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March 2020: West Norfolk

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Inns in Castle Cary

The Pilgrims At Lovington
Pilgrims Way

Castle Cary

BA7 7PT | View map

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The English countryside is dotted with chocolate-box roses-round-the-door pubs on village greens, where the sun's always shining and nothing disturbs the birdsong except the occasional thwack of leather on willow. And sometimes they even play cricket. But how often they lead to disappointment, inside they're either the sour tepid beer and curly sandwiches variety or, worse, peopled by the fruit machine, juke box, shank and shiraz brigade. No such disappointment awaits at The Pilgrims, not least because the outside makes no such promise. As a building it's pretty average. We've done what we can but it won't ever be pretty. Inside, however, is a different story. Whatever the opposite of that disappointment is, we promise that's what you'll feel. We find the word local crops up a lot when The Pilgrims is discussed, not necessarily in the traditional pub sense, although that's how we are seen by a small but hardy band of locals. Bless 'em. It's more that we have become a bit of a focal point for good things produced hereabouts, a showcase for and champion of many of the wonderful artisan crafted drinks and foodstuffs from what would be the Appellation of Somerset, if there were any justice. We're not fanatical about it, but we are more than a bit passionate. Maybe because we only adopted Lovington in ninety seven, or is it the other way round? We have a habit of not standing on ceremony at The Pilgrims. Not that guests don't sometimes break out the gladrags and book months ahead to help Grandmamma celebrate her Golden - cutting a dash is not at all discouraged - it just isn't mandatory. More casual diners just drop in because they're hungry and if we have room, we feed them. The idea is restaurant food in an atmosphere that's as relaxed as a pub. Think of it as we provide the stage and the props, wardrobe and script are up to you.

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