The Beckford Arms
Muddy says: Could this be the best pub in Wilts? Shall we find out?
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 open fires, cosy bedrooms, #inlovewithlocal ales and gins, comfy sofas and a fab gastro restaurant.
For foodies, the menu changes with the seasons to ensure the freshest produce. Whole suckling pig is spit-roasted on the bar’s open fire (yikes!), they make their own hams and piccalilli, serve game pies with homemade pastry as well as aged Wiltshire steaks. Fish is fresh and delicious, with trout caught locally and wild salmon home-smoked. For afters, it’s buttermilk pudding with gooseberry, Pimms and summer berry jelly with thick double cream, and raspberry sorbet or dark chocolate truffle with hazelnut and sea salt ice cream. Anyone’s belt exploded yet?
Over to the bar – as well as local ales and a substantial wine list (some local too!) they serve their own Beckford Belini using locally produced peach liqueur and The Beckford Bloody Mary using horseradish grown in the garden.
Head upstairs to bed to one of eight smart bedrooms (note the gorgeous Bramley handmade natural bath and body products on offer) or if you fancy a 15 minute stroll, Beckford’s Spendlens Pavilions are a gorgeous pair of luxurious lodges named after the original Pavilions built by William Beckford as guest accommodation for Fonthill Splendens, whose regular guests included Byron, Nelson and Turner, no less. Arrive to a well stocked fridge so you can cook a slap up brekkie for yourself, after a night on the mezzanine level gazing out over some of the most beautiful views in Wiltshire.
Bring your wellies and 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!