The Methuen Arms Pub with rooms in Corsham, Wiltshire

Prices from:
£140 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Georgian facade hiding historic interior
  • Timeless bar; rustic chic dining areas
  • Gorgeous rooms with big bathrooms
  • Exciting modern cooking
  • Delicious sandwiches
  • Butcombe Brewery’s flagship inn

Sticky FingersCandlelitVisit a Stately Pile15 Minutes from the Motorway

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Overview

The Methuen Arms Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 0HB

The personal touch

Positioned at the head of the High Street, the three-storey former coaching inn backs onto Corsham Court, the home of the Methuen family, and was built around the remains of a 14th-century nunnery before being converted into an inn in 1608. The impressive Georgian façade hides a stunning interior, which has been brought back to life with dedication and passion in 2010. Now the social hub of the town, with a cracking traditional tap bar, the inn rambles tardis-like back through a succession of informal dining rooms, where you’ll find rugs on old stone and board floors, stone fireplaces with crackling log fires, old Corsham photos and big paintings on warm Farrow & Ball grey and deep red walls, cushioned pew benches, and flickering candles on scrubbed tables. The whole place has a cosy, lived-in feel and oozes atmosphere. Butcombe Brewery bought this grand old inn in late 2016 and plan few changes, other than a gentle refurbishment throughout – it will be their flagship inn.

Sticky fingers

A big welcome is made to children; they have their own monthly menu (pasta carbonara; fish & chips; apple crumble and ice cream); and cots (£10) and Z-beds (£15) are available for the rooms.

Muddy paws

Dogs are welcome in the bar but not in the dining room or bedrooms.

Alfresco

To the rear of the inn there’s a sheltered and peaceful box-edged terrace with teak tables and chairs and posh cream brollies.

What’s the Damage?

14 doubles: £140-£175; family suite £220-£240

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to the dining room only

Gongs

AA 5 Star Inn

Sleep

The Methuen Arms Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 0HB

Do not disturb

A grand sweeping staircase in the Georgian hallway leads upstairs to the 14 comfortable, boutique-style bedrooms, which are set over two floors, with those located in the former nunnery featuring stone fireplaces, uneven floors and thick beams. All have big beds with colourful headboards, crisp Egyptian cotton linen, feather duvets and pillows, bright throws, relaxing upholstered or leather armchairs, antique furnishings, fat lamps, and rugs on cord carpet. Welcome detail touches, like Debbie’s posh bathroom smellies, fresh coffee and home-made biscuits, a fully-stocked mini-bar, and swish bathrooms, the best with vast showers and deep tubs, complete the picture. Renovation work is soon to start on the two stone barns by the car park and these will feature more rooms, including some larger suites. Watch this space…!

Creature comforts

Still bathroom products; Mini-bar; Fresh coffee; Roll top tubs and walk-in showers in best rooms.

Gadgets

Roberts radio; Free wi-fi; flatscreen TV/DVD.

What’s for Breakfast?

Freshly squeezed orange juice; homemade granola; fresh fruit salad; pastries, croissants & muffins; full English breakfast; smoked salmon and scrambled egg.

What’s the Damage?

14 doubles: £140-£175; family suite £220-£240

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to the dining room only

Gongs

AA 5 Star Inn

Eat & Drink

The Methuen Arms Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 0HB

Mastering the menu

The kitchen delivers competent modern British/European cooking and exciting dishes on enticing seasonal menus. Vegetables and top-notch meats are sourced from local farms, the sourdough bread is home made (served with Netherend Farm salted butter), as are the ice creams, and cheeses come from local artisan producers. The monthly set menu is a steal and the lunchtime sandwiches are delicious – pheasant schnitzel ciabatta, wild rocket, garlic aioli, parmesan, or haddock fish finger bap, gem lettuce, chilli relish (£8). The stone walled restaurant will soon be refurbished and extended to include a conservatory dining area and the atmosphere will be more informal.

