The Wellington Arms, Baughurst – Review

The food at the Wellington Arms walks the delicate tightrope between rustic and elegant, and it does so very well indeed. The menu is eclectic mix of freshly made dishes; it is so fresh, that the menu sits upon a blackboard which is changed every day. This constant renewal of the menu reflects the establishment`s charming philosophy of using the freshest local produce possible. The setting is also rather charming; set within a cosy country pub and with only a small number of tables, the Wellington Arms has a real country pub feel. Some people can be snobby about the pub food; but don`t let this tag of a `pub` let you think that the food is anything but fabulous, as it really is a treat to dine at the Wellington.


To start…


King Prawn cocktail with avocado, served in a traditional British dimpled pint glass. The king prawns were light and the perfect accompaniment to the texture of the avocado, therefore, making for a very refreshing and tasty start to the meal. I would possibly argue that there was a little too much lettuce and not enough king prawns, but that may just be my preference. However, the start my partner had, which was the Cheese soufflé on sautéed courgettes, cream and Parmesan, was one of the best soufflés we have ever had the privilege of eating. It was so good in fact, that I overheard couples around us saying the exact same thing.

For mains…

The mains outlined on the blackboard all sounded stunning on the day we visited and we really struggled to make a decision. We tried a confit leg of Barbary duckling with sticky red cabbage, buttered potato mash and parsnip crisp. Barbary meat is renowned for plump and firm meat, but it is also packed with taste and flavour. The Wellington`s duckling was gorgeously tender and made for a great centre piece to the dish. Also, when you consider the quality, it was great value at only £16.


Picking from the blackboard selection, for mains I went for the Halibut expecting a strong depth of flavour and I wasn`t disappointed. The generous serving of Halibut, served with roasted tomatoes and puy lentils, was simply presented and the fish`s wonderful taste was allowed to speak for itself. All in all, it was an uncluttered and gorgeous dish.

And finally, dessert…

What a treat desert was! We went for the Wellington mess, the Wellington Arm`s own take on the classic Eton mess, but incorporating rhubarb and rather strawberry. The rhubarb was deliciously sweet and carried a real robustness of flavour. An interesting twist on the aforementioned Etonian dessert, this version from the Wellington Arms for me was a lot more flavoursome and moreish. I would recommend this to any dessert lover or anyone with a slightly sweet tooth. To continue the Rhubarb themed part of our dinner, we also tried the rhubarb ice cream – another homemade treat – which melted in the mouth to reveal some more wonderful flavours.

To finish the meal we enjoyed a classic cup of tea, complete with traditional china crockery and a charming hand knitted tea cosy to keep the pot warm. A lovely touch. Another lovely touch is the pub`s selection of onsite produced eggs, jams, chutneys and even knitwear. The Wellington Arms has a feeling of rural self-dependence and it is lovely to see.

In short, the meal was a hearty, honest and very enjoyable dining experience. The Wellington Arms is an absolute must.

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