Bustling pub with plenty of space, rustic furnishings, interesting food and real ales; stylish bedrooms
The good pub guide review
Set on the Longleat Estate, with fantastic views over woodland and the Avon Valley, this is a handsome old stone inn with a country atmosphere. The various bar and dining rooms are linked. One simple end room has an open fire and cushioned pews, wall seats and dining chairs around big tables on wide floorboards. This leads into a smaller dining room and on into the main bar, where there's another open fire, rustic tables and chairs and a long cushioned settle on rugs and bare boards, candles in big wooden candlesticks and paintings of fancy-plumaged birds. Butcombe Original, Keystone Hornings (named for the pub) and a guest on handpump, plus Thatcher's cider and 25 wines by the glass from a good list; background music, board and pub games. The restaurant is similarly furnished, with chandeliers and a big painting of a sultan. The 16 bedrooms (in the main pub or stable block) are light, airy and comfortable. A back garden has a two-level terrace with circular picnic-sets, with more at the front and on gravel under pollarded trees. Wheelchair access to bars is via a side door; accessible loos. Sister pubs are the Beckford Arms in Fonthill Gifford (also Wiltshire) and the Lord Poulett Arms at Hinton St George and the Talbot in Mells (both in Somerset).
The good pub guide food review
Rewarding food includes beetroot-cured salmon with horseradish crème fraîche, pork, black pudding and smoked bacon terrine with pickled fennel, roasted butternut squash and quinoa salad, pan-fried sea bream with cauliflower, Jersey Royals and samphire, burger and fries, beetroot fregola with garlic spinach, whipped feta cheese and toasted walnuts, guinea fowl breast with mushroom purée and crispy polenta, and puddings such as lemon posset with berry compote and vanilla cheesecake with strawberry sorbet.