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Where to eat in Wiltshire

Posted on 23rd August 2017

Wiltshire is a county bursting with brilliant restaurants, pubs and cafes. From Salisbury where you can sample award winning eateries, to the rural village pubs with farm-fresh produce, there is something for every occasion.

Where to eat in Wiltshire

Put your feet up and relax at a top restaurant during your stay in your Wiltshire holiday cottage, as we guide you through everything from romantic meals, to dining with kids in our guide to where to eat in Wiltshire.

With kids

If you are staying in a holiday cottage and need to feed the family, finding a place to eat can be quite a challenge. You need somewhere that everyone can agree on. Somewhere which is good value, tasty and welcoming. So we have given you a couple of options for places to eat in Wiltshire with kids.

Café Diwali, Salisbury

Café Diwali is a warm and welcoming restaurant in Salisbury dishing up an award-winning menu of Indian street food. Indian born Rasheed and Bartkath bring a taste of their birthplace to Wiltshire, with a traditional and authentic way of cooking producing some of the finest Asian plates you’ll find in the county.

With a colourful and dynamic menu, there is something for the whole family at Café Diwali. Don’t expect the British take on curry, this is the real way to cook and savour Indian cuisine.

The Greek Olive, Swindon

You can guarantee a number of things from a Greek restaurant and one of them is passion. The Greek Olive has this in the bucket load. The family-run establishment has brilliantly exploited a gap in Swindon’s market, filling it with classic Mediterranean cuisine.

This is the place to go for a hearty, happy and social dining experience. Mealtime in Greece is all about sharing, talking and having fun and now you can experience all of this in Wiltshire.

Il Vello d’Oro

Located in the picturesque village of Shaw, close to Melksham, Il Vello d’Oro is perfect blend of one of Britain’s favourite establishments and their favourite type of food. A pub and Italian restaurant, you can get a delicious Sunday lunch here, or try a series of satisfying pasta and pizza dishes.

Balanced with not only a great selection of local beers, but an extensive wine list, Il Vello d’Oro bring together two very different eating experiences perfectly well.

Romantic meals in Wiltshire

But what about the couple heading to their holiday cottage wanting to go for a romantic meal in Wiltshire? Why not try these two…

Jacks @ Hartham Park

Offering estate to plate produce, Jack’s @ Hartham Park has been gaining a very positive reputation as one of the finest independent restaurants in Wiltshire. Set within a stunning 18 century mansion and its grounds, Jack’s has a brilliant blend of excellent service, dishes and location.

Lead by Michelin starred chef Jamie Hirst, everything here is hand made in the restaurant, even the tomato ketchup. Hirst’s dishes come in all shapes and styles, with everything from Mediterranean influenced meals to classic Sunday roasts. Come for an exquisite dining experience before exploring the grounds on a romantic date.

Romantic meals in Wiltshire

The Langley Tap

Priding themselves on local, seasonal and responsibly sourced ingredients, The Langley Tap offers a delicious selection of traditional and modern dishes including succulent game dishes and a number of fish specialities.

Freshly prepared, The Tap is dedicated to cater for every taste and every need. With regular themed nights, it now hosts tapas nights on the last Thursday of every month, as well as pie nights and more.

 

Pubs

The Long Arms

Just seven miles from the historic city of Bath lies the quaint village of South Wraxall, home to The Longs Arms. This beautiful country pub covers all of the classical elements of a pub excellently. Winner of the Best Gastro Pub 2016 in the Bath Life Awards, as well as the Best Chef and Best Food Pub Finalist at the Food Reader Awards 2016, amongst others, the menu changes depending on the time of year, but we’re sure you’ll find something to suit your palate.

The Bridge Inn

For a peaceful pub with a large garden overlooking the countryside and canal, opt for the Bridge Inn. The buildings date back to around 1800 when it was formerly a busy family farm. In 1810 it was extended with a flour mill and bakery.

As well as the garden, the pub features a play area, decking which overlooks the Kennet and Avon Canal and a designated dog bar for your four-legged friend. This is the perfect place for those looking to make the most of the wonderful Wiltshire countryside, with a number of walks and cycle paths around the pub. Offering pub classics, all you can eat pizza and Sunday carvery, join the folks at The Bridge Inn for a great meal in Wiltshire.

