Back in 1961, Paul Leyton bought the miners arms, near Priddy and in a few short years, turned it into a good food guide starred restaurant, famous for serving local Mendip snails, priddy oggies and miners’ delights, all of which could be accompanied by an llebs (land lord’s extra bloody special - cocktail comprising local herbs and ingredients) or even a nip of miners arms own ale - once he had created the recipe and become licensed as the uk’s smallest licensed brewery, decades before the popularisation of micro breweries.
The reputation of The Miners' Arms spread far and wide and attracted clientele including a young Delia Smith as well as the likes of Terry Wogan, Kate Adie, John Arlott, Anthony Hopkins as well as many others.
The gastronomic bug rubbed off on his family as two of his sons, Jeremy and Nicholas, went on to work in the hotel and catering world, becoming chefs, hotel managers as well as pub owners. The next generation carried on this heritage with grandson Simon gaining considerable experience at The Waldorf, Le Meridien and The Dorchester in London, before being acclaimed as ’one of the top three restaurant managers in the World’ by Michael Winner….. before becoming General Manager of Ensemble, Wells.
The family connection doesn’t stop there because it is another grandson, Stephen, who has had a lifetime passion for cooking, who owns Ensemble.