A quintessential English pub, à la mode, the Red Lion continues on a roll, having launched its glamorous bedrooms and gained – and retained – a Michelin star in 2012. Best of all, it’s run with unpretentious warmth by committed owners Guy and Brittany Manning, along with their close-knit team, ‘rescue’ hens in the garden and Stowford the springer spaniel. Guy is the superb head chef, preparing wonderful dishes for the cosy pub and private dining room upstairs. He often uses garden produce – don’t miss local Wiltshire truffle season (Sept to Dec). Brittany (American: they met while working in a New York restaurant) is a talented pastry chef and also responsible for Troutbeck, the converted bungalow along the lane containing five stunning bedrooms. These sport chic furnishings, bespoke beds and Egyptian cotton linens, and each has a terrace overlooking the idyllic Wiltshire Avon, where you can fish for trout. Thatched and pretty as a picture, the Red Lion makes an exceptional bolthole in unspoilt countryside.
Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the walking opportunities are endless, from along the river Avon to across Salisbury plain. But do keep a lookout for otters, kingfishers and herons from your private deck.
A firm staple on the menu for 10 years is the Wiltshire chateaubriand of for two- supplied by Walter Rose of Devizes – one of the country’s finest butchers – less than 10 miles away.
They’re not openly on offer – but don’t leave without asking for some take home goodies from the kitchen, like honey from hives 1 mile down the road, jam from 1 meter down the road, or granola from a foot away in the pastry kitchen.