on the screen. His broadcasting credits include his eponymous weekly political programme for ITV and Any Questions?…


Alexander Waugh and The Phenomenal One-Armed Pianist A Literary-cum-Musical Lunch with Alexander Waugh
12:00 noon, Thursday, 19th February

Alexander Waugh is a scion of one of England's great literary families. Grandson of Evelyn Waugh and son of distinguished columnist Auberon Waugh, Alexander is a writer, critic, composer, cartoonist, record producer and television presenter…


Literary Weekend at The Castle
6th - 8th March

This weekend, The Castle Hotel hosts an exclusive literary event, adapting the hugely successful formula of Music at The Castle, when five of the most well-known and acclaimed biographers of our time come together to talk about a subject they have published…


Our First Opera Dinner
Thursday, 26th March : 6.45 for 7.15 pm

This will be a first for the Castle! An evening with Somerset Opera while you enjoy the splendid cuisine of Chef Richard Guest. In the intervals between, before and after a delicious three-course dinner, Guy Robinson (baritone), Penny Daw (soprano) and Alison Kettlewell (mezzo) will wander around the tables singing a wonderful selection of favourite arias and duets from the operas of Puccini, Mozart and Bizet to the popular works of Gilbert and Sullivan, Flanders & Swan, Gershwin and Novello…


Haydn Festival
3rd - 13th April

One of the most remarkable of the worldwide bicentennial occasions in 2009 to commemorate Josef Haydn's death will be this festival taking place at The Castle: ten leading ensembles with a special affinity…


House & Garden Lunch – The Story of Cothay Manor
12:00 noon, Thursday, 30th April

Cothay Manor near Wellington in Somerset is one of England's finest medieval country houses. Recently, it featured in Channel Four's hugely successful series Country House Rescue starring businesswoman Ruth Watson whose aim was to help secure Cothay's future for the nation…


The Beltane Blast at Taunton Racecourse
Monday, 4th May

The most daring and dangerous entertainment of medieval times comes to Somerset. There'll be a jousting tournament in full period costume using real lances, other weaponry and authentic shields. There'll also be jesters and trick riders, as well as an archery tournament and a falconry display.


Women's World Twenty20 Cricket Tournament 2009
June 11th – 16th

This year the Women's World Twenty20 Tournament is at the Somerset county cricket ground here in Taunton. There'll be eight teams from around the world competing for the world title, so there's bound to be some exciting action…and we're only a short walk away.


Annual Midsummer Garden Party
Sunday 21st June from 12 noon

It's midsummer so time for one of Taunton's social events of the year. The annual Midsummer Garden Party in the beautiful rose garden of The Castle Hotel is always a delight. The garden is a secret treasure in the heart of Taunton and belies the surrounding evidence of the castle's turbulent past…


William Dalrymple Literary Lunch
12:00 noon, Friday, 10th July

To have persuaded William Dalrymple to speak at our next literary lunch is something of a coup! As a best-selling and multi-prize winning author, he is today one of the world's most celebrated travel writers and a commentator whose reach extends to history, biography, spirituality and mysticism in both the broadcast medium and the printed word.


An Evening with Julian Fellowes
6.45pm, Friday, 9th October, 2009

"It was the most marvellous evening - I, like everyone else, have pretended my shampoo bottle was my Oscar - like using a hairbrush for a microphone - but suddenly there I was giving my Oscar speech for real!"


Literary Lunch with Robert Fox MBE
12 noon, Friday, 16th October, 2009

An opportunity to listen to and meet a genuine 'front line' reporter. Robert Fox, Defence Correspondent for the Evening Standard, has reported for the Daily Telegraph on the conflicts in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Iraq and Palestine and before then, as a correspondent and reporter for the BBC, he reported from the Falklands...


The Nash Ensemble at The Castle
Friday – Sunday, November 6th – 8th

The music of Beethoven and Brahms had a particular influence on early, twentieth century French composers, notably Debussy and Ravel. The excellent programme of The Nash explores this link. Guests will have the chance to meet and chat to the musicians throughout the weekend…


Moët & Chandon Dinner
7.00pm, Thursday, 26th November, 2009

Kit and Louise Chapman and friends host a grand Moët & Chandon dinner featuring some of the most outstanding champagnes and wines from the cellars of Moët & Chandon. The line-up includes Moët's 2003 vintage at the welcome party (a champagne Hugh Johnson describes as "awesome").


The Fitzwilliam String Quartet
15th to 17th January, 2010

After a long and highly distinguished career, the Fitzwilliam retains a freshness, a youthfulness and a preparedness to take on new challenges. Combine this with the wisdom of experience, sensitivity of interpretation and inventiveness in programming, and you have a recipe for a well nigh perfect weekend at The Castle.


The Real Deal at BRAZZ
Friday, 29th January

This 3 piece Blues/Rock band covers many styles including Eric Clapton, ZZ Top and Hendrix.


Martin Bell OBE Literary Lunch
Friday, 5th February

The man familiar on our TV screens for wearing a white suit has since become democracy's white knight, never hesitating to expose the scandals and sleaze of the British political establishment. With a general election looming, this is the moment to meet and hear Martin Bell.


Mark Three
Sunday, February 7th

A 3-piece jazz band (saxophone, guitar and double bass) playing some of the classic jazz tunes as well as their own.


The Wihan Quartet at The Castle
Friday – Sunday, February 19th – 21st

A weekend programme of quartets by Beethoven and Schubert, Schubert's Quintet in C, and – the 'hidden gem', Anton Arensky's magnificent String Quartet for violin, viola and two cellos (1888), performed by one of the great string quartets in the world today.


Dan Crisp
Friday, February 26th

We welcome back Dan in an acoustic duo performing some of his own songs as well as famous tunes.

Upcoming Events at The Castle Hotel

t: 01823 272671

Castle Green, Taunton, TA1 1NF

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