Handsome former coaching inn with character bar, friendly licensees, local ales and inventive food; fine bedrooms
The good pub guide review
That famously endowed giant etched into the chalk hillside is just a walk away from this welcoming old inn, built centuries ago as a guest house for the nearby Benedictine abbey. Once you're ensconced, it's hard to drag yourself away. Original oak beams, mullioned windows and a pump and mounting block in the former coachyard add to its charms, and the bar has a solid oak counter, an attractive mix of old dining tables and chairs on slate or polished wooden floors, settles built into various nooks and crannies and a woodburner in the opened-up yorkstone fireplace. Palmers Copper, Dorset Gold, IPA and 200 on handpump, ten wines by the glass, several malt whiskies and local cider. The dining room is furnished in a similar style; background music. There are seats on the terrace and picnic-sets beneath mature fruit trees or parasols in the back garden. The ten bedrooms are smart and well equipped and located in either the charming 16th-c main building or a converted stable block. The whole package sits prettily in the chocolate-box village.
The good pub guide food review
Nicely presented food makes good use of local produce and includes Dorset cheddar ploughman's, baked Somerset camembert with white onion jam and brioche (to share), goats cheese and caramelised onion tart with salsa verde, beer-battered cod and chips, chicken breast with wilted greens and mushroom cream, fish of the day with parmesan gnocchi, baby leeks and brown butter, and puddings such as clementine pannacotta and hazelnut roulade with cinnamon nougat, hazelnut brittle and fig ice-cream.