We were already very hungry and didn't expect to find anything along the street when we suddenly saw this restaurant. What a luck! This restaurant turned out to be the best we had eaten at during our vacation in England and also had nice views on the Fovant Badges. I had a lunch menu with a wonderful pork steak in mustard sauce and my husband a chicken breast with sherry cream sauce. We both enjoyed it much! When we were finished the owner came and we had a very nice chat - in German! What a surprise!
During our Christmas, 2005 trip, after our late start from Farnham, Surrey, it was about 1:30 PM on a Sunday afternoon by the time we had reached Avebury and walked to the local pub (parking spaces were at a premium in this popular UNESCO World Heritage Site village). With its thatched roof, the Red Lion certainly looked the part of a traditional English pub but, it is actually following the trend of many British pubs these days in swinging over to more of a 'restaurant'-type business. However, in our case we never made it past the 'smoking' portion of the pub, since it had a cosy atmosphere and we were surprised to find that it was not crowded at all. When we went out to order our lunch in the main no-smoking restaurant section, we could see the many tables serving families with children. Back in the smoking section, as I stood at the bar ordering our drinks, I asked the bartender for some hints on the viewing the standing stone circle around the village. A couple of the local lads at a nearby table overheard me and piped up with all sorts of useful suggestions - a friendly place!
Favorite Dish: I had not yet had my obligatory Ploughman's Lunch on this trip to England, so I took this opportunity to clear that up! It consisted of mature Cheddar cheese on fresh Tomato bread, an apple, celery, red onion rings, cherry tomatoes and chutney (5 pounds sterling or US$8). Sue decided to have a sandwich consisting of a thick slab of Wiltshire Ham with Sweet Cider Mustard on Rosemary Focaccia (4.45 sterling) and for drinks we had a pint of Abbot Ale (a strong, robust and full-flavoured Green King brew) and a glass of Pinot Grigio (5.20 sterling for both). I quite enjoyed my meal, despite the fact that my apple was unedible - it felt and tasted like it had been frozen and then thawed out. Sue's sandwich was OK but a bit dry, so we livened it up with some of my Indian chutney! Not the best feast in the world, but we were satisfied as we left to explore the standing stones!
After going in circles to find a place to spend the night, once we had settled in at the Swan Hotel, we decided at about 7 PM that it was time to find ourselves a good pub! The back entrance of the hotel opens up onto the far end of the bridge in the photo and is smack in the centre of town, so we turned left and headed up the sloping street (almost everything slopes in Bradford-on-Avon). We had only walked for a couple of minutes on Silver Street before we passed both a wine shop and then an Indian take-away joint, surprising me that they were open on a Sunday night. After looking at the Indian restaurant menu, we decided to just order something to-go so we could enjoy the comforts of our big hotel room only a few steps away!
Favorite Dish: For the Indian food, we ordered a Balti Chicken Tikka Masala (5.60 GBP), a Chicken Dupiaza (a Bhuna dish with onions that we had never heard of before), Nan bread, Poppadums and rice. The owner said it would be ready in 15 minutes so we then popped into the wine store only a couple of establishments away. They had a good selection and also were offering a special deal where you buy any 3 bottles and get the cheapest one free. Sounded good to us, so we purchased an Italian Fiordaliso Pinot Grigio, an Australian Jacob's Creek Shiraz 2003 and an Argentinian Balbi Malbec 2004 for a total of 13 GBP (US$23). We carted this back to our room where Sue then waited while I went back to the take-away to pick up our food order.
We raved over how good the food was once we tucked into it, and the wine went down smoothly too! It was great fun just laying there in the room nibbling away as we watched some hilarious stuff on the BBC and talked about all sorts of things. It was a great way to end a fantastic start to our driving trip.
Once we had finished with Stonehenge, we headed east on the A303 just before noon because we had made commitments to be in the Exeter area that evening. Along the way, we stopped for a quick lunch in Mere at, as it turned out, another George Inn!
Favorite Dish: We were not all that hungry and had some distance to cover, so we both elected to have their Soup dishes. Sue had Roasted Tomato & Coriander while I had to try the Stilton & Broccoli, each for 3.25 pounds (US$ 6). However, neither of us were too impressed by either the food or their atmosphere. We did not even rate a fire in their Non-Smoking room fireplace!
On our arrival in Corsham, we asked our B&B hosts if they had any suggestions for a good place to eat in town. They first mentioned a nice Indian restaurant but we immediately said that we had done that for the past two nights and were looking for something else. They pointed us to the nearby historical village of Lacock, by means of back lanes across a few miles of fields, where The George Inn was well-known for its fine meals. Armed with our instructions, we set off in the dark and were able to locate both the Village and the Inn without any problems. This Inn dates from 1361 and is one of the oldest buildings in Lacock. It has a very warm and inviting interior, including beamed ceilings and a medieval fireplace, complete with a 'dog spit'. This device was invented in the Tudor era and it is said that it gave rise to the expression 'it's a dog's life'. This treadmill was designed for dogs, and was just big enough for a dog to run inside it, constantly turning the spit that roasted meat in the open fireplace. A special type of dog, called a 'turnspit' was even bred for this life of labour (actually it was an Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier, a low-set and sturdy dog originally used for badger hunting). Eventually, the practise stopped in Victorian times with the invention of purely mechanical roasting contraptions.
Favorite Dish: Sue had their Poached Scottish Salmon (11 pounds) while I settled for a Turkey & Ham pie (7 pounds) washed down with a pint of Wadsworth 6X beer. Both meals were accompanied by a great selection of potatoes and mixed vegetables. Our total bill was 24 pounds (US$ 45).
This seemed one of the more appealing restaurants in Lacock. We had a very good lunch.. average prices for the UK.. jacket potatoes, fish, soups and good desserts.
A nice spot near St. Andrew's Church... fine for a spot of lunch or coffee.
The virtue of major hotel chains is their conistency. If you travel in business this simplifies...more
Unless you are a keen researcher into the stone circle or you find yourself on late night druid...more
Very nice hotel situated on West Swindon, 10 minutes by taxi from Bus and train station. Very...more