Certified as organic and biodynamic, this multi award-winning farm is owned by former Formula 1 champion Jody Schecktar. With its own on-site butchers, the farm shop provides an outlet for its products, including organic meats, seasonal fruit and veg grown in the walled garden, prize-winning mozzarella, ice cream buffalo milk and beers.
The Wellington Arms Baughurst, Hampshire, RG26 5LP
The personal touch
Lost down lanes in peaceful north Hampshire countryside, this former hunting lodge has been wowing local diners for the past decade thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of owners Jason King and Simon Page, who continue to work wonders with this rural gem. Cosy and characterful sum up the two tastefully decorated dining rooms, where old oak dining tables are topped with individual lamps and candles to create a warm and cosy lived-in feel and a relaxing dining atmosphere. Fabrics and furnishings are stylish and eclectic, with quirky objets d’art, and many cookbooks to peruse. Foodies beat a path to the door for Jason’s daily chalkboard menus, which offer plenty of interest and imagination — roe deer and root vegetable potpie; home-reared rack of Jacob lamb; baked caramel custard. The pub has a beautiful garden, a large herbaceous border & raised vegetable beds. Herbs and vegetables are picked fresh from the pub’s polytunnel, their bees make the honey and eggs are collected from the rare breed chickens that free-range in the field behind the pub. The four fabulous bedrooms are the icing on the cake – supremely comfortable with great attention to detail; one beautifully converted from the old Cart Shed.
Children are very welcome in the pub and smaller portions are available to young diners
Do bring your dog with you – they are most welcome in the bar and overnight in the two barn rooms (£10 per dog per night), where they will find a water bowl, bed and bone
Migrate to teak tables in the huge garden when the sun shines for alfresco drinks and meals amongst the colourful flower borders and the raised beds overflowing with herbs and vegetables in season
The Wellington Arms Baughurst, Hampshire, RG26 5LP
Do not disturb
What’s for Breakfast?
The Wellington Arms Baughurst, Hampshire, RG26 5LP
Mastering the menu
On the menu
(Starters: £6.50-£11; Main Courses: £14-£25; Desserts £6.50-£8.50)
Game terrine, spiced apple chutney, chargrilled sourdough; Lyme Bay scallops wrapped in pancetta, green pea puree, mint & brown butter; mussels steamed in white wine, parsley, shallots & cream
Rack of home-reared Jacob lamb, bashed carrot, parsnip & butternut squash, mint sauce; roast cod, persevered lemon & olive crust, marsh samphire, crushed anya potatoes; whole herb stuffed partridge, sticky red cabbage, potato mash, parsnip crisps
Chocolate squidgy pudding, stem ginger ice cream; elderflower cordial jelly, rhubarb ripple ice cream
Light lunch menu
(2-courses £17; 3 courses £19.50)
Curried parsnip soup; smoked haddock, cod & salmon fishcake, sautéed samphire, tartare sauce; lemon posset with blueberries
Don’t miss the summer Sunday barbecues; perhaps follow hummus, green harissa, cumin and sourdough, or risotto cake stuffed with fontina cheese, with 28-day dry-aged Grange Farm rib-eye steak or chicken breast marinated with lemon zest & oregano, freshly grilled on the BBQ
Time to Eat
Local, local, local
Homemade goodies for sale: sourdough bread daily; marmalade, jam, ketchup, chutney; sloe gin
Home-reared Devon & Cornwall Longwool Sheep; pedigree Tamworth pigs; free-range eggs from rare breed & rescue hens; own beehives producing honey for sale in the bar
Homegrown salads (year round in polytunnel); herbs & vegetables grown in raised beds in the garden
Vegetables not grown at the pub are supplied by Sue & Geoff Fisher of Newbury
Beer – West Berkshire Brewery, Yattendon; Longdog Brewery, Basingstoke
Cider: Tutts Clump Cider, Berkshire
Wine – Caviste Wine Merchants, Overton, Hampshire
Hampshire Vineyards – Hattingly Valley Vineyard, Alresford; Coates & Seely Vineyard, Whitchurch; Hambledon Vineyard, Hambledon
Behind the bar
It may be more a restaurant with rooms than a pub but that doesn’t detract from the quality and range of drinks on offer at the bar. Beer drinkers will find West Berkshire Good Old Boy and a guest beer, perhaps Longdog Bunny Chaser, on tap and there’s a good choice of bottled beers and a premium lager. A chalkboard lists a few interesting cocktails such as chocolate orange espresso martini and Sprtiz Veneziana (Campari, fresh lime & champagne). The wine list favours organic and small producers, notably France, and makes good reading with decent tasting notes, and includes some excellent sherries, an impressive choice of Hampshire sparking wines, 8 wines by the glass, and some fascinating rare French vintages. Homemade elderflower cordial and sloe gin and premium soft drinks from Frobishers, Fever Tree and Fentimans complete the picture.
