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Review: The Methuen Arms, Corsham

PUBLISHED: 11:24 05 March 2019

"This was not pub grub - it was gastronomic delight."

Archant

Andy Cooper discovers a spot where the gongs it has garnered are completely justified

The phrase ‘award-winning’ must, I fear, be approached with caution these days. Just about anyone who is anybody can dredge up a gong or two for themselves from the plethora of ceremonies and competitions on offer. Heck, I might even have once picked up a prize for a website I was involved with, so I could preface my name with the immortal phrase…

So when a pub, restaurant or hotel describes itself as award-winning I approach with caution. Show me under the bonnet please before I get behind the wheel of any dining out jalopy which claims prizes for its food.

My innate cynicism, however, was completely misplaced when it came to The Methuen Arms, an award-winning inn just eight miles from Bath. Whatever gongs have been doled out in its direction are truly deserved – as I can attest having recently stayed there.

What. A. Place. Okay, it sits in the delightful Wiltshire village of Corsham, with its cobbled streets and Georgian architecture, so it’s a delight to find yourself pulling up outside this historic building. But The Methuen Arms still has to step up to the plate and deliver to match its surroundings and boy, does it do that.

The Methuen Arms is a fabulous spot to dine and stayThe Methuen Arms is a fabulous spot to dine and stay

The team were relaxed and welcoming as we were shown to our lovely room with delightful décor and plenty of space to relax before making our way downstairs to the bar for a pre-dinner snifter. There was a lively atmosphere in the many rooms centred around a lovely bar area and even the Bath Rugby fans drowning their sorrows following a defeat that day couldn’t really have chosen a better spot in which to mourn a loss.

After drinking in the vibe alongside a rather fabulous house red we were escorted into the restaurant at the back – a room which, like everything in this inn, feels fabulously right for the place.

Atmospheric and enchanting, the décor set the standard for the food and service. Attentively looked after, we were able to enjoy ourselves with a menu which was truly special.

This was not pub grub - it was gastronomic delight. From a duck scotch egg or seared scallops with chorizo and haricot beans through to hake curry or haunch of venison with red cabbage, blackberries and kale for main course, we were in our element. And if you do want the aforementioned pub grub a sidebar on the menu offers classics such as burgers, steaks and fish and chips. No doubt with chef’s own unique touch applied.

There is a lovely bar area to relax inThere is a lovely bar area to relax in

The treats just kept on coming…fabulous food cooked to perfection with innovation and style. The wine list was extensive and distinctive and it was no surprise to us that the dining room was packed. Lucky locals to have this on their doorstep.

Desserts really could not be ignored if the standard was going to be anything like our first two courses and our choices of toffee apple rice pudding and burnt passion fruit cream with mango salsa and crisp coconut were right on the money.

We headed back to our lovely room replete and raving at the menu we had enjoyed. Easily one of our top five dining experiences of the year.

Breakfast the following morning, of course, did not disappoint, and all that was left was for us to wend our way round the cobbled streets of the village to complete a perfect stay at this justifiably award-winning spot. u

Rooms at The Methuen Arms start from £140 per room per night based on two sharing on a B&B basis. To book, visit themethuenarms.com or call 01249 717060.

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