“Guy and Brittany Manning are superstars, phenomenal!” exclaims a fan of the Red Lion – a brilliant freehouse and dressed-down eatery in the wild reaches of Salisbury Plain south of Upavon (be sure to programme your SatNav). The pair cooked in top-end kitchens ranging from Chez Bruce to Thomas Keller’s Per Se before taking over this sympathetically spruced-up thatched hostelry and turning it into a much-hyped destination for locals, travellers and inquisitive foodies alike. Working in tandem, the Mannings are capable of delivering some startlingly accomplished dishes, ranging from cappelleti of pheasant with consommé, thyme and game chips to the RL ‘fluffernutter’ with peanut nougatine and banana ice cream, via roast loin and faggot of Salisbury Plain venison with swede gratin, prunes, carrots and sauce poivrade or pan-fried halibut with leek fondue, girolles and Wiltshire truffle emulsion. Meanwhile, drinkers can sup ales from local microbreweries or dip into the nifty wine list. Accommodation is available across the road at the Troutbeck Guest House.