TOLLARD ROYAL, Salisbury, SP5 5PS
This handsome brick-built Victorian inn luxuriates in its location on Cranborne Chase, the heart of Thomas Hardy's Wessex deep in stunning countryside outside Shaftesbury. Named after the original hunting lodge built here for King John its airy, open-plan bar and dining areas have a fresh, crisp country feel, featuring rugs on quarry tile flooring, old pine tables, snug alcoves, warming winter log fires and a solid oak bar. Beers from Butcombe may feature, whilst the striking wine list offers 20 by the glass. Lunchtime dining here offers a great choice of small-plate sharing options, akin to tapas. Dip in to green kale, clams and chorizo; or venison chop, beetroot and cavolo nero. In favourable weather an intriguing outdoor kitchen operates in the terraced garden. The inspiring, contemporary dinner menu ranges from starters like roast quail and mushroom sauce to mains of brill fillet with potato and bacon chowder, or venison and steak meatball linguine. Just room, perhaps, for apple doughnuts with toffee sauce and mulled cider to finish.
Tel: 01725 516207
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Butcombe Bitter, Wadworth 6X, Guest ales
No coach parties catered.