The Lamb Inn

Church Street,
Upton Noble,
Shepton Mallet,
T: 01749 850939

Set in a picturesque vale to the west of the escarpement that supports King Alfred's Tower at the head of the Stourhead estate and reached down a narrow lane from the A359, Frome - Bruton road, the Lamb looks a pretty little place with an attractive front garden. Despite the views from the restaurant over the back garden (which has plenty of eating areas close to the pub and wider lawns for the children to play on) and on over the Brewhams towards the Tower beyond them, we prefer to eat at lunchtime in the cosier public bar which is comfortably set with tables, settles, stools and chairs. There is a games room as well with darts and pool.

Access into the games room and restaurant is level but the public bar (and WCs) are down a medium sized step. There is no specific disabled accessible WC but the others are on the level from the bar. They are in need of some refurbishment which is accepted by the management as an apologetic note pinned up in them suggests, but they are by no means the worst I've seen.

There are usually a couple of real ales available, I sampled the Butcombe which was good and Mrs Riverdale had a Jack Daniels.

The food

We decided to share the Sea Bass Fillets with Chilli and Lime sauce that was on the specials main course menu, it was delivered on separate plates with a couple of new potatoes, exactly as we ordered it, and although the chilli could have had a bit more bite it was very good with the fish perfectly cooked.

I went for the Chicken, Leeks and Brie Stack which was pleasant without being spectacular, it was nicely presented with an easiness that worked really well, but it was a little bland, the use of a better quality, more mature, chicken and a more flavoursome brie would have made it superb. The chips were not brilliant as far as I'm concerned being well-cooked but not crispy but that was perfect for Mrs Riverdale.
She had the the Slow Braised Shoulder of Lamb, which I had sampled on a previous visit, it was excellent and came with good new potatoes and a selection of vegetables. I can confirm that it was as good as previously as they use cornflour to thicken the red wine, rosemary and redcurrant gravy so I was able to taste it.

This is where they really come to the fore as they provide a range of gluten free puddings, I'm working my way through the list on each occasion we visit and this time I chose the Ginger Cheesecake with Grated Chocolate which, considering I'm not too fond of cheesecakes usually, was homemade and excellent. Mrs Riverdale also tried it and was also much impressed.

A large glass of House white and a glass of the House Rioja were acceptable accompaniments, Mrs Riverdale had a glass of Ginger Wine to accompany her pud and I had a rather ordinary cafetiere coffee.

Service throughout was excellent. This is another of those premises that only provide paper serviettes in the bar whilst having linen napkins in the restaurant. Why? Aren't we bar eaters considered civilised enough for decent linen?

A pleasant meal, well presented in good surroundings and at 70 including a 10% tip it was about what one would expect in the area.

I'm always surprised at how quiet the place is on a Saturday lunchtime (although it gets busy on a Sunday and during the evenings), but we won't complain too much, it's always good to have the time to chat to owners and staff.