Holidays away from home are a special time. Relaxation, family time, good books and good cheer. And for your next cottage holiday in Wiltshire, set aside some time for some great award-winning food as well.
From the all-powerful Michelin stars to Rosettes and Visit England recognition, there are a number of highly recognised restaurants in the county to tempt you. The region offers a variety of restaurants to suit a number of palates. If you are staying in one of our fabulous holiday cottages in Wiltshire, be sure to make plans to eat at any of these spectacular local eateries.
Here are some of our heartiest recommendations:
A Taste of Salisbury
There are a number of great things you’ll notice when eating at Anokaa – the award-winning Indian restaurant in Salisbury. In contemporary style, Anokaa tries to blend Asian culture with Wiltshire country sensibility. Its truly British décor of dark woods and high-backed leather chairs is set in contrast to its talented waiting staff, who dress in traditional Indian garb. Their food is best described as Indian methods being applied to local ingredients, and plated in a European style. From spiced crusted scallops to Mumbai style stir-fry Welsh lamb with fresh coriander, there are some wonderful modern dishes to try. There are also a number of seafood tandoori specialities, including spiced and roasted whole John Dory.
At the King John Inn, head chef Simon Trepess is a seasoned fisherman, baker, cheesemaker, and purveyor of locally caught game. A Rosette winner, the menu brings the Wiltshire countryside to your table. A highlight is summer at the Inn, when diners enjoy the creation of their meals at a Victorian-inspired outdoor kitchen in a terraced garden. In winter, there are cosy, roaring log fires in the pub or in the informal restaurant.
The Red Lion Freehouse
Located in Pewsey, the Red Lion Freehouse is no stranger to distinction. An amazing place with a familiar feel, it has a Michelin star and multiple Rosettes and Gold Awards from both the AA and Visit England. The restaurant features freshly prepared food – the hearty variety that is selected because of the season and its peak availability.
Popular dishes include the rib of Wiltshire beef to share, a carnivore’s delight; a sumptuous chicken liver pâté with homemade brioche and, if you’ve any space left, a decadent crème brûlée.
“Visitors love the Red Lion’s country setting, with warming log fires in winter, its rustic thatched charm and cosy interior,” said Grant Berry, deputy manager at the Red Lion.
He said one of the favourite seasons for the restaurant is in the summer when a gorgeous beer garden bursts with activity. Visitors flock to the Red Lion to take in their views over Salisbury Plain and wait for sunset and dinner-time.
With a well-stocked bar, at least four well-kept local ales, and chef Guy Manning’s dedication to local produce, many guests enjoy an evening meal overlooking the River Avon. Prior to the Red Lion, Manning has worked in restaurants in London and New York. All their meals can be accompanied by a dedicated wine list, Berry said.
In a town famous for its wandering peacocks, the dining rooms of The Northey Arms exude a bright modern space that is still cosy. For a bit of country exuberance, there is also pan-fried pigeon breast with celeriac remoulade and roast beetroot. You can also try monkfish tails with sauerkraut, spinach, crispy Bayonne ham, and a red wine sauce. Chef Chris Alderson uses carefully selected local suppliers for his menu of traditional favourites. Steaks, burgers, fish and chips are all mouth-watering offers on hand.
Also in Corsham, Jacks @ Hartham Park finds itself at the heart of an 18th century Georgian mansion set within 50 acres of magnificent grounds. Michelin starred chef Jamie Hirst sees that everything served at the restaurant is made from scratch. The food is given a Mediterranean twist in dishes such as risotto of chorizo with rocket and shaved parmesan. There is roasted cod with vine tomatoes, capers and anchovies. They also offer a traditional Sunday lunch.
The Mulberry Restaurant at Bishopstrow
Tucked away in the rural Wiltshire countryside, amongst 27 wooded acres near Longleat Safari Park, The Bishopstrow Hotel is home to the award-winning Mulberry Restaurant and its talented Head Chef Jon Los. The Mulberry’s ethos focuses on serving fresh, contemporary cuisine using locally sourced produce.
In Los’ kitchen, everything is truly fresh; from the homemade bread to the home-frozen ice-creams. The restaurant utilises free range and sustainable produce wherever possible across the menus.
A Rosette Award winner, The Mulberry Restaurant offers visitors a choice of dining experiences. Diners can choose from either Los’ A La Carte Menu, which is filled with rich and discerning flavours – ideal for special occasions or a tasty treat. There is also the option of selecting from a handful of more casual dishes featured on his All Day Dining Menu. More casual, it is packed with hearty, simplistic dishes, and is perfect after enjoying a day out in Wiltshire.
As you can imagine, reservations are encouraged and can be made online.
Dinner in Marlborough
The Bell at Ramsbury finds itself located in a three-centuries-old coaching inn. Refurbished to modern elegance, it retains a clear country feel and ambience. They feature local pints and local food – a special nod to the delicious pie of the day. Former Marco Pierre White chef Duncan Jones has created a modern British menu full of local seasonal ingredients. There is a pork belly dish, hand-caught scallops, and local game such as rabbit.
Chef Roger Jones advocates “real farming” when preparing the food at The Harrow at Little Bedwyn. For this Michelin-rated chef, that means free range meat and locally caught seafood that are prepared in simple, yet amazing ways. Choose from highlights including scallops with chorizo and a pea purée. There is also a crowd favourite: lobster and truffle salad. When the weather is nice, patrons can enjoy their meals outdoors in the restaurant’s lovely garden dining area.