Time at the bar
Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.
Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – email@example.com.
1 Inn Location - The Wellington Arms
Whether your preference is for traditional best bitter or something stronger, this brewery stocks a range for all tastes, including its Deer Hunter, Ramsbury Gold and also Silver Pig Stout. As part of the Ramsbury Estate, they use barley and water that comes from their own land and offer tours of the brewery.
This wonderful farm shop and butchers offers a wide range of seasonal produce including spring-time gull's eggs and autumn game from local shoots including wild venison from Salisbury Plain.
1 Inn Location - The Wellington Arms
The present theatre is mid-19th century though there has been a mill here since the time of the Doomsday Book. The Watermill is just the place to combine peace and tranquility and a picturesque riverside setting with theatre of the highest calibre. Many major productions have been staged at this prestigious playhouse.
Dating back to the start of the 20th century and used as a POW camp for German prisoners during the First World War, Newbury Racecourse has courses for flat races and over jumps. Long a popular venue for the Royal Family, this is where Her Majesty the Queen celebrated her 86th birthday.
An ideal attraction for plenty of family fun and entertainment, Bucklebury Farm Park is located to the east of Newbury. The farm has lots of animals, play equipment and even a zip wire. You’ll also find a farm shop, café and range of picnic tables.
Weather permitting, you might get a bird’s eye view of West Berkshire and even the stunning landscape that surrounds the Pheasant. There’s no better way to appreciate the beauty of this corner of England than from the basket of a hot-air balloon.
Thruxton Motorsport Centre, near Andover, is the perfect playground for Top Gear petrol heads. This is where you get to drive your dream car on Britain’s fastest race circuit. In addition to circuit driving experiences, there’s 4x4 off-road driving and plenty more opportunity for thrills and adventure.
The Winchester Bookshop, St George's Street SO23 8BG
For lovers of antiquarian and second-hand bookshops, this established shop in Winchester’s St George’s Street offers an excellent selection on a variety of subjects. 01962 855630.
The White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough’s handsome High Street has an excellent selection of books – both bestsellers and lesser-known titles. The shop also stocks a wide range of quality art materials, including Daler-Rowney and Winsor & Newton paints.
An amazing and unique shop specialising in items from the 19th and early 20th century, and an ideal hunting ground for anyone doing up an old house. If you need door furniture or actual doors, coat hooks or stair rods, light fittings or kitchenware, or have an obsession with medical collectables, or old keys, fishing tackle or shop fittings, this place is highly recommended. Everything is beautifully arranged as well.
Vintage, pre-owned designer fashion is the theme at Bertie Golightly in Marlborough’s Kingsbury St. One of the first top designer re-sale boutiques, Bertie’s has an established clientele and items by many top names, including Chanel and Burberry.
If you’ve been to visit Avebury’s ancient stones, don’t leave without visiting the Henge Shop where, as the owners put it, you’ll discover ‘a variety of subjects from the archaeological to the arcane.’ Gold, silver and pewter jewellery, woollen hats and dowsing rods are among the eclectic mix.
This is Newbury’s only independent health food store and here you’ll find organic items, natural remedies and therapies, body care, homeopathy, aromatherapy, and many unusual gifts.
Located in Bridge Street, at the bottom end of Hungerford High Street, White Coco’s sole aim is to offer customers a handpicked, carefully chosen collection of clothes that provide a ‘different’ look. Clothes are stylish, quirky and fun.
A trip to the small Berkshire town of Hungerford is always an enjoyable experience. On your next visit, make time to visit Roxtons, the outdoor clothing expert. You’ll find all manner of gifts and stocking fillers here – including candles, fragrances and tableware.
