Interesting old coaching inn with real ales and good wines, seasonal food and seats in courtyard; lovely bedrooms
The good pub guide review
This handsome former coaching inn has a relaxed, candlelit bar with assorted wooden tables and chairs on big quarry tiles, a woodburning stove in a stone fireplace, and stools (popular with locals) against the counter where friendly staff serve a beer named for the pub (from Keystone), Butcombe Original and a guest on handpump, 22 good wines by the glass and a farm cider. Two interconnected dining rooms have brass-studded leather chairs around wooden tables, a log fire with candles in fine clay cups on the mantelpiece above and lots of coaching prints on the walls; quiet background music and board games. Outside, the courtyard has metalwork chairs and tables. Off here, in separate buildings, are a rustic-feeling sitting room with a huge mural and vast glass bottles, and a grill room with a big open fire overlooked by 18th-c portraits. The eight bedrooms are smart and stylish, and breakfasts are good. This is an interesting and attractive feudal village; the walled gardens opposite the inn are very pretty and the poet Siegfried Sassoon is buried in the lovely church. Sister pubs are the Lord Poulett Arms in Hinton St George (also in this chapter) and the Beckford Arms at Fonthill Gifford (Wiltshire).
The good pub guide food review
As well as breakfast, up-to-date food includes pan-seared scallops with black pudding and celeriac purée, blue cheese and walnut arancini with walnut salad and truffle mayo, plaice with new potatoes and white bean, fennel and orange salad, lamb rump with purple-sprouting broccoli, Jersey Royals and salsa verde, sumac-roasted cauliflower with spiced sweet potato purée, pomegranate and toasted almonds, and puddings such as vegan coconut pannacotta with mango and pineapple salsa and orange polenta cake with honey and orange crème fraîche.