The Compasses Inn

With its thatched roof, wonky dark oak beams, ancient flagstones, high-backed settle benches and blazing fire in an inglenook hearth, the 14th century Compasses Inn serves up a slice of history with its excellent local ales.

Add in the fact that it sits deep in a maze of narrow lanes carving through rolling Wiltshire countryside and past picture postcard perfect villages, and it becomes exactly the kind of place you’d take an American visitor thirsty for that quintessential English country pub experience.

The constantly changing menu relies heavily on seasonal ingredients, and there are fantastic local ales and a good choice of wines.

Sit by the fire and snaffle up the delicious crispy chilli squid or a warm Scotch egg from the bar snacks menu, or settle down for a hearty meal in the flickering candlelight.

You’ll find starters like red lentil, tomato and harissa soup or chicken liver and pork terrine with cornichons, pickled red onions and toast. Then try the butter pheasant masala with jeera rice, or perhaps a perfectly grilled beefburger with Ogleshield cheese and chips. There’s plenty of meat-free choice, too, with roasted butternut squash, herb couscous and date syrup dressing, or tasty Kosheri with spiced tomato sauce and cucumber yoghurt.

Outside old

Traditional English puds with a modern twist include sticky apricot, date and walnut pudding with clotted cream, rice pudding with chocolate and amaretto sorbet, Bakewell tart, and hot chocolate pudding.

If you can’t face navigating your way back through those narrow lanes, there are four stylish rooms above the inn and the three-bed Plum Cottage in the grounds.

The Compasses is dog-friendly, too, so you can take a long walk through the beautiful countryside to the banks of the River Nadder. And when you get back, you can enjoy another glass of local ale at the bar, while the dog collapses on the warm old flagstones to toast its toes by the fire.

Find out more on their website.