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Hidden away in rolling downland on the edge of Salisbury Plain in the sleepy village of East Chisenbury is this charming 18th-century thatched free house. Despite its rustic exterior and rural setting, the Red Lion Freehouse is much more than just a local pub.

Accomplished chef-owners Guy & Brittany Manning have transformed the pub into a culinary oasis deep in the Wiltshire countryside, their dedication, focus and hard work being rewarded with various acclaim from top restaurant guides. The humble, traditional surroundings and the informal pub atmosphere contrasts beautifully with the quality of the cooking and the impressive menu.

Foodies keen to delve deeper into the wine list or explore the excellent collection of hand-picked spirits can stay overnight in one of the beautiful bedrooms located in a converted riverside bungalow just down the lane. Relax in the peaceful raised rear garden, level with the sloping thatch of the pub and beside Guy's kitchen garden, and in the company of West Berkshire pigs.

Rooms from

5 doubles: £195

Good to know

  • Amex not accepted, Visa / Maestro / Mastercard all accepted
  • Disabled access
  • Alfresco & private dining
  • Parking available
  • Dog stay: Free

Dogs are very welcome in the bar and overnight (no charge) in Manser Room.

Quiet romance
With sublime cooking and wonderful snug rooms, the Red Lion is a ideal spot for a romantic weekend away.

Outdoor adventures
Close to some of south England's most spectacular scenery, there's plenty of pastoral beauty in the local area for keen walkers and cyclists.

Fine dining
The chefs here imbue precise, cutting-edge cooking to their simple, rustic menu; recognised by both Michelin and the AA.


Stay in the impressive Troutbeck Guesthouse with five gorgeous double bedrooms - it's just a short stroll from the pub and set beside the River Avon. Rooms ooze style, comfort, quality and attention to detail.

Beds are the best from Somnus, all topped with Egyptian cotton, goose down and gorgeous throws and cushions, the individual furnishings supplied by Indigo Antiques in nearby Mannington Bruce. Smart tiled bathrooms have under floor heating, rain showers and fluffy robes. The Benjamin room has a roll-top Albion bath, the perfect place to sip champagne and savour the valley view.

There are stunning views of the crystal clear River Avon, replete with dabbling ducks and weeping willows, and across water meadows to pretty cottages. Either laze in bed and soak up the serene view, or enjoy a morning cuppa on your own private deck on sunny summer mornings. Breakfast is a decadent affair with hand-made Vienoisserie and a fabulous a la carte menu, including long-time favourites like the eggs Benedict..

Restaurant & bar

Honing their culinary skills in some of the world's top kitchens, chef-patrons Guy & Brittany Manning imbue precise cutting-edge cooking to their simple, rustic menu.

From the lime cordial to the sourdough loaves, everything is made in-house with a real passion for sourcing the best local ingredients that influence dishes on the ever-changing daily menus - warm Cornish crab tart with dressed leaf salad; braised Jacob's ladder with potato and wild garlic rösti, creamed spinach and horseradish; almond pannacotta with roasted pineapple, almond praline and raspberry. If you're staying at the inn and plan to head out walking for the day, a delicious packed lunch can be prepared for you.

The bar and cellar may be small, but the selection of drinks packs a punch with an eclectic range of hand-picked whisky, digestifs and boutique spirits, plus a raft of interesting cocktails chalked up on the blackboard. Two hand pumps pull quality ale from Wiltshire micro-breweries, and the style-driven, 40-bin wine list offers some great value drinking (21 by the glass).

Private dining

The upstairs private dining room is a fabulous space with rich colour, leather chairs and a table seating 12. It's perfect for an intimate family celebratory menu, a business meeting, or a post-shoot dinner. With a window into the upstairs kitchen and a full wall made of glass, you can have a bit of privacy but still feel like a part of the action, as the team pass and prep around you.

Things to do

The World Heritage Site of Stonehenge is not to be missed, at least 5,000 years old and the most famous prehistoric monument in Britain. No one knows its exact purpose or how the smaller bluestones were brought here from Pembrokeshire. From every angle Stonehenge looks stunning but especially from a distance when the ancient stones blend into the timeless downland setting. Highly recommended!

The Red Lion is a stone's throw from some of the south of England's most spectacular scenery. Renowned for the pastoral beauty of the Vale of Pewsey and bisected by meandering rivers and waterways, this part of Wiltshire is an ideal walking spot. The Marlborough Downs, too, are just the place to go for fresh air and exercise and they also serve as a window to our past, a monument to prehistory.

Dedicated anglers should head to Manningford Trout Fishery, set in the heart of the Pewsey Vale. Fed by the tranquil waters of the Hampshire Avon, it also benefits from a fly-fishing school. Equipment is also available to hire.

Getting here


Nearest train station: Pewsey
Taxi from station: 14min
Drive: Devizes 23min; Salisbury 35min


The Red Lion, East Chisenbury, Pewsey, Wiltshire SN9 6AQ

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