The newly reopened Darlington Arms on the A38 at Redhill, North Somerset has been transformed. Outside it looks like a conventional pub, but inside it is the antithesis of a traditional boozer, a lovely light space with soft grey painted walls and wooden floors.
There's a restaurant and bar area and we plumped for the restaurant. We were there for lunch and it was very quiet, although others have informed me it has more people in for dinner.
The menu looks attractive, with steaks, goats cheese burgers and sandwiches. We were there for a lunch so decided on two sharing platters - antipasti and charcuterie with a glass of pinot noir. Although they took a little while to arrive they were worth the wait - the presentation was beautiful. We had a great selection of olives, artichokes, brie, breasola, parma ham and salamis on attractive olive wood boards with a huge amount of bread with olive oil for dipping.
The bread was good and the olive oil had a lovely flavour. With the two platters combined it was a lovely lunch, full of variety. The staff were friendly and efficient although looking at the bill they had charged us another table's meals, but that was quickly rectified.
The Darlington Arms is a great place to stop on the A38, with ten bedrooms. The garden is currently having a makeover too so come summer there will (hopefully) be balmy views over the Mendips. The place was neglected and closed for years so it is fantastic to see a pub reopen, bucking the trend of recent years. Definitely worth a look.
Reviewed by the Live Mendips editor in March 2016.