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Jun 1, 2014 01:25 PM

Salisbury by the Cathedral, and the Avebury area of Wiltshire?

Returning chowhound looking for good meals in Salisbury and Avebury/ Marlborough area. I will be on my own without transport close to the cathedral on a Sunday-- maybe a pub for lunch and a bistro for dinner? I like strong, authentic flavours, and unfussy service.

The next couple of days a friend and I will be based in Avebury (with a car) and would love to try out some interesting little restaurants, pubs and cafes as we explore. Any ideas? I will write reviews of anything interesting I find.

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  1. Red Lion in Pewsey is pretty good. Also if I remember rightly George and Dragon in Devizes is quite nice too. Was last at both about a year ago.

    If you head down Devizes way, make sure you stop by the Caen Hill Locks, amazing sight to see. And of course check out some of the white horses. Lovely part of the world!

    9 Replies
      1. re: curioussheridan

        The Red Lion is very good - two (married) chefs left their jobs at Per Se to set up a food pub in England. Its still a pub but with really good locally sourced food. It also has a Michelin star.

        1. re: PhilD

          Do you know if they do lunch? Wasn't obvious on the website

          1. re: curioussheridan

            In the latest news section of their website it mentions lunch:

            I have only been there at lunchtime and it was good - the garden is nieces as well. Very peaceful.

            "The Red Lion" is a common name so make certain you get the right one.

            1. re: PhilD

              Hi Phil!
              Place looks fab.
              My bad, only been to the Red Lion Pub in Avebury.

      2. re: deansa

        Deansa-- thanks to you we saw two of the white horses. Yes, a lovely part of this beautiful country.

        1. re: deansa

          Thanks all for this recommendation. We spent a lovely couple of days staying at the Troutbeck Guesthouse, and had two breakfasts and a dinner at the Red Lion. The Full English breakfast was outstanding with fantastic bacon and black pudding. My husband ate it without ketchup or chilli sauce which is definitely saying something. The homemade granola and yoghurt was amazing, as was the home-baked sourdough. They give away sourdough starter if you ask before they've baked the day's bread!

          Dinner had a slightly shaky start with a very salty clam pasta, but the rib of beef to share more than made up for it. The creme brulee was probably the best I have ever eaten, and I choose it whenever i see it on a menu. It was a lovely cosy evening sitting by the wood burner and I'm looking forward to another trip next winter!

          A slightly odd recommendation is Wok with U chinese takeaway in Durrington. We had eaten a lot of pub food and wanted something lazy, and this came highly recommended on yelp (ha!). It was actually the best chinese takeaway I have had in recent memory, using the criterion of english high street chinese that also does chips and curry sauce (and selling a lot of it, by the sounds of the telephone orders coming in). Chilli garlic squid was hot and crisp (we ate it in the car!) with lots of actual chillies and garlic, which can't be taken for granted. Crispy chilli beef was sweet and spicy and crisp, without being gloopy or gelatinous. Peking duck was bog standard (in a good way).

          York Roast company (or something) in Salisbury was terrible, as was the Carpenters Arms in Lacock - out of the freezer, into the fryer.

          1. re: gembellina

            Very good to hear the Red Lion is still going strong it's a good pub with great food not surprised the desserts and breads are so good as one of the chefs was the pastry chef at Per Se.

            1. re: PhilD

              I liked the cheffy touches in the guesthouse: copies of larousse, french laundry and other food books, signed menus from etxabarri i think. Also very good tea and coffee and fresh milk in the minibar, and home-made biscuits.

        2. Love the Red Lion Pub in Avebury.
          One of the most haunted places I've ever been to.
          Stonehenge and Salisbury are close and would love a country house in Wiltshire..

          1. Many thanks for all your advice! The Red Lion Freehouse in East Chisenbury (by Pewsey) was charming, with a good 2 course lunch for £16, as well as a la carte. Pea soup with little diamonds of courgette and tomato, and sprinkled with little croutons was rich and refreshing, with a good stock base. Good bread too. A berry fruit salad with wine dipped sponge cake cubes and marcona almonds was given a great finish with a scoop of basil ice cream.

            The Geoge and Dragon just outside Devizes was also Michelin and Chowhound recommended, with Cornish fish a speciality. I had roasted monkfish with a creamy sauce dotted with zingy green peppercorns, on lovely mashed potatoes, and a side of garlicky Provencale veg. Ice creams were good but not great, At £25 without drinks I thought it a little overpriced, but was happy to be there.

            the only mistake I made was to eat at the Cathedral Hotel in Salisbury where I was staying-- these people do not even know how to cook an egg!

            1 Reply
            1. re: curioussheridan

              Good to hear they worked out and were good.