The George & Dragon

Pub with rooms in Rowde, Wiltshire

From £75 per night

Curator's notes:

  • Unassuming; 16th-century interior
  • Rustic, timeless timbered bar
  • Famous for excellent fish & seafood
  • Quirky, funky upstairs bedrooms
  • Great terrace with wood-burner
Book a room

Speak to us on +44 (0)20 8161 0100

Overview

In truth, the plain, cream pebble-dashed façade of the George and Dragon may not set the heart racing with anticipation as it looks like just another roadside boozer. Things improve at the back, where there is a delightful summer terrace and tucked away garden with the higgledy-piggledy nature of the building indicating great age and character.

Step inside the rustic bar, however, and you are transported back to 1645, to a world of wooden floors, simple benches and farmhouse chairs, old school tables and a log fire blazing on the hearth in the impressive stone fireplace. Equally unfussy is the black and white timbered dining room, decorated with pictures and displays of homemade chutneys, leaving the food to take rightful centre stage.

It's been famous for fresh and beautifully cooked fish and seafood for many years and the three quirky upstairs bedrooms provide offer style and comfort, and a great base for exploring the Caen Hills Locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal. The ebullient and much loved owner Chris 'Chippy' Day ensures the place ticks along like clockwork.

Rooms from

3 doubles: £75

Good to know

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco & private dining
  • Parking
  • Dog stay: £

Alfresco

There's a super shaded rear terrace replete with posh tables and chairs and wood burning stove, which is fired up every evening and beyond you'll find a secluded garden with benches and two wooden rocking chairs with views of the village church.

Kennet & Avon Canal

Take a stroll along the Kennet & Avon Canal at Caen Hill, one of the longest continuous flight of locks in the country - a total of 29 locks with a rise of 237 feet over 2 miles with a 1 in 44 gradient.

Rooms

Wonky floors, wood panelling and wall timbers are prominent in three quirky and very individual bedrooms - all have been spruced up by Tina Foster from Mushroom London.

Think funky wall coverings, loads of cushions, plasma screens, feature fireplaces, White Company goose down duvets on big beds, I-pod clock radios, and Cow Shed toiletries and fluffy white bathrobes in gleaming tiled bathrooms.

Room 1 has a French wooden bed and Room 3 has a day bed and an old claw-foot bath in the bedroom. Continental breakfast is included in the room price but there's a full breakfast menu to choose from as well. Plans are in place to add two more rooms in late 2020 - watch this space.

Restaurant & bar

Fish is the speciality. It is delivered daily from Cornwall and the ever-changing chalkboard menu has been wowing landlocked Wiltshire diners for years, with starter dishes ranging from dressed crab and spicy fishcakes with lemon mayonnaise to half a dozen oysters served natural or grilled Kilpatrick style (with bacon and Worcester sauce).

Straightforward grills, say whole Dover sole, skate wing with caper butter and whole Cornish lobster, are mixed with more enterprising ideas, such as roast monkfish with curried chickpea risotto. Why not splash out on the renowned seafood platter. If you don't fancy fish and red meat is more to your taste, then you may find rack of lamb with garlic mash, green beans and red wine jus among the main courses.

The short list of simple, traditional puddings might include blueberry Eton mess. The set Sunday lunch (served until 4pm) is excellent value and, to drink, you'll find local Butcombe ale on tap and a raft of wines by the glass.

Things to do

Located just outside Melksham, Great Chalfield Manor & Garden is a moated medieval manor with oriel windows and rooftops adorned with striking statues of soldiers, griffins and monkeys. Aside from the house, there are colourful gardens, a spring-fed fishpond and a gatehouse.

The picturesque Saxon village of Lacock 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.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest railway station: Chippenham

Taxi from station: 18mins

Drive: Devizes 7min; Swindon 39min; Salisbury 49min; Bath 40min

Address

Rowde, Devizes, Wiltshire SP10 2PN

Prices & availability