Castle Inn

Rustic countryside charm at The Castle Inn in Castle Combe

Looking for a peaceful getaway? We’ve got you covered…

If you, like me, are always looking for a charming weekend away from the big smoke, my first recommendation is always the South West of England.

Home to the beautiful Cotswolds, guests will often flock here, but actually, there are a whole host of stunning villages and hamlets in Wiltshire and Somerset also. Just a short drive from Bath and nearby Chippenham, both easily accessible from a train via Paddington, sits the small and quaint village of Castle Combe.

Alongside a grand Manor House, and lovely local village shops and pubs, you’ll find The Castle Inn – easily the best food, drink and setting in this idyllic village.

The pub stands proudly in the old market square, and the menu includes thoughtfully curated, seasonally inspired dishes made with local and homegrown ingredients. Need somewhere to rest your head too? The pub has you covered with 12 contemporary and comfortable rooms, spilling off twisting, low-ceiling corridors.

We visited on a quiet Saturday lunchtime, and after a brisk walk around the Manor House grounds, settled in for a culinary delight. With a 2 AA Rosette rating, we knew we were in for a treat, and Head Chef Jamie Barnett is all about cooking simply, and using the very best seasonal ingredients, to give you traditional gastro dishes and hearty-fare which changes with the seasons.

To start, we enjoyed the very best of the season Asparagus served with soft boiled eggs and salad, which was perfection. A delightful White Onion Soup was also on the menu served with two small cheese scones – seasoned well and also very fresh.

The main menu was large, rich and diverse, and they had an extensive range of specials that were written by hand on a chalk board at the end of a restaurant. That’s a good pub, when you have to get up to see what yummy specials are on offer.

In the end we opted for the rich Beef Bourguignon served with creamy mashed potato, shallots, mushrooms and salty pancetta. A dollop of mustard made this the best winter-turns-spring lunch. My guest went for the pub’s Beef Burger and Chips. The chips, a full potato sized wedge, were well seasoned, and the burger the type you have to cling onto to get your chops around the whole thing.

Drinks were tasty too, and they had a small selection of cocktails including a Bloody Mary which is delivered with the Tabasco, to decide your own spice level.

For puddings, we opted for Pistachio ice cream served with a freshly baked Madeleine which was simple, sweet and all home made. There were lots of gorgeous and rich puddings like Sticky Toffee Pudding, Apple Crumble and Fudge Cake too, all the things you want with a lunch in the country.

We would certainly rush back to this tiny village for a romantic staycation, or a peaceful getaway, and a visit wouldn’t be complete without trying the truly elevated pub food at The Castle Inn.

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