The Bath Arms

PUBLISHED: 15:39 07 April 2011 | UPDATED: 21:31 20 February 2013

The Bath Arms

The Bath Arms

Not only is this very close to the Safari Park, but there's game on the menu too!

The Bath Arms is located just outside Longleat and the countryside there is absolutely beautiful, so I had planned to arrive early for our stay and enjoy a walk. However, I am married and as this was our 10th wedding anniversary, I wanted to be as relaxed as possible about the whole affair. As it turned out, there are many shopping temptations for a woman on the way there... thus an early arrival was doomed.

The interior is warm and inviting and the bar well-stocked with all your favourite tipples and local beers, ales and wines. My wife, Emma, and I were greeted by smiley Alix, who checked us in and showed us to our room. She led us out the back door to a separate building and to the Raja room. And folks, what was behind that door will always stay with me, for how was Alix to know that ten years before my wife and I had honeymooned in Bali? We were led into what was to be one of the largest rooms I have ever stayed in, decorated with more than strong hints of Indonesian-style carved dressers and doors. There was a massive, four-poster bed and a luxurious bathroom with chunky carved double doors, slate floors and large roll-top bath.

We readied ourselves for dinner and made our way back to the main building where the barman greeted us with smiles and showed us to our seats in the main dining room. Peacock lamps on the wall give a soft light the room while a very quirky painting of Lord Bath as a Sultan looks down over the diners.

We both decided to choose off the Game Menu. With its foods sourced from the local estate, how could you refuse? I was actually really tempted to try out the squirrel, which isnt on the main menu but is promised on the front for the more adventurous, but the venison won out, while Emma chose the wild duck.

We were treated to an amuse-bouche a bisque of shellfish, which was amazing. I could have had that for my meal and died happy, but that was only the beginning. My starter was a winter salad with maple-cured pigeon, walnuts and pears, and Emma chose the gamekeepers broth with pearl barley and pickled beetroots. Both were delicious.

Ah, but the main courses stole the show. My loin of Longleat Estate venison with sloe gin shot and celeriac pressing melted on the tongue. Emmas duck breast and crispy leg with winter greens was delicately gamey, while retaining its wild flavour in a dried cherry sauce. Usually at this point Emma tries to switch our meals, but this time she kept hers, happily polishing off every last morsel.

We topped off our meal with pecan pie with homemade ice cream wondrous flavours. This had been one of our best anniversaries ever, thanks to the staff at the Bath Arms.

For the first night of their anniversary weekend, Ethan and his wife stayed at
The Bath Arms, Longleat,
near Warminster, BA12 7LY.
0844 815 0099,

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