A long time in the planning due to everybody’s busy schedules, we finally made it to the Lord Poulett Arms in the picturesque Somerset village of Hinton St George. I had booked a table for 4 for lunch at this award-winning 17th-century inn. Recently taken over by new owners I was eager to see if any improvements or changes had been made since my last visit a year or more ago.
We arrived on a busy Thursday lunch service and were shown to our table in the restaurant. The dining area is far from stuffy. Large rustic wooden tables, fireplaces and candles set the tone of the place whilst white table linen and silver flatware adds a simple elegance. I love the decor. It is simple but retains the elegance you would expect from an award-winning gastropub.
We were handed our menus to make our choices and drinks orders were taken. Steve and Tim opting for Butcombe blonde, Serena a glass of Italian Pinot Grigio and myself a Chardonnay. The wine selection by the glass was a little disappointing and generic. I would have expected a little more from a venue like this. Once again, as in many places I visit, there was no English wine choice. I find this difficult to digest when the provenance and locality of the produce on the menu is a big selling point. We have so many wonderful vineyards in the south-west creating award-winning wines. I feel more should be made to promote them. This being said, I do understand that restaurants, bars and pubs have to cater for their clientele but given the choice, I would choose an English (white or sparkling) wine over any other.
Drinks delivered and food orders taken, we sat back, chatted and took in our gorgeous surroundings. The restaurant was busy with a diverse selection of diners. Family groups like ours, older couples, ladies who lunch drinking their Prosecco and groups of friends catching up over drinks.
I decided not to have a starter but my companions all went for the Lord Poulett pub platter. A wooden board covered in delightfully moorish snacks. A selection of pork crackling and apple sauce, blue cheese risotto balls, crisps, nuts, pickles etc which were perfect posh bar snacks. A great way to start our lunch. Most tables around us seemed to be sampling this as a starter too. It really was a popular choice with the diners.
My main course was the only vegetarian dish on the menu. Crispy courgette flowers stuffed with cream cheese and chilli. Served with salad leaves and a tomato tartare. A beautiful and well thought out dish although there was no flavour from the chilli at all.
Serena, Tim and Steve all chose from the pub menu. Serena opted for the confit duck leg with salad leaves and summer vegetables and the boys went for the fish and chips with mushy peas and homemade tartare sauce. We ordered an extra portion of triple cooked chips for the table too as a side dish for Serena and myself.
Everybody raved about their choices and I must say everything that came out from the kitchen looked very tasty indeed. The portions were generous and the presentation was well thought out.
To finish our lunch experience we decided to take dessert in the beautiful walled garden. A real selling point for the pub. In fine weather, you really would struggle to find a nicer pub garden anywhere. French style garden furniture sit amongst raised beds, fruit trees and a boules court. It really does feel like you might be in the south of France somewhere. Especially with the sun beating down on us as it was. I was full from my main course but as a group, we decided on sharing a cheese plate and Serena fancied the affogato.
I ordered an Aperol Spritz which was rather disappointing to say the least. I mentioned this on paying and it was promptly taken off the bill which I was thankful for. Honey the pub cat joined us in the garden which made a group of cat lovers very happy indeed. She watched us play a game of boules which I am pleased to say I was the winner!
Service at the Lord Poulett Arms is slow but that didn’t spoil our enjoyment. We arrived just after 1.15pm and left at around 5pm. We were aware that the pub had recently been taken over so we were ready for this to potentially happen. Thankfully we had no time restraints on us so we were able to relax between courses.
From what I remember from a couple of previous visits nothing much has changed. The interior seems similar in decor and the quality and style of the food remains the same. We all enjoyed our afternoon at the Lord Poulett Arms and would happily return.
You will find the Lord Poulett Arms, at High St, Hinton Saint George TA17 8SE.
Telephone: 01460 73149
Disclaimer: I visited the Lord Poulett Arms under my own steam with my family and friends. I was not asked to visit or paid to write a post.