We visited a Wiltshire pub, plus a lot more.
Looking for a late summer break somewhere a little different? Take yourself south from Birmingham via the three Cs – Cheltenham, Cirencester and Chippenham – and you’ll be exploring the Wiltshire countryside. Beautifully located between Stonehenge, Avebury and the medieval village of Lacock, you’ll find the Three Daggers. To call this former wool barn a pub with rooms would be a grave understatement, as there is way more on offer here.
The Three Daggers is situated in Edington on the edge of Salisbury Plain, complete with a village common and a chalk white horse carved into the hill at Westbury. The pub itself – AA Pub of the Year 2019-20 is just one of its numerous awards – carries brews from its own brewery. There’s a magnificent fireplace to warm the winter months and plenty of pretty outside space to enjoy in the summer.
Then there’s the accommodation. If I ask you to imagine English country house crossed with boutique chic, you’ll catch the vibe. The three bedrooms – and also a holiday cottage – are full of elegant decor choices, plus all the amenities you’d expect for a comfortable stay. And let’s just linger for a moment on the beds, the waterfall showers, claw foot baths and Neal’s Yard toiletries, all designed to induce the sleep you’ve been imagining for many weeks.
Stay in the rooms at the Inn, and you also have access to a well thought-out room under the original cruck beams. Here you’ll find sofas calling out for a slump with the provided mini-library, a dining table to catch up on work if needed (great wifi as well). Turn around and there’s a complete kitchen, with everything from a choice of four coffees, six teas, loaves of crusty bread, local jams and marmalade, biscuits, fruit, cereals and even eggs. And if hunger should strike in the middle of the night, you’ll be well served for a midnight feast. And it would be a fantastic idea if you need to make an early start.
The kitchen may be rendered a little unnecessary by the fact that you will be overly well fed during your time at the Three Daggers. With a menu large enough to offer plenty of choice and small enough to be focused, we found plenty of temptations.
From the main menu came tartare of trout with fillet of hake and squid risotto to follow. There was little left of either, save for a few inky tracings in a big white bowl. From the exceptional and bargainous set menu, we picked a pork belly salad, full of crispy delights, a salad rich in fennel and soft chunks of medlar jelly.
The only complaint came from my husband, who was disgruntled to find that he was offered just a tiny taste from my plate. It was chilly when we visited, and braised shin of beef with salsa verde, kale and mash was epically delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I cast shame aside and asked for a spoon to scoop up all the remaining goodness. From murmurs of pleasure at the next table, they were having just as good a gastronomic time as we were.
Chocolate sorbet and sticky toffee pudding finished our meal. “There’s always a sticky toffee pudding per table,” was the comment as we placed our order. And we could see why. We relocated a couple of feet away to chat in the comfort of the bar to complete our evening with beers from the Three Daggers’ own brewery – we chose Dagger’s Edge, a 4.7% best bitter with a citrus aroma and a sumptuous catamel taste..
Breakfast is served in the conservatory. Surrounded by daffodils bathing in sunshine, we took our time over the extensive buffet options. Bread, butter, preserves, charcuterie and cheese also feature in the on-site farm shop. I took careful note of my favourites before shopping later. There is a range of cooked breakfast offerings – all of which sounded delicious – but I finally escaped the come-hither looks of the Full Wiltshire and opted for huevos rancheros.
The salsa was tangy and chunky, the avocado creamy, and the eggs just runny enough. Should any of your party have food allergies, you’ll dine both well and safely here; this coeliac (also and awkwardly allergic to milk) found herself with a great set of choices for both dinner and breakfast. Vegans and veggies would also find themselves with plenty of temptations.
We explored the farm shop before we left, and found it well stocked with many deli items along with produce and preserves, gifts and even a coffee shop. In fact, your willpower may desert you completely when faced with an epic counter of baked goods. I stuck to jam, pickle and a candle. There’s also the chance to see the brewery. Don’t forget to book upfront if you want to try out the spa. We didn’t have time to fit in a visit this trip. That may have been just as well, as any more relaxation would have caused me to neglect my co-piloting tasks for the journey home.
We stayed as guests of The Three Daggers, Edington, Wiltshire. Our opinions are, as always, our own. Our visit took place before lockdown – please contact the Three Daggers for any change to their regular service.