Holt is a beautiful little village in Wiltshire where our cottage was located. Despite being small and sleepy, we’d driven past the local pub one evening and seeing how warm and lively it was, booked up a table. Besides, it seemed only right to sample the grub just down the road!
Being stumbling distance from home was a blessing as the Tollgate Inn had a great selection of ciders available, including the sharp and pungent Ashton Press and a refreshing pear and apple blend called (I love this) ‘Toodle Pip’!
The Tollgate Inn was inviting and friendly, although I found the meal a bit of a rollercoaster ride…
I chose the catch of the day, which came with a very nicely cooked piece of fish and perfectly steamed vegetables. I did however find the potato rosti under seasoned and the dish in general felt a little too bland. Perhaps I had picked the healthy option?
Meat pie wasn’t mindblowing, but hearty enough. The ribeye steak was a winner: cooked well and very sweet and juicy. The pork, whilst in a tasty sauce, I thought looked quite disappointing in presentation. So mains were a bit of a mixed bag really.
Dessert however was much more consistent and this seems to be where the Tollgate Inn shine. The sweet course really brought them back around for me. This lemon mousse with meringue was just beautiful: light as a cloud and deliciously refreshing, with a rich dollop of lemon curd hiding at the bottom!
I ordered a vanilla panna cotta with mixed berries. It didn’t look stunning on the plate but both the flavours and textures were perfect. I was doing my little happy dance with every creamy bite! The berries were very well balanced too; I’ve got a really hatred for sour fruit but every blackberry, strawberry and red current delivered a sweet note with the mellow panna cotta. Topped off with the crumbly shortbread with a chewy centre this made for a seriously satisfying pudding!
The cheese board looked good and came with a nice selection of classic and local cheeses.
I’d usually recommend more basic food on the basis of it being a more budget dining situation, but I was surprised when the bill arrived to find the costs were on par with meals we’d had in the nearby city which far surpassed the quality. The Tollgate Inn was a lovely atmosphere which made the evening really enjoyable, but I do think the prices are just a touch too high for the pub to be considered really good value for money.