Il Vello d'Oro

at The Golden Fleece, Bath Road, Shaw near melksham SN12 8HB

01225 702050

Parking: Yes

Disabled access: Yes

Food served Mon-Sat 12 noon-2.30pm, 5-10pm, Sundays 12-8pm


Decor 5/10

Food: 8/10

Service: 8/10

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5

ON a chilly wintry night at the end of the shopping week, doing a Masterchef-style invention test with what's left in the cupboard and fridge didn't appeal.

So we sallied forth into the sleet and headed for Shaw, where I'd spotted some time ago an Italian restaurant in what I was sure must be the former Golden Fleece pub - I don't speak the language but what else could Il Vello D'Oro stand for?

A reassuringly full car park showed others had been tempted too, and inside we found the premises not much changed from the country pub atmosphere we remembered.

It is now run as both a pub and a restaurant, which meant there was a good mix of customers in, although we were surprised there was no difference in the decor in the restaurant area.

There was plenty of space however, and we were offered drinks to take through with us while we surveyed both the regular and the Christmas menus.

It was a little too early in the season for us to contemplate turkey Italian style - though on what we experienced, I'm sure it would be delicious.

So we stuck to the main menu, and from a fairly traditional selection, mushrooms appealed to both of us to start, with Glenn choosing his in a whisky and cream sauce on crostini, £5.95. He said it was excellent, lightly cooked so the mushrooms kept their texture and with just a hint of spirit lifting the sauce above the norm.

I'd gone for Funghi Tartara, £5.55, (breaded mushrooms to you) which came with salad and lemon and garlic mayo dip. They were chunky and lightly fried and, as Goldilocks said, just right to eat, not blisteringly hot and soggy with oil when you cut into them - a bad experience I've had in other places.

My house special Linguine Vello D'Oro, £12.95, was equally good, asparagus, king prawn, cherry tomatoes and olives in white wine and chilli garlic sauce - and I was pleased they'd used black olives which I really prefer to green ones.

Glenn said his seafood risotto, £12.95, passed his personal test in that the calamari was testy and not at all chewy.

Although none of the portions were huge, Italian is filling and after debate we decided we didn't have room for pudding.

Our bill, with drinks, came to £44.10, which we thought excellent value for such satisfying food and good service.

Alison Phillips