The best places to eat, stay, shop and visit in the South West

The Kingsdon Inn, Kingsdon

Jo Rees discovered a gourmet getaway with a dash of Italian charm tucked away in a bucolic Somerset village

The very existence of The Kingsdon Inn is probably unknown to most, hidden away as it is in a tiny village surrounded by miles of rolling Somerset farmland – yet close to Yeovil and Glastonbury. But it’s a great favourite with the locals and those in the know, so consider this an insider’s tip-off.

To squeeze every drop of deliciousness from your visit, swing by early and take an aperitif in the sunny front garden. And don’t miss the opportunity to pair your pick from the bar with chef patron Adam Cain’s homemade root vegetable crisps and hot-from-the- oven breads with Pugliese extra virgin olive oil.

If you’re booking in advance (recommended), table seven is the hot fave. You’re basically sitting where the pub’s big old range would once have been (the bread oven is still in the wall). The intimate booth-like space provides an unbeatable view of everyone else’s dishes being served, which is useful when trying to decide what to plump for from a hard-to-choose-from menu.

The food’s good across the board though and, other than suggesting a stay in one of the three beautifully appointed bedrooms, you won’t need any more tips from us to guarantee a good time.

VISIT for high quality cooking, sans-fuss, from a chef who knows what he’s doing. Adam has worked at high end restaurants and hotels across the world, including heading up swanky Ston Easton Park Hotel, so while the style of food is relaxed, everything is thoroughly on point.

DON’T VISIT with expectations of ham, egg and chips or banana splits – this is elevated cooking in a pub setting.

WE LIKE the lively Italian energy Adam’s other half, Cinzia, brings front-of-house at The Kingsdon Inn. Coincidentally, gazing from the bedrooms across terracotta tiled roofs to countryside as far as the eye can see is reminiscent of Tuscany. With an Italian influence also permeating the menu (boar bolognaise with pappardelle and black truffle oil; cashew nut ricotta with fresh fig salad and blood orange) this could be the perfect spot for a continental break – without the fag of flying.

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