With its classic Georgian architecture, standout food and cosy rooms, The Methuen Arms is an award-winning pub, restaurant and 14-room hotel that sits next to the stately home and grounds of Corsham Court in Wiltshire. After buying the venue in November 2016, Butcombe Brewery – which is part of Pubs and Inns business, the Liberation Group – embarked on an ambitious renovation programme, working alongside the design and build specialists Concorde BGW. Six weeks on and its ready to unveil the venue’s stunning new look.
The Methuen Arms has had a beautiful facelift to make it more welcoming to locals and visitors alike. Gone are the red rooms and in their place is an altogether lighter colour scheme, along with new, soft upholstery and furnishings to create a cosy feel. Under the instructions of MD, Jayson Perfect, the team has created a new lounge space for hotel guests to spend time in, a picturesque new garden area and introduced a Green Room with bespoke seating and botanical artwork. Locals who aren’t staying overnight can while away the hours in the newly revamped bar.
The Methuen Arms restaurant is now a place where people want to linger iand enjoy views over the new garden and “scullery” room, perfect for private dinners. The exposed stone walls and beams create a rustic, laid back vibe.
Butcombe Brewery was keen to pay respect to the Methuen Arms’ history and previous life as a coaching inn with stabling for 40 horses. The building’s exposed stone walls and age-old timber beams can be found across the site and form the basis for the country aesthetic that’s been maintained throughout. During the decorating process, Concorde BGW uncovered some hidden parquet timber flooring, which it has now restored.
Taking care of food and drink at The Methuen Arms is award-winning Head Chef Leigh Evans, formerly of Combe Grove Manor, The Chequers and The Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath. Evans sources the finest local ingredients, makes everything on site from scratch where possible, minimises waste and adopts a nose to tail philosophy when it comes to crafting his menus, whether it’s for a simple pub snack or a more indulgent evening meal. Standout dishes include seared scallops with crispy ham hock, black treacle, lime, cauliflower, Granny Smith apple and spices for starters or mains like lamb short rib and seared rump with raw radicchio, peas, broad bean, mint and pomme anna.
In the pub area, diners can tuck into classics like Butcombe battered haddock with hand cut chips, truffled macaroni cheese and a selection of 28-day dry aged steaks cooked in the Big Green Egg ceramic BBQ. The stunning new gardens make the perfect setting for a mid-summer evening spent sharing a 24oz rump cap steak with Peppercorn sauce and a bottle of delicious red wine from the cellar. With Leigh in the kitchen and Ashley and Abigail, the general managers, running the front of house, The Methuen Arms is better than ever and stands firmly as Butcombe Brewery’s flagship inn and the hub of the community.
The hard work doesn’t stop there. The Methuen Arms has recently acquired planning permission to restore the stables into 5 new hotel bedrooms and the old barn for private hire.
Speaking about the renovations, Jayson Perfect, Managing Director of Pubs & Inns at Liberation Group , said: “The Methuen Arms was a fascinating project because the space was steeped in history and had so much potential, but it needed to be unlocked. The more we looked the more gems we found, like the hidden parquet timber flooring. It was also important from the start that we created a destination that could act as a home away from home for both guests and locals – the pub is the cornerstone of any village, after all. The final result is absolutely stunning and altogether more welcoming for everyone.”