"Five miles or so up the road at Langford Budville is the Martlet Inn, a great favourite of mine. There have been changes since my last visit but the beer garden is pretty and neat as a new pin while inside an extended, curved bar acts as a focus for those who want to get down to the serious business of drinking. The old dining-room seems as much as I remember it but the other rooms have been opened out into a spacious eating area newly furnished in pine. A new orangery will provide more seating at this very popular pub.
The evening menu includes traditional dishes such as liver and bacon and steak and mushroom pie; there's a good selection of vegetarian dishes and a choice of warm salads. There's also a Specials board with steaks and fish. Friends dining there recently watched sadly as sea bass was scrubbed off the Specials board but sorrow was turned to joy as it was replaced by hake, so fresh and immediate that they all chose it! Terena, who runs the Martlet with her partner, award-winning chef Bruno, provides a warm welcome and my four friends were most impressed when she didn't turn a hair as they ordered two starters and two mains followed by two mains and two desserts.
Prawn cocktails were generous; the simply-cooked and succulent hake was served with a buttery, mushroom sauce, new potatoes and seasonal vegetables were beautifully cooked while the raspberry roulade and subtle apricot cheesecake proved delicious. The coffee was good and for £19 a head for two courses, a drink from the bar and coffee, this is excellent value.
"The new orangery was completed two weeks before Xmas which has made the front of the pub much more inviting. Since the wall has been knocked down the inn has received bookings and enquiries about weddings, birthday parties and family gatherings.
It is a light place to eat with under floor heating for the winter and is fitted with special glass to remain cool in the Summer. It creates a warm and friendly ambience and Bruno and Terena have received a huge response from all who have seen it. It really has the "wow "factor.
Over the last three years Bruno and Terena have built up an excellent reputation for a varied choice of food, whether it's a traditional dish or something a bit more special such as excellent steaks. Terena's mum Betty makes all the puddings to complete the meal.
"There is always a warm welcome" says one local Alan. "Why should you want to eat anywhere else?"