My girlfriend and I found Yalbury Cottage here on TripAdvisor and decided to give it a go. It absolutely lives up to everyone's reviews. What a gorgeous place! A gorgeous old cottage tucked away in a little quiet village - we drove past the car park entrance first time, thinking it was the driveway for a very exclusive house - stone gateposts, gravel drive and parking area in a lovely garden setting. I'm glad we dressed up a little - it's not 'posh', but very pretty.
We walked into reception, rang the phone for attention as instructed by the sign and were met by the hostess - Ariane I would think going by those more informed reviewers. She showed us into a beautiful, cosy little lounge, lit the gas on the wood burner, took our drinks order and left us quietly, only to return a little later with our drinks and hors d'ouevres. After maybe half an hour or so of being left to chat quietly and enjoy the atmosphere, the waitress took us through to the restaurant proper. They have an incredible wine list - I'm a complete wine philistine and wouldn't be able to choose a good one if you paid me, but the list was certainly comprehensive.
The food itself was wonderful. I had the lamb, my partner had the beef (we both had the scallops on black rice to start - equally fantastic). Everything was proudly advertised as being locally sourced, even down to the well-chosen local ales, was beautifully fresh and delicious. Lots of little extras - a cheese dish as complimentary follow-on to the main, coffees included also as part of the main and a wonderful cheesecake for dessert (my partner had the rice pudding - I tried a little of hers too, and they were both outstanding).
We weren't rushed at any time, the atmosphere was lovely and relaxed, the staff incredibly friendly and professional, the food fantastic, the drinks equally fantastic. In fact the only downside to the whole night was my failure to have brought any cash to leave a tip because if ever a meal deserved one, that did. For two three course meals and a drink each we paid around £85. Slightly more than you would expect to pay in many places, but I would happily have paid more. We will absolutely be going back - it's perfect. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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