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“A go-to when looking after the in-laws” admits one fan of The Beckford Arms – a delightful pub-with-rooms on the edge of Fonthill Park. Inside, this smart, gentrified bolthole is tricked out with polished wood floors, blazing fires and soothing colour schemes, while the food promises “innovative” pickings bolstered by produce from Fonthill Gifford’s community allotment and seasonal bounty from the region’s food heroes (look for the named-checked ‘supplier of the month’). Ploughman’s, day-boat fish and chips and an outstanding cumin-spiced lamb burger represent the pub side of things (not forgetting the “best Scotch eggs on the A303”), but the kitchen is in touch with current trends – witness small plates of chalk-stream trout ceviche with chilli, coriander and charred baby gem or more substantial servings of char-grilled calf’s liver with roasted carrots, braised chicory, kale and bacon. Desserts also cover all bases, from rice pudding to salted caramel affogato, while regularly changing West Country ales and ciders supplement the decent wine list.
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