“A warm welcome and Michelin-starred food, coupled with luxe rooms and plenty of peace in a Wiltshire village”
Troutbeck is a modern bungalow with just 5 individually styled, super-comfy rooms. Guy and Brittany used the best of the best when creating them: Somnus beds, Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems, Egyptian cottons and linens, Dualit kettles and contemporary fixtures and fittings, married with the odd antique. 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 was a really beautiful room with a gorgeous slipper 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 an 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, Frobishers juices and complimentary homemade lime cordial or freshly squeezed OJ, as well as delicious 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.
Red Lion's food is multi-award winning and rightly so - just make sure you book a table in advance. Ingredients are locally sourced and everything is beautiful quality, the marriage of flavours and combinations brilliantly thought through. The drinks list has been equally considered, and prices, whilst on the high side for a pub, are certainly not exorbitant. Staff are friendly and keen to make suggestions and discuss provenance and cooking processes, and extras are all homemade (from brown and tartare sauce to the tomato juice in Bloody Marys).
At dinner, a tomato consommé with broad beans, feta and croutons delivered a fabulous punch of flavour. Next, we opted for the Loch Duart salmon with avocado, spring onions and coriander, and light-as-a-feather goujons of Cornish lemon sole. So far, so delicious. The plentiful supply of 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 chicken with polenta and roasting juices was sublime. A creamy gooseberry fool and indulgent Valrohna chocolate mousse with fleur de sel finished things off perfectly. Nothing felt rushed and we really enjoyed the laid-back pub atmosphere.
We fully indulged at breakfast the next day, too, kicking off with homemade granola, compote and local yoghurt, followed by eggs Benedict made from their freshly laid eggs and brioche with ham, home-cured from their West Berkshire pigs. Coffee is made to order and there's just-squeezed orange juice for your Buck's Fizz.
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. For a change of scene, try Thomson's Deli in Pewsey - open for daily lunches and weekend dinners.
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.
Babies (0-1 years)
The Benjamin Suite can accommodate a child/adult on its sofabed; all rooms can fit a baby cot (free of charge)
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kid-sized portions can be served in the pub