Rustic pub comfort meets country house glamour at The Rising Sun Inn, a must-visit at the base of the Quantock Hills, discovers Kathryn Lewis
The village of West Bagborough almost lost its much-loved local when a fire engulfed the 16th century building in 2000. But The Rising Sun rose from the ashes and with a new mother and daughter duo at the helm, it’s once again a beacon of fabulous food, fine wine and rural charm.
VISIT for the best pâté this side of the English Channel. Insanely silky and unashamedly sinful when generously slathered on toasted homemade bread, this delight of Cumberland glazed duck finished with a game-changing layer of sticky orange sets the scene for an indulgent evening at the inn.
Head chef Mike Griffiths doesn’t just play it safe with his bill of killer classics, however. West Country lamb – supplied by farmer Keith a couple of hundred metres down the road – is seared, soyed and paired with fondant potato, pak choi and dribbled with fragrant jus, while desserts such as green apple pannacotta are embellished with cinnamon biscuits and cider and lavender scented syrup.
DON’T VISIT for a light lunch. The food may be refined but the portions still cater to the country crowd filling the oak-beamed, flagstone floored restaurant.
WE LIKED waking next morning to the sound of hooves trotting past the window, following a night in one of the smart rooms above the inn.
We were also intrigued by the homage – paid in the bedrooms, sleek restaurant and rustic bar – to the village’s long hunting history.
INSIDER’S TIP The antler-adorned private dining room is a cosy hidey-hole for your next greedy family gathering.
What we ate (dinner)
Starter Cumberland glazed duck pâté, orange gel, toast
Main Panfried hake, chorizo, artichokes
Pud Warm almond and pear tart, black cherry and kirsch puree, chocolate sauce and Disaronno ice cream
3 courses from £22
B&B from £79