Wheatsheaf named as Somerset's best dining pub
A family-run hostelry on the edge of Bath has been named as the best dining pub in Somerset.
The Wheatsheaf at Combe Hay has been named as Somerset's Dining Pub of the Year in the 2013 Good Pub Guide.
The Good Pub Guide, now in its 30th year, is an annual publication listing all the best pubs to drink and eat at across the British Isles.
The guide is divided into counties and every year each has a section of main entries which have been inspected.
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From this shortlist one pub for each county is picked as County Dining Pub of the Year.
This is the first year the Wheatsheaf, which has been run by father and son team Ian and James Barton for seven years, has won the top accolade but it has appeared in the guide before.
James said: "We are really pleased and surprised – the first we knew was when the guide just arrived in the post.
"Hopefully it will bring in more business and trade."
He added: "We've been in the guide quite a few times but to get this is even better."
James attributed the pub's success to head chef Eddy Rains, who has been in charge of the kitchen for two years.
James said: "Everything is fresh and we have our own kitchen garden.
"Ed is a pretty innovative chef. He comes up with good flavour combinations. It's not just your usual pub grub here, it's something quite special."
Fiona Stapley, joint editor of the guide, said: "People love eating out at pubs as opposed to restaurants because the atmosphere is more informal – and the food is just as good, if not better.
"This year particularly, pub chefs have to offer not just imaginative dishes but those their customers feel are fair value too."
Also earning a place in this year's guide are The Castle in Bradford on Avon and the Seven Stars at Winsley.
Other pubs mentioned as worth a visit in the 2013 Good Pub Guide include The Boathouse, Chequers, the Coeur de Lion, the Crystal Palace, the Garrick's Head, the Hop Pole, the Marlborough Tavern, the Old Green Tree, the Pig and Fiddle, the Pulteney Arms, the Raven, the Royal Oak, the Salamander, the Star, the Volunteer Rifleman's Arms and the White Hart, which are all in Bath, and The Crown in Bathford.