In 1917, the writer Edward Hutton said that Rowde had a ‘curious inn’, but as this Wiltshire village possessed four at the time, it’s not known whether he meant this 16th-century hostelry or another one. Narrowboaters on the nearby Kennet & Avon Canal can spend up to six hours negotiating the 29 locks of the Caen Flight – that's hard work, so no wonder they flock to this modernised pub with its large open fireplaces, wooden floors, antique rugs and candlelit tables that create a wonderful ambience. The reward for the thirsty might be a pint of Butcombe or Bath Ales Gem; for the hungry, maybe a seafood platter or another special featuring fish delivered daily from Cornwall. Other possibilities from the award-winning menu include, as a starter or main, double-baked cheese soufflé with parmesan cream sauce; chargrilled fillet steak with tenderstem broccoli and hollandaise; and roast chicken breast, curried bubble-and-squeak and red wine jus. Three very stylish bedrooms are available if you’d like to stay over.