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Helen Browning’s Royal Oak, Bishopstone

Muddy says: A dining pub with rooms on a lush farm in Wiltshire. If you want great tasting organic food, the farm is where it starts!

Ahhh, we love the Royal Oak. A true dining pub with rooms in the middle of Helen Browning’s organic farm in the village of Bishopstone, on the edge of the Wiltshire Downs. Great service, food that punches above its weight and a welcome as if it’s your own front room. What more could you ask?

You’ll eat (and sleep) well here. Generous organic food comes from their farm (or their neighbours’), with a menu that changes most days and always with the seasons. It is down-to-earth authentic – their family, friends, and farm workers have shared meals and beers here for 10 years and they only serve the food and drink that they enjoy themselves – serving their own lamb or beef depending on the time of year, milk from a local farm and veg from Westmill Organics just around the corner. Rhubarb and courgettes arrive by wheelbarrow from next door. Love it!

You can stay over too, if you want to spend time walking The Ridgeway or exploring some of the glories of pre-historic Wiltshire – they’ve got 12 smart, gorgeously decorated rooms (I’ve got my eye on Smithy’s Bottom, no less) off a sunny, shared courtyard, plus two of the rooms are dog friendly. The Wallow is a fab shared space with sofas, games and cuppas on tap.

Plenty of events to tickle your fancy here too – classic car days, garden BBQs, plus the International Pig Racing Festival. I’ll leave you to find out more about that one yourself…

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Wiltshire