Signposted at East Ilsley
slip road off A34
Mon-Sat 11-3; 6-11, Sun 12-4; 7-10.30
To be sure of a seat, it?s best to get to this bustling white painted village pub in good time - but if it?s just a drink you?re after you can join the locals who gather around the bar for an early evening pint. The open-plan bar has dark terracotta walls hung with many mainly Victorian prints and other ornaments, big Turkey rugs on the floor, and a mix of antique oak tables, unpretentious old chairs, and a couple of more stately long settles; there's also an unusual stripped twin-seated high-backed settle between the log fire and the bow window. Constantly changing, the very good home-made food might include interestingly filled French bread, roasted provencale vegetable terrine, crostini of aubergine and goats cheese or filled baked potatoes, ploughman?s; the pickle is home-made), lambs liver and bacon, Cornish bass with artichoke mash and confit of tomato, breast of guinea fowl with mushroom risotto, and puddings like apple pie, sticky toffee pudding and warm orange tart with local cream. The dining room is no smoking. Well kept Morlands (pub) Original and Old Speckled Hen, and a guest like Flowers Original on handpump, and a good wine list with around 10 by the glass. This is a lovely spot with lots of nearby walks - the Ridgeway is just a mile away - and the big garden has picnic-table sets and other tables under cocktail parasols looking out over the duck pond and cricket green. Bar food is not served winter Sun or Mon evenings. Children are welcome but they must be well behaved, though they are not allowed in on Fri/Sat evenings. No accommodation here.
None as yet
Old Speckled Hen