Off the beaten track, on the side of a wooded valley in the village of Wambrook, on the edge of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, near Chard, The Cotley Inn is truly one of Somerset’s hidden gems. 2022 has been a good year; they were named as an Estrella Damm Top 100 Gastropub, were awarded a 1 AA Rosette for culinary excellence, and were Visit England’s Pub of the Year. Meet your new favourite pub…
Originally a farmhouse dating back to the 17th century, The Cotley Inn is the village pub – reclaimed wood floors, mismatched wooden tables, chairs, wood burners, Scrabble, skittles – as popular with the locals as it is with others from further afield who come for the great food, atmos and warm welcome. Owners Ben and Maddie were born in the area but worked in the Canadian Rockies so add a touch of that famous North American hospitality (as well as a Moose called Randy).
Cosy inside, with loads of seating outside on the south facing terrace and in the large gardens, with a little wooded area and pond, with croquet, BBQs, firepits and toasted marshmallows in the summer.
The menu, celebrating the land and the ‘farm to fork’ ethos, is seasonal and super locally sourced (lambs and cows grazing on the hillside opposite, veg and herbs from their own kitchen garden) with an emphasis on game in the winter months. Expect pub classics and more. There’s always a veggie option but vegans should phone ahead.
The local emphasis extends to much of the booze, too, with cask ales brewed within 50 miles of the pub, five ciders on tap and some unusual bottled ciders and local spirits and wines.
Grade II listed former stables have been converted into four ensuite bed & breakfast rooms (two of them dog-friendly), complete with kingsized/double beds, goosedown feather duvets and Egyptian cotton sheets, Nespresso machines, WIFI, smart TVs and Somerset toiletries. Nice.
Walks, walks and more walks in the glorious Blackdown Hills. The pub can supply you with maps and info.
At a glance
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The Cotley Inn, Wambrook, Chard, Somerset TA20 3EN
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