Top 50 Gastropubs

78

The Compasses Inn

Lower Chicksgrove, Wiltshire

Home to good food, fine local ales and a broad, refined wine list.

The man behind the Compasses is none other than Ben Maschler, son of the legendary food critic, Fay. He took over this classic 14th Century inn in 2017 and added a stellar menu to what was already an atmospheric venue, complete with flagstone floors, ancient beams and open fires, hidden deep in a maze of country lanes.

Paddy Davy heads the team in the kitchen, cooking up seasonal dishes that might include roast wing of skate, grilled ox tongue and lamb rogan josh, plus pub favourites like burgers and fish and chips.

Best begin, though, with the bar snacks, half a pint of prawns or a scotch egg, or a tasty starter like Tuscan-style chestnut soup or parsnip fritters with a blue cheese and walnut dip.

And afterwards a sticky date, walnut and apricot pudding or a chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream.

Care is taken to match the food with a selection of European wines, and the Compasses also showcases ales from the many local breweries that surround it.

And if you want to stay over and make the most of it, the pub has four rooms upstairs and a self-catering cottage next door.

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