Fit for a King
PUBLISHED: 12:37 28 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:33 20 February 2013
Renowned for a friendly welcome, superb locally sourced food and fine wines, the stylish King John Inn is fast becoming a foodie and weekend break favourite to those in the know.
Fit for a King
The King John Inn in Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, SP5 5PS
Renowned for a friendly welcome, superb locally sourced food and fine wines, the stylish King John Inn is fast becoming a foodie and weekend break favourite to those in the know. Situated in the idyllic village of Tollard Royal in the heart of Cranborne Chase on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, the inn is named after one of King John's hunting lodges. This original Victorian building was opened in 1859 and was later rescued from near dereliction in 2008 by landlords Alexander and Gretchen Boon, who are a wine merchant and interior designer, respectively.
The Boons have successfully transformed the once dilapidated inn into a sophisticated yet unpretentious country pub boasting 8 stylish double rooms, which the Telegraphs Hotel Guru Fiona Duncan called refreshingly different in her recent review. The modern country style interior of the pub features quarry tile flooring an open fireplace and hand made solid oak bar complete with Belfast sink. The luxury ensuite bedrooms are all decorated uniquely but all come with flat screen televisions, wi-fi, crisp white linen, Nespresso machines, homemade shortbread and Pecksniffs toiletries.
Head chef Simon Trepess prides himself on serving seasonal local ingredients such as game from nearby estates, fresh fish from the south coast and meat of exceptional quality from local butchers all cooked to perfection.He also makes his own artisan bread, shoots game birds and forages for wild food. The seasonal menu changes daily, although favourites such as the Portland Crab on toast and twice baked Westcombe cheddar cheese souffl will always remain. Groups may pre-book from the feasting menu, which features such mouthwatering dishes as roast suckling pig, whole stuffed sea bass and rose veal rack.
Diners can choose to eat in the open plan pub, in the informal restaurant area or outside on the terraced garden. The pretty Victorian inspired outdoor kitchen features a customised barbecue and serving area, plus a bar-height spot in front of the cooking are where diners can watch the chefs in action. It is open in the summer months, in fair weather, and the space has capacity for large groups of diners on all three levels including a chefs table for 4, 2 first-come-first-serve large refectory style tables and 8 bookable tables on the lowest levels.
The King John Inn is open all day for beverages, 12.30-2.30pm for lunch (3pm Sundays) and dinner service is between 7pm-9.30pm 7 days a week. Booking is advised: 01725 516 207.
The garden at the King John can be booked for private parties for a minimum of 20 people and will include a bespoke menu, cooked in the alfresco kitchen. The King John also has a live music license for band performances. To enquire about hiring the summer garden kitchen please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01752 516 207
Wine & drinks
The King John has an extensive and detailed award winning wine list offering an eclectic selection devoted largely to organic and biodynamic names. They also offer a fine selection of imported drafts and local beers available, which changes weekly.
All of the wines on the list are available to purchase onlinewww.museumwines.co.uk
Rooms are priced from 120 per night, which includes Full English breakfast and morning papers.
Well-behaved children are most welcome at lunch times. Clean dogs are welcome in the pub on leads and in the bedrooms by prior arrangement (although not left unattended in the rooms).
Things to do
Rushmore Golf Club, the Larmer Tree Gardens and horse-riding are just a few of the attractions on the doorstep of the King John Inn. More things to do
For those who love the outdoors the King John is surrounded by rolling hills, offering beautiful scenic walks, some of the best shooting and fishing in the country,is situated 10 minutes fromtheidyllic town ofShaftesbury,driving distance fromStonehenge and has variouslocal farm shops showing what the county has to offer.