A very old pub, allegedly dating back to the 14th century, tucked away in a narrow village lane close to, but not directly approachable from, the M5. The L-shaped interior has been slightly opened out but retains a wholly traditional atmosphere, with brasses and old wooden settles and a stone-flagged floor. The main bar is dominated by a massive fireplace surmounted by a collection of vintage firearms.
It still has its Courage signing, but now offers a range of beers including Butcombe Bitter, Otter Bitter and Bath Ales Gem together with Courage Best on both gravity and handpump, together with a couple of traditional ciders. I saw old boys in here drinking bright orange cloudy cider on a Monday lunchtime, which must be a good sign. Food is mainly snacks together with a couple of daily specials – it hasn’t been allowed to become a dining pub.
I will be quite honest - this pub is nearly 200 miles away from me, and I have only been there a couple of times, but I don’t think I’ve been in any other that comes closer to my personal vision of the ideal pub.
(Amended 23 September 2016 to replace the original StreetView image with my own recent photo. The pub is thankfully just as good as ever.)