10 of the top gastro pubs with rooms in the West Country
Good food, warm hospitality, enchanting landscapes and a choice of coast and country locations are all part of the charm that sets pubs in the South West apart. As we look forward to travelling, dining out and spending time with our loved ones once again, the Good Hotel Guide shares 10 of their top gastro…
Good food, warm hospitality, enchanting landscapes and a choice of coast and country locations are all part of the charm that sets pubs in the South West apart. As we look forward to travelling, dining out and spending time with our loved ones once again, the Good Hotel Guide shares 10 of their top gastro pubs with rooms in the West Country.
Helen Browning’s Royal Oak, Bishopstone
A quirky and welcoming retreat on an organic farm, Helen Browning’s Royal Oak is a refreshing take on what it means to be a pub-with-rooms. It is the vision of food ethics pioneer, Helen Browning, and it sits on the edge of the Wiltshire Downs, fusing rustic chic with contemporary style. Real ales, organic wines and generous, scrupulously sourced meals populate the menu, while entertainment comes in the form of country walks, a plentiful stock of books and a collection of LPs for the record player.
The Compasses Inn, Tisbury
This Wiltshire country pub in a quiet, picturesque village in the Nadder Valley, dates back to the 14th-century. While hospitality exceeds expectation, the history of the place is palpable as you sit by a roaring fire in the evenings and enjoy real ales, tasty dishes and unpretentious style. The dog-friendly inn is surrounded by wonderful walks and countryside to explore. There are four bedrooms above the pub; three doubles and a larger ‘family’ room, all with fresh interiors and whitewashed walls. There’s also a self-catering cottage adjacent to the pub, which sleeps up to four people.
The Carpenters Arms, Pensford
When you arrive at The Carpenters Arms, you’re greeted by a vision of colour thanks to the array of hanging baskets and climbing plants that adorn the exterior walls. Occupying three former miners’ cottages in a Chew valley hamlet, it is a classic pub providing an unpretentious experience that exudes warmth. The historic property has been given a contemporary facelift inside, while food and drink ranges from traditional pub grub to more elaborate fare.
The Rock Inn, Newton Abbot
Set amidst dramatic Dartmoor vistas, The Rock Inn is made up of a row of former quarrymen’s cottages. Located in the small village of Haytor Vale, it is, as its motto promises, steadfastly traditional’. Rooms are richly furnished with lavish fabrics that complement the wooden beams and cosy ambience. Food and drink are also appropriately restorative for those who have spent the day enjoying bracing walks in the surrounding national park.
The Gurnard’s Head, St Ives
On Cornwall’s Atlantic Coast, you will find this sunshine yellow inn, owned by Charles and Edmund Inkin. In a remote location, it’s worth the long drive as you’re greeted with a roaring log fire and warm hospitality. There’s a shabby-chic bar, restaurant and snug where food and drink are served, delivering a feast of home baked goods and local fare. Rooms are decorated in bold, heritage colours that suit the architecture and have been painstakingly furnished to enhance your visit with everything from a Roberts radio to a collection of books, Bramley toiletries and fresh flowers.
The Beckford Arms, Tisbury
A sophisticated pub at the edge of the Fonthill Estate, The Beckford Arms combines the best of old and new. Established in 1740, it is an elegant building with large fireplaces and stylish, traditional interiors. Decorative details in the eight bedrooms include cosy Welsh blankets and seagrass flooring. The inn has a reputation for its variety of high-quality food and drink, which uses local and home-grown ingredients. You can even visit the owners’ wine shop in the nearby village.
The Acorn Inn, Evershot
Dating back to the 16th-century, The Acorn Inn in Dorset has much to recommend it. Historic details include old beams, oak panelling, roaring fires and an original skittle alley. As it features in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, it’s fitting that each of the 10 bedrooms is named according to a Hardy theme. Food and drink are a celebration of regional ingredients, such as Glastonbury Twanger Cheddar, Dorset Horn lamb and baked goods at breakfast from the village bakery.
The Talbot Inn, Mells
This 15th-century village inn in Somerset is built around a cobbled courtyard and is a sister hotel to The Beckford Arms. As such, there are certain leitmotif that eagle-eyed visitors will spot, such as the vintage Welsh blankets, seagrass flooring and Bramley toiletries. However, the proprietors are expert at letting the character of a destination shine through, and that’s certainly the case here. Food is the main act, grilled on charcoal and wood, as in traditional inns and ranging from a simple ploughman’s to expertly prepared salted Atlantic cod.
The Cricket Inn, Kingsbridge
In the picturesque South Hams, The Cricket Inn overlooks Beesands – a mile-long shingle beach surrounded by fields and a freshwater lake. Like stepping back in time to a traditional seaside holiday, the 19th-century inn serves upmarket pub grub and has stylish accommodation. It has a relaxed atmosphere and serves fresh seafood, local meat and cheese as well as vegetables grown nearby. It’s also perfectly placed for exploring the surrounding area, which is known for its natural beauty.
Sign of the Angel, Lacock
Lacock has a history as the destination of choice for movie making, and with good reason. From Harry Potter to Pride and Prejudice, the stage is set for a picture-perfect occasion, and the Sign of the Angel is a key attraction in its own right. A 15th-century coaching inn, it has two AA rosettes and lots of original features that give it a sense of history. Every modern convenience is also catered for, from luxe soft furnishings to beautifully presented food. The inn has five rooms that are elegant and stylish – the perfect place for a romantic weekend of food, wine and beautiful landscapes.