February’s Best Eats
Bored of Dry January? Ready to hit the town? Cue the Muddy-approved local, cool dining spots.
It’s officially February! Dry January is over, steak is back on the table and…ooh, and it’s the month of loooove. With food always being the way to our hearts we’ve gathered some of the sauciest looking plates for you to enjoy this month, focusing on local, family-owned cafes and restaurants. Bon appetit. Mwah!
The Beckford Arms, Fonthill Bishop
Set in the most gorgeous location in stunning parkland on the Fonthill Estate is The Beckford Arms, a traditional yet stylish country pub, and one that is right up our street. Think lovely summery garden, cosy bedrooms, #inlovewithlocal ales and gins, comfy sofas and a fab gastro restaurant. Take a stomp around the Fonthill Estate, take a lesson in fly fishing, cycle or horse ride on the many cycling trails and bridle paths, try your hand at deer stalking or shooting, check out Wardour Castle or Longleat Safari Park or – and this is me, obvs – hang back at the pub and pamper yourself with a Theravada Thai Massage. Yes please! www.beckfordarms.com
Three Tuns, Great Bedwyn
The Three Tuns is one of those rare beauties – it has a lovely, dog-friendly beer garden with a boules pitch for summer-tastic drinking but come winter, roaring fires will toast your toes while you glug your way through the jug of freshly-made Bloody Mary propped on the bar, small batch spirits from around the Southwest and, last but not not least, their homemade Mulled Cider. This freehold village pub has won accolades for Best Sunday Roast EVER and Favourite Local Pub, so it’s no surprise that great food is a biggie here, from small bites of cauliflower cheese croquettes to rare Bavette steak. The food is prepared by Chef Proprietor James Wilsey, who strives to serve honest, beautifully cooked, full flavour dishes. Ales come from around the Southwest, alongside a carefully selected wine list and a growing selection of small batch gins and other spirits. The bar is pretty lively too! tunsfreehouse.com
Sarsens Restaurant, Marlborough
Packaging Not Included, Marlborough
OK, so not actually a restaurant, but this fabulous store is THE place to shop for food locally this year. Local suppliers include Purton House Organics, Sew and Sparkle, OnTheGoDesign and A Slice of Green, with other small, ethical suppliers Conscious Skincare, Greenscents, Jerry Bottle, OrganiCup, Beeswax Wraps, Who Gives a Crap, Primal Suds, truthpaste, Eco-Bru and Owens Coffee. They even run Beer Saturdays, when you can bring your own bottles and have them filled with ales and lagers. There’s usually a local beer option, too. Next ones are 8th Feb and 7th March. www.packagingnotincluded.co.uk
Visit Hillbrush is a unique venue providing an eclectic mix of high quality products in the shop, a fascinating collection of displays including antique brushes and company history in the museum, and a delicious selection of specially curated dishes in the restaurant. The restaurant offers a delicious locally sourced, specially curated menu alongside an artisan coffee bar serving take away or drink in teas and coffees and a beautiful south-facing terrace, perfect for your doggie friends and the summer months! Some of the local suppliers Visit Hillbrush use includes Yapp Brothers Wine Merchants and Lavender Blue Bakery, both located close by. Visit Hillbrush also opens late on Friday evenings for special nights, including Steak Night on the first Friday of each month, Seafood night on the second Friday, and an ever-changing list of themed nights on the third Friday, including French Night, Curry Night, Jazz & Blues Taster Night and Pizza Night, just to name a few. (Evening food available 6pm – late on Fridays. See their events page https://visit.hillbrush.com/events or follow them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/VisitHillbrush/) for more info).
The Cricklade Club, Cricklade
This is the place to go on a Friday night if you fancy a posh pint in a homely, artisan venue. They have 10 craft beers on tap and more than 15 by the bottle. And if gin is more your tipple, you’re in luck – The Cricklade Club are self-confessed gin lovers (much like ourselves) and they offer up to 20 unusual gins for you to sample. Their food is just as moreish, with pancake stacks, scrambled eggs and Buddha bowls all made with organic ingredients. And better still, their menu is ever-changing, meaning there is always something for everyone. thecrickladeclub.co.uk
Fisherton Mill, Salisbury
This one’s for you art lovers. Inside this old Victorian Mill sits a lovely multi-award-winning cafe. The owner and head chef makes fresh meals every day, with a passion for healthy home-cooked meals to nourish the soul. Choose from smoked salmon, Atlantic prawn, ‘Bloody Mary cocktail sauce’ open sandwich or a Wiltshire goats’ cheese and grilled vegetables with pesto open sandwich, each only £8.25. Coffee, culture and quality grub. fishertonmill.co.uk
The Old Ale and Coffee House, Salisbury
Looking for the best brunch in Salisbury? A beach hut in the garden? A fun place to just, hey, hang out? We’ve found the joint, and you’re gonna love it! The snazziest joint in all of Salisbury and one of the few gastropubs in the area, this fun-loving saloon offers both the tasty classics and some more unique dishes, so pop on down for a long lazy lunch. The bar snacks put peanuts and pork scratchings to shame, as at The Old Ale and Coffee House you can indulge in a wild boar and sage sausage roll for £3.50, a bread board with oil and balsamic for £3 or a duck scotch egg for £4.50. They offer bar snacks for those of us with a sweet tooth too, tuck into a chocolate brownie or go the whole hog with a cream tea for two. You’ll be finding us at the bar no doubt about it. oldaleandcoffeehouse.com
Timbrell’s Yard, Bradford-on-Avon
This stylish inn is in the centre of Bradford-on-Avon and bang on the riverside is a gorgeously romantic setting for a hot, hearty meal. It has a huuuge menu so there is something for everyone, their meals are beautifully presented and are lip-smackingly tasty. Treat yourself to an extra special Sunday roast of pheasant breast, pork belly, topside of beef, fillet of hake, or go all out and have the Timbrell’s Triple Roast for £19.50 – a dry aged topside of beef, roast free range chicken & slow roasted pork belly. And for pud everything is £7 or under so let your belt out another notch and dive into their salted caramel & chocolate tart, topped with Ivy House thick cream & honeycomb, or their rocky road sundae with toffee sauce & homemade vanilla ice cream, oooh don’t mind if I do. timbrellsyard.com
Granny Mo’s Deli and Cakes
The Bell, Ramsbury
This gorgeous country pub in the oh-so-delightful village of Ramsbury sits in a picture-perfect spot over the River Kennet. A 300-year old former coaching inn, it has been voted AA Best Pub for the whole of blooming England. But really and truly, it’s the food and the lovely walled garden you come here for. Part of the Ramsbury Estate, they brew their own beer, press their own oils and grow their own veg. Sausages and bacon come from The Bell’s smokehouse, aged beef from the Estate’s heard of cattle, and the lamb is reared right here on the banks of the river. Pretty perfect for summer. thebellramsbury.com
The Bath Arms, Horningsham
Just had the Mudlets dragging you around Longleat? Suffered enough of monkeys pooing on the car? Then you need to hot-foot it to The Bath Arms, a lovely summery hideaway tucked in the shadow of the safari park, the perfect place to relax and unwind in the sun. It’s a foodie pub but is also a lovely boutique retreat, and the 17 characterful rooms with furniture imported from India are a quirky twist on your typical country pub. The food is locally sourced and seasonal wherever possible – you can even hire their Shepherd Room for private dining for up to 50 guests. But, as it’s summer, we’ll hang out in their gorgeous garden, thank you. batharms.co.uk