On the menu

Monthly set menu (2 courses £17.50; 3 courses £21.50) offers choice of 3 dishes at each course and is served at lunchtime and early evenings (6pm-7.30pm)
Ham hock ballotine, leek vinaigrette
Pan-fried plaice, chargrilled vegetables, salsa verde
Warm plum & hazelnut cake, Somerset clotted cream

Seasonal menu
Sautéed prawns with chilli, garlic and parsley on chargrilled sourdough
Hake, shellfish broth, cockles, saffron potatoes, fennel, tomato & oregano
Ashdale beef fillet, potato rösti, spinach, horseradish butter
Yorkshire rhubarb Eton mess, caramelised pistachios, filo tuile
Baked lemon cheesecake, spiced blackberries, blood orange sorbet

Foodie Extras

Open for breakfast (non-residents from 7am); private dining in the Methuen Room (14 people)

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 7am – 11am
Morning Coffee: 8.30am – 12 noon
Lunch: 12 noon – 3pm
Afternoon tea: 3.30pm – 5.30pm
Dinner: 6pm – 9.30pm

Local, local, local

Vegetables – Lowden Farm Shop & Nursery (www.lowdengardencentre.com)
Beef – Ashdale Farm, Bath
Saddleback pork – Hill House Farm, Box
Bath Ales, Bristol (www.bathales.com)

Behind the bar

The old inn may have been spruced the place up but, thankfully, the original layout downstairs remains unchanged and the traditional front snug bar retains its timeless atmosphere – rugs on boards, open fire, antique tables, and a proper central bar servery that delivers pints of local Bath and Moles ales, boutique Chase gins, and 17 wines by the glass.

Bar snacks

Marinated olives
Foccacia, olive tapenade, pesto
Haddock goujons, tartare
Purple sprouting tempura, anchovy sauce

Time at the bar

11am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?

14 doubles: £140-£175; family suite £220-£240

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to the dining room only

Gongs

AA 5 Star Inn

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Methuen Arms

2

The Bertinet Kitchen, 12 St Andrew's Terrace, Bath BA1 2QR

Owned and run by French chef and baker, Richard Bertinet, The Bertinet Kitchen opened in September 2005 in the centre of Bath and offers a range of bakery courses for amateurs and professionals alike. The Bertinet Bakery also has three shops and cafes in Bath selling the bread and pastries, which also appear on the menu at Timbrell's Yard.

3

Lowden Garden Centre, Farm Shop and Cafe, Shaw SN12 8EZ

Named as one of the top five garden restaurants in the UK by the Financial Times and winner of several awards, this nursery and farm shop supplies much of the vegetables for the kitchen at the Methuen Arms and it has its own butchery, which holds regular workshops and classes.

4

Wadworth Brewery Tours, Devizes SN10 1JW

Right in the heart of the Wiltshire town of Devizes, Wadworth is famous for its Victorian tower brewery. The guided 'brewery experience' tour lasts for about 2 hours and afterwards you can sample a selection of the hand-crafted ales.

6

Bath Farmers Market, Green Park BA1 1JB

Established in 1997, this was one of the very first farmers' markets to be set up in the UK and it's still going strong every Saturday. Close to the city centre and railway station, it features dozens of local producers selling a range of products, from meat and vegetables to cakes and preserves.

8

Hartley Farm Shop & Cafe, Winsley BA15 2JB

The Bowles family has been farming the area for five generations dating back to the late parts of the nineteenth century. The farm shop has been open since 2008 and it sells predominantly produce from the farm including beef, pork, fruit, vegetables, honey and free-range eggs. Excellent coffee and cream teas are served in the on-site cafe.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Methuen Arms

Activities

2

Lydiard Park, Lydiard Tregoze SN5 3PA

On the western outskirts of Swindon, and set in 260 acres of superb historic parkland, Lydiard Park is just the place for a BBQ or picnic. There's also plenty of fun to be had at Jungle Parc where there's an exciting high-wire, tree-top adventure centre.

12

Swindon & Cricklade Railway, Blunsdon St Andrew SN25 2DA

This is the perfect destination if you enjoy nostalgic train journeys from a bygone era. Based at Blunsdon St Andrew, near Swindon, this very popular visitor attraction operates at weekends and on special days. Arrangements can be made for private parties.

