“A warm welcome and Michelin-starred food, coupled with luxe rooms and true peace in a Wiltshire village; perfect for a special occasion”
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.
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.
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