Civilised and pleasantly updated roadside dining inn offering a wide range of food and ales; bedrooms

The good pub guide review

Well run, warmly welcoming and surrounded by rolling pastureland, this is your perfect country pub. It has a relaxed, rustic style, not too fussy but the wood is polished and the bars orderly and well stocked. The neatly kept rooms include a smallish but airy bar on the left with cream décor, a mix of chunky farmhouse furniture on dark boards and big sash windows that look out on to bucolic farmland. In winter, a log fire is standard, as is the presence of two delightful Bedlington terriers, Douglas and Elliot, who trot in from the extensive and pretty garden for the warmth. The smaller flagstoned public bar has a good log fire and low ceilings. The house beer on handpump is Butcombe and there are two weekly changing guests: Hattie Browns (brewed down the road in Swanage) is a popular visitor, as are Palmers Copper and Waylands Sixpenny 6d Best. Also, 13 wines by the glass, 19 gins, a dozen malt whiskies and five farm ciders. During their summer beer festival they showcase a dozen beers and ten ciders, all from the West Country. On the right, two carpeted dining rooms with stripped pine dado, stone walls and shutters are similarly furnished in a pleasantly informal style, with some attractive contemporary cow prints; TV, numerous board games and background music. The bedrooms are appealing and have lovely views; breakfasts are particularly good.

The good pub guide food review

Highly enjoyable food includes lunchtime sandwiches, courgette, halloumi and herb fritters with cucumber and dill sauce, smoked haddock scotch egg with curried mayo, lamb koftas, roasted guinea fowl with pesto mash and aubergine caponata, king prawn and chorizo linguine, steak and chips, and puddings such as affogato, cranachan and elderflower, prosecco and raspberry jelly.

2021 Awards

Contact Details

Ship, West Stour, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 5RP

(01747) 838640

Opening Hours

Weekdays: 12-3, 6-11; closed Mon

Saturday: 12-midnight

Sunday: 12-10 Sun