The Milk Churn

Having opened in July 2014, The Milk Churn in Melksham has gone from strength to strength. The area has a rich farming heritage and this pub manages to maintain this, with an in-keeping design and building. Inside you can find a large bar serving a range of ales, wines and lagers, as well as a comfortable lounge and dining area.

The menu delivers a brilliantly modern take on pub classics, with hand-battered fish, a steak and tanglefoot pie, Sunday roasts and many more. Why not head down on a Saturday between 10am and 4pm for brunch?

 

Michelin Star restaurants

The Harrow, Little Bedwyn

Established 18 years ago, The Harrow received its first Michelin Star back in 2006 and has rightfully managed to retain it every year since. It is among the most highly-acclaimed restaurants outside of the capital, boasting three AA Rosettes and was listed as one of The World’s finest Wine List for a third year, as well as the AA Restaurant of the Year in 2011.

The Harrow, Little BedwynThe ingredients that make the foundations of their restaurant are all sourced from “real” farmers. Seafood is used from sustainable boats, while endless sourcing and tasting missions allows the team to discover the finest produce from across Britain.

Choose from three menus: the 5 course Set Lunch, 6 course Tasting Menu and the 8 course Gourmet Menu. Each of these changes depending on the time of the year, as the dishes reflect the best seasonal ingredients available to the kitchen at the time.

The Dining Room, Whatley Manor

A double Michelin star restaurant, The Dining Room at Whatley Manor has held its stars since 2009, having gained its first in 2005 with Martin Burge at the helm. Burge has now left – replaced by Niall Keating, who has worked at Sat Bains, Benu and Kong Hans Kaelder in Copenhagen.

Set in an 18th century manor house with extensive grounds, the Dining Room’s menu was changed in 2015. Those looking for somewhere to eat in Wiltshire have a choice of three different seven course tasting menus, with one being vegetarian. But with every great meal should come a great wine. Choose from any of the 650 labels, including German Riesling.

The last thing you want to be doing in your Wiltshire holiday cottage is worrying about where you can eat. So regardless of whether you want comfort food at an award-winning pub, a romantic meal with your partner, somewhere to keep the kids happy, or a luxurious Michelin star shaped dining experience, our guide will help you figure know where to eat in Wiltshire.

The fun side of foraging

Posted on 25th May 2017

Recent news has brought to light the sheer amount of food waste in both homes and retail, leading to a market U-turn in attitudes towards left-overs. From Asda’s wonky vegetable boxes to the increase in left over recipes, we are moving away from mass production and looking to become more self-sufficient with our food.

blackberries ripening

There has been a similar increased interest in foraging. While many people remember scouting hedgerows for blackberries for grandma’s apple pie, few people have done more than that since. Restaurants have been busy jumping on the bandwagon of wildly grown goods and appealing to those who want to reduce the air miles as well as the food waste. Native is such a restaurant based in London that aims to allow their customers to appreciate nature. Native is uncompromising on their ethos and looks to inspire others to similar goals.

“Native looks to provide its guests with an original dining experience that encapsulates the country’s best wild food that is native to the UK through a combination of innovative cooking and country thrift. Our food looks to unite the country’s best foraged foods and game in a laid back, full flavour adventure through the British seasons.”

While you may want to direct your new-found enthusiasm to your nearest scrap of woodland, foraging requires knowledge and an inherent respect for natural spaces. While enjoying a Wiltshire cottage holiday, what better way to ease yourself closer to your foraging future than with a beginner’s course into the edible aspects of nature? The Wild Side of Life has different courses throughout the year and based in Wiltshire to initiate you into the lifestyle.

Whether it is a few wild flowers added to a salad or a meal of morels, we can all add a little more of nature’s bounty into our diets, and foraging for the ingredients can be as much fun as eating them.

 Image Credit: Living in Monrovia

A little bit of Lardy Cake

Posted on 28th April 2017

There are many unique recipes to each county, whether that is Sticky Toffee Pudding from the Lake District or Bakewell tarts from Derbyshire. Wiltshire is famed for a more calorific – and very delicious – cake that is tied to the county’s history and economy.

Traditional Lardy Cakes

Though many counties lay claim to the origin of the Lardy Cake, Wiltshire’s history of pig farming, its biggest town named to this effect (Swindon) all points towards the Lardy cake beginning in the county. The lard necessary for the Lardy Cake is a natural by-product of pig farming and its high energy content means this sweet bread would have been popular at harvest time to see the field workers through their strenuous days. However, initially the luxury items included in this bread (such as sugar and dried fruits) would have ensured that Lardy Cakes would have been celebration cakes and eaten only on special occasions.

