Owners Dan Brod, Charlie Luxton and Matt Greenlees have bottled that elusive home-from-home vibe and sprinkled it all over this ivy-clad 18th-century country inn near Tisbury. The bottom has a relaxed charm where you’ll feel perfectly comfortable throwing down a newspaper and lingering. There are bits of hops, exposed beams and blackboards in the bar and a smoke-stained fireplace where you can warm your hands and strike up conversations with the locals. The living room has a sparkling chandelier and glows with Georgian elegance, but well-worn sofas facing the large stone fireplace keep the mood to let go of the comfort of the shoes. Your hosts Bea, Rosie and Jack have impeccable grace and good manners.
Overall Score 8/10
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Rooms and apartments
The eight rooms above the pub don’t try too hard, but pay attention to the essentials. So the beds are king size with quality mattresses, the bedding is Siberian goose down and Egyptian cotton linen. They are small, so there are no wardrobes, and some only have an en-suite shower room, but all are stocked with full-sized Bramley products. Number Seven is the choice for couples, with a bathtub at the end of the bed. The attic works for families, with two bedrooms and a small living room. Fifteen minutes’ walk away, the smarter Lodges have open-plan lounges with woodburners and mezzanine bedrooms, which are the closest this corner of Wiltshire is to Manhattan loft living. The prize, however, is the Arch This Grade I listed building has recently been transformed into a retreat with an elegant sitting room complete with complimentary decanters of brandy, whiskey and port, a smart kitchen-diner and, up the spiral staircase , a master bedroom with a divine lake view. Small room with bunk bed is modeled on the train beds in the bedroom Some people like it hot.
Food and drink
You are in for a treat. The food is as fabulous as the atmosphere is convivial. Eat wherever you want: in the living room, watching TV; shoulder to shoulder with the locals in the bar; or in the more romantic conservatory style dining room overlooking the garden. Expect everything from inventive bar snacks including kimchi macaroni to pub classics like beef and mushroom pie with creamy mustard mash, and finer options like be the Brixham song, fresh off the boat, with samphire, jalapeño, lime butter and flaked almonds. Breakfast is a feast to satisfy even Augustus Gloop and includes a potentially lethal free bottomless Bloody Mary.
What else is there?
There’s no spa, but staff can arrange in-room treatments with a local therapist, fly fishing, guided walks and e-bike rentals.
The ivy-clad pub is part of the Fonthill Estate, which has 10,000 acres of parkland, woodland and farmland for you all to enjoy. Pride and Prejudice fantasies. The increasingly fashionable Tisbury is a short drive away and is home to Messums Wiltshire, the country branch of the eponymous Mayfair art gallery, which has fascinating exhibitions as well as a decent cafe. Medieval Salisbury, mystical Stonehenge and the cheeky monkeys of Longleat are all around 30 minutes’ drive away.
Price B&B doubles from £105
Restaurant mains from £15
Friendly family Y
Dog friendly Y