Top gastropubs near you
The pubs that made it into the UK's Top Gastropubs – and there are SIX in, or within a crisp packet's throw of, Somerset
The pubs which made the cut in this year’s listings of the best gastropubs in the UK as selected by top foodies and hospitality gurus – on the doorstep or within a crisp packet’s throw of Somerset. How far would you go for a really good pub lunch or dinner? And are there any pubs not listed here which should be?
Two Somerset pubs made it into the Top 50. Ranked an impressive 2nd, the The Pony and Trap in Chew Magna just outside Bristol, run by brother and sister Josh and Holly Eggleton, may have held a Michelin star since 2011, but the place still feels like a country pub. Very much a field-to -ork experience with all fresh ingredients coming from just across the Chew Valley and the farmland around.
The White Post, equidistant between Yeovil and Sherborne, is a relatively new kid on the block with chef Brett Sutton in the kitchen and wife Kelly front of house. I’d say more of a restaurant than a pub really (though there is a bar and some leather club chairs and sofas for loafing). Try the 10-course tasting menu or Sunday roasts with 5 or 6 different roasts and revel in the far-reaching views across the Dorset and Somerset countryside. A big Muddy thumbs up.
No surprise to find The Mason’s Arms in South Molton, North Devon on the list. Chef Mark Dodson headed up the kitchen at Michel Roux’s world-famous, three Michelin-star winning restaurant the Waterside Inn, Bray for 12 years. Now he and his wife Sarah’s 13th century thatched inn has its own Michelin star. Lap up the French and English a la carte as you admire the glorious views of Exmoor’s rolling hills. Oh, and champagne by the glass if you must.
The Swan at Bampton, also in North Devon, not far from Tiverton, is another multi-award-winning pub and said to be the oldest in the area. Local farmers supply the beef, pork and lamb and with the coast nearby, they’ve got the freshest fresh fish on the menu (you must try their classic cod and chips). Another Muddy fave.
The Beckford Arms is a mere stiletto’s throw from Stonehenge and Salisbury. Come to enjoy seasonal menus which can include everything from a traditional whole suckling pig to river Exe mussels. Wanna try one of their Beckford Bellinis – made with locally produced peach liqueur – on for size?
A beautiful country pub in South Wraxall, The Longs Arms is a real find in our book. The pub has been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and won the gastropub award in the Bath Life Awards 2016. Meat is sourced from Aubrey Allen – an ethical, welfare friendly supplier, so that’s another big fat Muddy tick.