The Quarryman's Arms

Box Hill, Corsham SN13 8HN

01225 743569

Parking: Yes

Disabled access: Yes

Child and dog friendly


Food: 9/10

Decor: 9/10

Service: 9/10

Choices: 10/10

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5

WE'VE strolled past this pub several times and made mental notes to go in, and when I checked their website and found gluten-free diners were well catered for, we booked a table for Sunday lunch with my daughter and her partner.

It was incredibly popular, but the friendly welcoming staff coped admirably with what seemed like a fully booked service, plus people who came in for a pint and to watch the rugby, which we hadn't realised started halfway through our meal.

Perched on the side of Box Hill, this pub has lovely views over the valley - if you want to enjoy these, ask to be seated in that area. Otherwise, relax and enjoy the charming traditional pub decor, with beermats from around the country (fresh, not fading and fume-filled) and chalkboards extolling the virtues not just of the house Butcombe's beers but also guest ales.

Our party's beer connoisseur was quite tempted by the option of trying a third of a pint of several varieties, but opted in the end for the guest bitter, which he said was excellent.

Warned by the sight of loaded plates coming out, two of us shared a plate of olives and feta to start, while my husband tried the potted smoked trout (verdict: delicious) and I found myself facing not the small cheese and fig tartlet I was expecting but a thick, succulent slice from a monster cheese tart, the sort my gran used to bake 'up North' for Sunday tea. It was one of the best things I've eaten in a long time, definitely not a quiche but a tart, heavy on the Cheddar but light on the palate. I will have to come back just to eat it again. Prices ranged from £3.50-£6.50.

On to mains (£10.50-£14.50), and having specified we had a gluten-free diner on booking, our waitress dished up her roast beef with gluten free gravy but sadly no Yorkshire. I can vouch for the fact that GF batter is jolly difficult, so no blame there.

The other two roast beef and a chicken also came with roast veg and spuds on the plate and huge Yorkies. Cauliflower cheese was served separately, as were two jugs of gravy, GF and flour-thickened.

It was all delicious, piping hot but not scorching, the Ruby Red Devon beef was tender meat with not too much fat and lots of flavour, so much veg they defeated some of us - and the cauli cheese was especially good. Maybe the chef is a cheese specialist?

We moved on to pudding, some of us having decided the place was so full that there was bound to be a long enough wait to allow us to have room. Here were discovered a schoolboy error - we should have ordered the GF chocolate brownie when we placed the mains order, because by now they had all gone and that was the only option she fancied.

That wasn't going to stop the rest of us, and we asked for a sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream and an intriguing-sounding plum & sloe gin parfait, with ginger crumble and roasted plums, both £6.

It was, as predicted, quite a long wait due to the busy kitchen and staff, who coped admirably with the annoying table of four Bright Young Things next to us who, having booked for 2pm, did not roll in until 35 minutes later and then proceeded to order three-course lunches while braying in a horribly 1980s Hooray fashion about their lives.

Pudding proved to be not so perfect - the huge portion of sticky toffee had dried out a bit and was rather stodgy, while the ginger crumble was more like ginger crumbs, and the sloe gin flavour had evaporated. Maybe next time we'll eat earlier in the day for better results.

Our lunch, with drinks, for four came to £101.45, superb value we all agreed. Sadly the high winds put paid to any idea of walking it off, Box Hill being wooded and the danger of crashing branches too great, so it was back for Sunday afternoon in front of the fire with the papers. Lovely.

Alison Phillips