Red Lion & Troutbeck Guest House

East Chisenbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom Book from

BEST BREAKFAST INNOVATION BEST BREAKFAST INNOVATION
A warm welcome and Michelin-starred food, coupled with luxe rooms and true peace in a Wiltshire village; perfect for a special occasion
To call this a pub with rooms is to do it a serious dis-service. After opening in 2008, owners Brittany and Guy Manning worked tirelessly to build up the Lion’s culinary reputation (they met whilst working at Per Se, Thomas Keller’s New York restaurant), and in 2012 their efforts were rewarded with a Michelin star. Rather than rest on their laurels, they then gave themselves a new challenge: to open an accompanying guest house. Troutbeck is a 2-minute walk from the pub, and gloriously quiet, overlooking the River Avon. Its 5 bedrooms are enormous, and fully specced out with mod cons and private terraces.

Combined, Red Lion & Troutbeck offer the charm of a proper rural pub, along with food that absolutely wows and a great night's sleep. Guy is still Head Chef and Brittany is the driving force behind the restaurant's exquisite pastry, the front of house, and the guest house. Service and quality is outstanding across the board. If you're looking for a romantic country bolthole to treat yourselves, we can think of nowhere better.

Highs

  • Superb food, but without all the stuffiness and fuss that tends to go along with fine dining. Great-value DBB rates Sunday-Friday
  • The setting - a picturesque village, and there's a sunny pub garden for alfresco dining
  • Fabulous, friendly service
  • Great walking from your doorstep; trout fishing and golf nearby, or visit Stonehenge and Salisbury
  • Thoughtful attention to detail - we loved the hangover cures by your bed, homemade biscuits and cordial, Pictionary for rainy days, and complimentary Buck's Fizz at breakfast!

Lows

  • You'll need to book well ahead, especially if you want to have dinner during your stay (lunch is less busy)
  • Breakfast is served in the pub, but Troutbeck has umbrellas in case it's raining for your 2-minute walk
  • Not a full-service hotel, but they do a good job of covering all the bases they can

Best time to go

Perfect for a stay at any time of year. In summer you can enjoy the river views from your room, your decked terrace and the pub garden. In winter, relax by the open fires in the pub then cosy up in your room.

Our top tips

Switch off your mobile. We had a totally indulgent time with long soaks in the bath, an afternoon reading on our private terrace, a delicious dinner, then a long lie-in before a lazy breakfast.

Be sure to ask staff for their wine suggestions with dinner; all of ours were spot on. We drank by the glass so we could try a few different ones.

Great for...

Foodie
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 5
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Best for babies
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

Troutbeck is a modern bungalow with 5 individually styled, super-comfy rooms. Brittany used the best of the best when creating them: Somnus beds, Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems, Egyptian cottons and linens, Nespressos and contemporary fixtures and fittings, married with French-style antiques. Boutique by numbers this certainly ain't.

All rooms are spacious with giant glass doors (most bi-fold) that lead out onto your private decked area with chairs and table, alongside the River Avon. We stayed in the huge Benjamin Suite and woke up to 3 swans breakfasting outside our door. Decorated in silver and blue, this is a beautiful room with a gorgeous deep-soak bathtub and a small sofa.

The Chamberlain Room is dressed in sage and gold tones, with a large wardrobe, leather love seat and shower bathroom. Of the Superior Rooms, The Anglesea Room is a dramatic petrol blue, and its bathroom has a tub and shower. The Davenport Room is lovely and light, its walls a pale green, a jaunty fish cushion guarding an armchair, and a big shower bathroom. The Manser Room is wheelchair-friendly with a wet-room style bathroom. It is the most peaceful room, being the furthest from the road, and is also dog-friendly. All bathrooms have cosy robes and a generous array of Quintessentially English toiletries.

But it's the quirky touches that really set this place apart. As Guy and Brittany's past and present revolves around food, décor includes framed menus from fine-dining establishments around the world, and classic cookbooks (Locatelli, Larousse Gastronomique). Inventive minibars host Sipsmith gin and vodka alongside Frobishers juices, and you're treated to delicious homemade biscuits. You'll find hangover cures by the bed, Pictionary in the wardrobe, and leather guides full of information about the local area and beyond.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Complimentary soft drinks
  • Cots Available
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Radio
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Red Lion's food is multi-award winning, and you'll quickly see why. Ingredients are locally sourced and the marriage of flavours and combinations has been brilliantly thought through. The drinks list is equally considered, and prices, whilst on the high side for a pub, are extremely reasonable for the quality on offer. Impressively, all extras are all homemade (from brown and tartare sauce to the tomato juice in Bloody Marys).

At dinner, a warm crab tart with shaved fennel was light-as-a-feather, while pumpkin soup with pomegranate seeds, hazelnut dukka and smoked Chantilly delivered outstanding punches of flavour. Fresh sourdough and butter (hand-churned by Guy’s 81-year-old father) was an additional delight. When it came to our main courses, the venison loin with potato fondant and sauce poivrade was perfectly tender, while the Cornish brill with leek fondue and Scottish girolles was delightful; a combination we'd not tried before. A 'fluffernutter' with peanut nougatine and banana ice cream was a perfect (if ridiculously indulgent) end to the meal, matched by a glorious Cennatoio Italian dessert wine. Nothing felt rushed and we loved the laid-back pub atmosphere.

Breakfast the next day started with a superb buffet; don't miss the homemade granola, compote and local yoghurt. Coffee is made to order and there's just-squeezed orange juice for Buck's Fizz plus the ingredients for a Bloody Mary. Our cooked options were a mixed bag though; the scrambled eggs were insipid and disappointing, but the bacon was fantastic, home-cured from their West Berkshire pigs.

In addition to à la carte lunches, bar snacks are available all day - we can recommend the Scotch eggs and smoked pork ribs with pickled coleslaw.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Bar snacks
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Explore the local footpaths to help you build up an appetite. Staff can provide recommendations and maps
  • Kick back on your terrace and read a book by the river, then treat yourself to an in-room massage
  • Stonehenge, a mystical World Heritage site, is just 15 minutes away. This incredible pre-historic monument has stood proud for 3,500 years, and to this day no one can explain why the circle of vast stones was built
  • We love historic Salisbury with its stunning cathedral and grand 15th-century banqueting hall that now houses the cinema
  • Indulge in country pursuits - clay pigeon shooting, trout fishing, horse riding and golf can all be arranged locally
  • Birders can visit Wiltshire's Great Bustard Project, aimed at reintroducing these majestic birds to the wild
  • There are a number of excellent National Trust properties in the area, from Lacock Abbey (featured in Pride & Prejudice and Cranford) to Avebury Manor. Nearby Highclere Castle, featured in Downton Abbey, is also popular
  • Beautiful Bath is only an hour away and we always find it hard to resist for boutique shopping, the famous thermal spa and delicious cream teas
  • Longleat Safari Park is an hour away: drive through the monkey enclosure, explore the maze, and see lions, tigers and giraffes

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Clay pigeon shooting
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Wildlife

Kids

Whilst we wouldn’t particularly recommend this for families, children are welcome, and Britt and Guy understand the requirements involved with small kids as they have a young family of their own.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Benjamin Suite can accommodate a child/adult on its sofabed; all rooms can fit a baby cot (free of charge)

Babysitting:

On request

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs
  • Toys to borrow (on request)

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Kid-sized portions can be served in the pub

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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