Though many old recipes have fallen to the wayside as the modern palate evolves, the Lardy Cake remains a well-liked choice of patisserie and still appears at the summer garden parties in Buckingham Palace as well as in many local bakeries. As with any recipe, that of the Lardy Cake has been personalised, and while the original may have consisted of little more than lard, dough and sugar, nowadays each bakery adds a pinch or two of something to their own family recipes.

Whether you can’t wait to stay in your Wiltshire holiday cottage or are looking for a cultural bun to whet your traditional appetites, the Lardy cake is perfect for any setting, so why not take a look at this recipe from Alison at Dragons and Fairy Dust.

When considering making Lardy cake, Alison recommends “not to be scared, the recipe is really easy to make but it does take time. Set aside the time for it to rise properly and don’t rush it. The finished product is worth the wait.”

Check out Alison’s recipe here or enjoy a slice of historic Wiltshire at Marshall’s Bakery, which is famed for its Lardy cakes and has shops in Royal Wootton Bassett and Pewsey.

Image Credit: Clint Budd (Flickr)

Devizes celebrates birthday with its own beer

Posted on 14th April 2017

What better way to celebrate a pub’s birthday than creating a beer in its honour? Fiona and Geoff Talbot, the Landlord and Landlady of The White Bear in Devizes have just done that to celebrate Devizes’ oldest public house. Talbot’s Tipple, the chosen title for the new brew, is a name steeped in meaning considering it is not only the surname of the landlords but also was once the name of the pub.

The White Bear Interior

The pub is integral to the historical market town, and Devizes, nestled in the heart of the county, is the perfect place to visit whilst on a Wiltshire cottage holiday. The first recorded landlord of the public house on the corner of Monday Market Street dates back to 1567 and the town is looking forward to celebrating in style on the weekend of the 30th April. The festivities are set to not only unveil the newest beer in their collection, but also plan to include other local delights including Morris dancers, Shire horses and many people in historic dress, with a free glass of the celebratory beer to those who arrive in costume. 

Though the Wadworth Brewery is not quite as old as the pub in question, the brewers have experienced their own share of history since their conception in 1875. Being in the same family for four generations gives an element of legacy that other breweries lack. In fact, today the brewery owns over 200 pubs beyond The White Bear. The continued use of shire horses to deliver their produce to local buyers retains both quaintness and nostalgia that will be celebrated alongside The White Bear.

If you are visiting Devizes on this special celebratory weekend at the end of April, you will be able to celebrate with the rest of the town. However, should you happen to be in the area afterwards, you can still enjoy the Talbot’s Tipple or take a tour of the Wadworth Brewery instead to appreciate the local history. 

Image Credit: The White Bear  

Start off your summer with local ice cream

Posted on 01st April 2017

While Italy may be the undisputed home of ice cream, you may be able to scoop some of your own high-end and home-grown frozen joy while staying in a Wiltshire holiday cottage. The local dairy farm of Lacock is part of the Selkley Vale Herd which stretches across Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire and is renowned for producing milk for Cadburys.  Ice Cream Cone against sunset

The long-founded belief that dairy farms of this area produce the sweetest milk will soon be put to the test in their newest endeavour. It is thought that the unique soil and grass of the area contributes to the pure taste of the produce and this is what makes the ice cream so special.

Jane Lear, Tony Doel and Graeme McFaull are the three friends responsible for this enterprise and are excited for what the summer will bring, but they will concentrate on their pure brand ethos. According to Mrs Lear: “We put as little in terms of additives in and we like to think we are at the top end.” The Lacock Dairy Farm has been farmed by four generations of the Doel family and the latest successor is pleased to see it branching out.

When ice cream first made its way to the England it was the privilege of royalty and the very wealthy, while it was only the latter half of the 19th century that saw ice cream available to the wider public. Since then however, it has gained nothing but popularity and become one of the traditions of the British summer.

Though Lacock Ice cream will be a far cry from Mr Whippy, it has had a positive reception thus far from the neighbouring business that are stocking it. With nine flavours to start the summer it is sure to be the perfect way to taste the heart of Wiltshire’s Dairy Community.

Image Credit: Unsplash