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The Bell, Ramsbury

Muddy says: The Bell at Ramsbury has been awarded the coveted AA Best Pub in England Award! What more do you need to know?

This gorgeous country pub, slap bang in the oh-so-delightful village of Ramsbury, is a mere stiletto’s throw from Marlborough in a picture-perfect spot over the River Kennet. A 300 year old former coaching inn, it was voted AA Best Pub Award for 2017/18 for the whole of blooming England! But really and truly, it’s the food that you come here for.

Part of the Ramsbury Estate, they brew their own beer, press their own oils and grow their own veg. Fruit is hand selected, sausages and dry cured bacon come from The Bell’s smokehouse, dry aged beef from the Estate’s heard of cattle, and the lamb reared right there on the banks of the river. And that’s why it all tastes so goddamn good!

Food-wise, it’s Kelmscott Pork Belly Croquette with Apple and Celeriac, or Ramsbury Gin Cured Salmon with Cucumber and Wasabi for starters, followed by Himalayan Salt Dry Aged Lamb Rump Crispy Shoulder with Lyonnaise Potato, Dry Aged Sirloin of Beef Cheek with King Oyster and Bone Marrow, or Cornish Turbot Crab Tortellini with Thai Puree and Bok Choi for main. We’ve got our eye on the Cornish Mackerel with Heritage Beetroot followed by Wild Garlic Gnocchi with Pickled Radish. Yum! Oh, and their puddings are to die for.

There’s a warm, welcoming bar, nine swish ensuite bedrooms, a large airy dining room, plus a fireplace and snug to cosy up in on those long winter nights. Their Cafe Bella is the perfect meeting place for breakfast, light lunch, or just good ‘ole conversation over homemade cake and coffee. The cosy, shaker-style interior has an open fire in winter, plus a terrace and walled garden for sunnier days. Pretty perfect, in our book.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Wiltshire