Traditional local boozers are a dying breed. Up-and-down the country they are being slowly replaced with sleek and modern, food-serving gastropubs. But the term ‘gastropub’ doesn’t always have to be a bad thing – where else could you get a restaurant-quality meal in a cosy pub setting?
Estrella Damm’s Top 50 Gastropubs 2024 seeks out the greatest in the country. The list is created by collecting votes from more than 200 professionals – all key people in the industry, from food critics and writers to chefs and pub operators. Voters are spread evenly across the UK to avoid any regional bias, although we couldn’t help but notice a massive hole in the area surrounding Bristol.
Only one local gastropub to Bristol made the list – and it’s still 40 minutes away – The Longs Arms in South Wraxall. Situated between Bath and Bradford-on-Avon, it describes itself as “a beautiful country pub serving cask ale and fresh seasonal food in a relaxed environment with warm and friendly service.” Built from Bath stone, with a menu focused on modern British classics, it holds plenty of charm.
But don’t just take our word for it (or theirs), The Longs Arms is Michelin Guide-approved too. It says: “It’s hard not to like this handsome Bath stone pub, set opposite a medieval church in a sleepy village. It’s a family run affair with the chef-owner proudly preparing a mix of pub classics and few more modern creations. Be sure to try the home-smoked meats and fish and the delicious homemade ice creams.”
Menus change regularly, but have included Cornish coastal lamb with clapshot, rainbow kale, celeriac and hazelnuts; Morels stuffed with wild garlic and tofu, hispi cabbage, beetroot gnocchi, maitake mushrooms, linseed cracker, pea and mint sauce; and red mullet and cockle bouillabaisse, charlotte potatoes and samphire. But you’ll also find pub grub like steak and kidney pie, fishcakes, and Wagyu beef burgers on the menu.
South Wraxall is a very small village, nestled into the Wiltshire countryside, with little else around. But if you’re looking for a wintery walk that ends at a cosy pub near Bristol, The Long Arms is a must-visit after a stroll down its country lanes and along rolling fields. To learn more about The Long Arms head here.