Shopping

8

Broad Street Jazz, 27 Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LW

This specialist record shop in the centre of Bath's renowned shopping quarter stocks a wide range of jazz on CD, DVD and Vinyl. All tastes are catered for - from New Orleans to Bebop.

9

Atmosphere Bath, 19 Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LN

The choice at Atmosphere Bath in the city's Broad Street doesn't stay the same for long - one of the reasons its customers return again and again. Expect high-quality printed and woven French and Belgian fabrics on the roll, cushions, blinds and upholstery, plus friendly and professional advice.

10

Vintage to Vogue, Milsom Street, Bath BA1 1DG

In Bath's Milsom Street, step back to the glamorous world of 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s fashion with a choice of stylish men and women's vintage clothing. There are also contemporary classics and quirky, individual pieces of vintage china, glass, clocks and homeware.

11

Corsham SN13 0EZ

Renowned for its array of independent shops, Corsham is just the place to browse, relax with a coffee or linger over lunch. The town's charming streets are lined with all manner of individual retailers where you'll find everything from flowers to fashion.

13

Lorfords, 30 Long Street, Tetbury GL8 8AQ

Situated in picturesque Tetbury on the edge of the Cotswolds, Lorfords is the place to go for decorative European antiques from the 18th century through to the 20th century. Discerning private buyers, antique dealers and interior designers are key to the business's established clientele.

Places to visit

3

Corsham Court SN13 0BZ

This Elizabethan mansion in the Wiltshire town of Corsham dates from 1582 and was used as one of the locations for the film The Remains of the Day, starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. The house and gardens are open to the public.

4

Bowood House and Gardens, Calne SN11 9PQ

Bowood House lies within easy reach of Corsham, Chippenham and Calne. As well as the house, which includes collections of heirlooms, porcelain and paintings, there are pretty terraced gardens and a lake. Expect, too, a gift shop, garden centre, licensed restaurant and tea room.

5

Lacock SN15 2LG

This picturesque Saxon village has changed little since the Middle Ages. Preserved by the National Trust, Lacock's stone cottages and narrow streets are regularly visited by film and television crews and looking round, you can understand why. Harry Potter and Cranford have been filmed here, among many familiar productions and adaptations. While in the village, take a look at Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot Museum of photography.

6

Castle Combe SN14 7HU

Voted the prettiest village in England in 1962, it's not surprising that Castle Combe is one of the region's most popular attractions. At one time the village, set in a snug valley, was an important weaving community dotted with fulling mills. Expect an assortment of handsome houses and chocolate-box cottages.

Walking

www.walkinginwiltshire.org.uk
www.visitwiltshire.co.uk
www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk
You don’t have to venture far to find a good walk. A short stroll from the Methuen Arms is Corsham Park, with its pleasing acres and lake views. Not far away are very enjoyable walks on the Marlborough Downs and along the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal. North of Corsham and the M4, it’s not long before you are surrounded by the rolling hills and secluded valleys of the Cotswolds. In this charming corner of the country you can enjoy everything from an undemanding circular walk to a stretch of one of the region’s long-distance trails – the Macmillan Way, the Cotswold Way and the Monarch’s Way among them.

Cycling

www.connectingwiltshire.co.uk
Take a peek at this very informative website and you’ll be amazed at the scale of information and the choice of maps and routes. The countryside around Corsham and neighbouring Box is great for cycling – a mixture of level terrain and dramatic landscape characterised by glorious views, dry-stone walls, rolling fields and stone cottages. Not too far away are the soft, green hills of the southern Cotswolds, another great playground for cyclists.

Events

www.corsham.gov.uk
www.visitbath.co.uk
Corsham Walking Festival in June offers a good selection of local excursions to fascinating sites and historic landmarks. The festival coincides with the town’s Pound Arts Summer Festival. For an impressive range of dates and events, head west to Bath. There’s usually so much going on in the city throughout the year, it’s difficult to know what to choose. March sees the Bath Literature Festival, then in May and June it’s the turn of the annual Fringe Festival and in September the city stages the Jane Austen Festival – just a taste of Bath’s busy social calendar.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Centre of Corsham; at the junction of the High Street and B3353 Melksham road.

Address:

2 High Street,, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 0HB

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