Bespoke couture hats and headpieces for all occasions can be found at this studio in the picturesque Wiltshire village of Ramsbury.
Places to visit
Dating from 1800 and restored by the Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust, Whitchurch is the oldest silk mill in the country. Weavers work here using 19th-century machinery.
Built for the Queen of Bohemia in the 17th century and remotely situated in windswept downland country near Lambourn in Berkshire, Ashdown House has the look of an elegant dolls' house. The house is small and intimate, with a striking staircase hung with fine 17th-century paintings. Ashdown is tenanted, so check opening times before visiting.
Open all year, Windsor Great Park stretches for an incredible five miles and offers vast stretches of tranquil countryside and parkland in one of the busiest parts of the country. One of the park's best-known landmarks is the Savill Garden, consisting of 35 acres of woodland, magnolias, rhododendrons and herbaceous borders.
Remodelled and virtually rebuilt by Sir Charles Barry in the mid-19th century, Highclere Castle is now one of Britain’s best-known houses, thanks to the international success of the award-winning ITV television series Downton Abbey, whose producers chose much of the interior for filming. A tour of the house and park is a must.
Established in 1991, on the site of one of Europe’s most famous orchid nurseries, this is where you can learn all about the living rainforest environment, as well as the world’s endangered plants and wildlife.
One of the area’s oldest buildings, Shaw House is a prime example of an early symmetrical H-plan Elizabethan mansion. The house was built by a local clothier and visited by Elizabeth I. In the 1940s it became a school, though concerns about the structure led to a £6 million restoration. Shaw House opened its doors to the public in 2008 for the first time in over 400 years.
Probably better known as Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester offers an intriguing insight into the Roman Occupation when this was the site of an important town. Walk between the walls to get a real flavour of community life during this fascinating period.
Built in 1926-27, Sandham is an unusual war memorial. Inside are hugely impressive and ambitious murals by Stanley Spencer, which took six years to complete and are reputed to be the most important series of decorative paintings produced in England in the 20th century. The images represent scenes from the Great War in which Spencer served as an orderly in a military hospital. The chapel is managed by the National Trust.
This is just the place to visit if you like snowdrops. The park is open daily in February when extensive drifts of this delicate little flower create a dazzling picture. The little church of St Gregory has an octagonal spire and a rare round tower. Fans of The Great British Bake Off will recognize this parkland landscape instantly. The BBC series was filmed here.
Perched on cliffs above the Thames near Maidenhead, Cliveden is an Italianate mansion built for the Duke of Sutherland in 1850-51. The house was once the home of the Astor family. The Profumo scandal, which rocked the government and sparked frenzied gossip in society circles, was played out here in the early 1960s. Cliveden is now a hotel but parts of the house are open to the public at certain times.
Though small, Berkshire benefits from some very varied landscape – much of it ideal for walking. The western half offers the best scenery – a mix of classic English countryside and vast swathes of chalk downland. The Ridgeway long-distance trail is probably the most obvious choice for an invigorating hike over the downs. Elsewhere, there are many miles of footpaths and bridleways and sections of the Thames and Kennet & Avon towpaths to enjoy.
Study the Hampshire and Berkshire cycle maps and you’ll find a huge range of routes. The Lambourn and Kennet valleys are perfect for cycling as are the tracks, lanes and bridleways of the county’s remote south-west corner. Many of these routes offer grand views and miles of solitude.
There’s plenty of choice in North Hampshire and Berkshire, with festivals and events to suit everyone. Among the annual fixtures is the Newbury Spring Festival (May), held at different venues in and around the town, and the Hungerford & District Community Arts Festival staged in July. Autumn also sees some big events, with the Royal County Show at Newbury Showground, the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse and the Victorian Extravaganza in Hungerford.
Location, Location, Location
By Road: From A4 between Reading and Newbury take A340 to Aldermaston and Tadley then follow signs to Baughurst. From A339 between Basingstoke and Newbury turn right along Baughurst Road before Kingsclere to reach the pub
By Train: Nearest station is Basingstoke (40 minutes from London Waterloo) and Baughurst is 15 minutes by taxi
Baughurst Road, Baughurst, Hampshire, RG26 5LP