Find this rambling pub, close to Highclere Castle, on a junction with the A343. Although still a local with guest beers etc. and maintaining its 17th century origins with old beams and an inglenook fireplace, the raison d'etre for most visitors here is the draw of the food - although drinkers are also made very comfortable, with deep leaather armchairs and a cosy traditional feel.
On the food front, expect the likes of 'Hot-Smoked Trout with Avocado & Caviar Cream'; 'Lobster Cocktail with Cognac Mayonnaise & Pickled Cucumber'; 'Slow-Roasted Pork Belly with Crackling Crumble, Scrumpy & Apple Chutney' and 'Creamed Goats Cheese with Apricots, Crispy Shallots & Caramelised Beetroot' among the starters.
'Seafood Pancake with Baby Leaf Spinach & Cheese Sauce'; 'Whole Roast Partridge with Potato Rosti, Glazed Figs & Celeriac Purée'; 'Parmesan Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms, Spring Onions & Truffles' and 'Aged Rib-Eye with Slow-Roast Tomato, Field Mushroom Fat Chips & Béarnaise Sauce' among the mains.
Perhaps finish with 'White Chocolate & Apple Crème Brulée with Cinnamon Shortbread'; 'Eton Mess with Poached Strawberries'; 'Warm Chocolate Brownie with Cornish Clotted Cream & Wild Cherry Compote' or English Cheeses with Fig Chutney.
- Food Style: Best Pubs for Food
- Lunch: Mon-Fri 12.00-14.30 Sat 12.00-15.00, Sun 12.00-16.00; mains about £11 to £25 plus sandwiches and salad.
- Dinner: Mon-Sat 19.00-21.30, Sun 19.00-21.00; mains about £13 to £25
- Seats: 70, plus 30 outside
- Wine: an interesting list covers all pockets and ambitions, kicks off at around the £16 mark
- Children's portions: Yes, when possible
- Wheelchair access: please enquire
- Nearest station: Newbury Rail
- Directions: See the map on this page
- Parking: Yes
- Closed: check Christmas openings
- Outside eating
- Rooms available