SHROTON OR IWERNE COURTNEY, Blandford Forum, DT11 8QD
Under Hambledon Hill, where General Wolfe trained his troops before his assault on Quebec in 1759, lies what maps show as both Iwerne Courtney and Shroton; ask locals for the latter when looking for this early 20th-century pub and you'll be pointed in the right direction. Built to replace a much earlier establishment, over the years it has become not only a real community local, but also a popular pit-stop for walkers on the Wessex Way, who, since the path passes conveniently right by, are rarely so unwise as to wander through without stopping for Joe and Sally Grieves' genuine hospitality. In the light, open-plan interior, where in winter there's a cosy log-burner, the real beers are Butcombe and Otter Bitter, while wine drinkers will find up to nine by the glass; there's no separate restaurant. The menu changes seasonally and makes use of home-cooked, locally sourced ingredients to offer starters or light options such as grilled onglet steak; and spiced tomato crumble. Main dishes include braised ox cheek, horseradish and orange dumpling, roasted shallots and carrots with red wine sauce; and pan-fried buffalo's liver and bacon. For vegetarians there's twice-baked cheddar soufflé; and macaroni, porcini and parmesan. Sandwiches are available at lunchtime, and on Sunday a choice of roast meats is always on offer; specials are forever changing. Events include occasional summer barbecues and a beer festival weekend with live music. The pub is proud of its long association with the Shroton Cricket Club, from which it takes its name.