The Kingsdon Inn, nr Somerton
Laid back country pub on a village green with English comfort classics, fresh fish, seafood – and boar bolognaise – on the menu
Family-run, thatched and rustic village pub sitting opposite the village green in Kingsdon, on a gentle slope just south of Somerton and about five minutes from the A303. Great spot for watching the annual Yeovilton Airshow in July.
Dating back 300 years, it’s country pub through and through with beams, wood-burner, honest wooden furniture and this little white-washed nook complete with original bread oven.
The large garden out front overlooks the green beyond, complete with wooden pirate ship climbing frame, zip wire, swings and a footie field. Sit back with your glass while the youngsters safely go off and play.
SCOFF & QUAFF
Run by husband and wife team chef Adam Cain (known as the pirate for his black trademark bandana) and front of house Cinzia. He’s from Cornwall, she’s Italian, and together they’ve worked in pubs and hotels around Europe and London, which explains the mix of English comfort classics and southern Italian influenced dishes and why Wiltshire boar bolognaise is on the menu. The specials board was exclusively seafood and fresh fish, another of the chef’s passions.
So, the starter from the specials board: delicious pan roasted scallops, with pea bavarois, crisp ham, an apple salad and topped off by an ultra crisp, crispy thing.
Followed by, on Cinzia’s recommendation, the lamb and a great call. No need to feel guilty about the towering mound of succulent pan roasted chump sat on a square of creamy, rich dauphinoise potato, there was plenty of greenery too – buttered baby gem, peas, local asparagus, minted pea puree, broccoli – and a red wine jus.
Major Chocolate Bombe at your service, sir! The dark choc bavarois, raspberry sorbet, crystallised choc, fresh raspberries and candied pistachio was rich, moreish, not at all sickly and instantly Instagrammable.
Award-winning local and other British cheeses if you prefer, including Montgomery cheddar from nearby North Cadbury.
The place used to be a cider house, now you can slurp local ales, lagers and work your way through the 30 bottle wine list as well as knocking back the apple juice.
Outside and up the stairs to beautifully appointed rooms in one roof space and across a walkway to another two, checking out the thatching technique as you go.
Cool, calm, country style in the newly redecorated en suite rooms, with flat-screen TV, tea and coffee and fluffy towels.
Breakfasts are local, homemade classics, so grilled kipper with lemon butter, the full English with sausages, dry cured bacon, field mushrooms, plum tomatoes and eggs how you like ’em, smoked haddock with poached eggs and spinach, porridge, homemade granola and more.
OUT AND ABOUT
Head back to the A303 to check out the swanky sports cars and other vehicles at the Haynes Motor Museum and Concorde at the Fleet Air Arm Museum – both are around 12 mins drive away. Go a six miles north on B3151 to the independent shops of Somerton, said to be the ancient capital of Wessex.
Good for: Couples will want to nab the nook; larger parties an area off to the side called the Old Kitchen; plenty of space inside and out for everyone else. Bring your dog. Cosy in winter, super in the sun. Great place to bring the kids, what with the village green across the way.
Not for: anyone wanting a edgy urban vibe, this is the laid back countryside.
The damage: Good value. Set lunch 2 courses £18.50; 3 courses £22.50. A la carte starters £8-8.50; mains £15-19.50; desserts £6-8. Cheese selection of 3 £9; 4 £10. Double room from £88.
Opening hours: Mon 12pm – 3pm (food 12pm – 2pm); 6pm – 11pm (food 6.30pm – 8.30pm). Tues – Sat 12pm – 3pm (food 12pm – 2pm); 6pm – 11pm (food 6.30pm – 9pm). Sun 12pm – 4pm (food 12pm – 2pm).
Kingsdon Inn, Kingsdon, nr Somerton, Somerset TA11 7LG. Tel 01935 840543. kingsdoninn.co.uk