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The Puesdown Inn at Compton Abdale 5 miles east of Cheltenham on the A40 is a delightful old coaching inn recently refurbished to high standards by John and Maggie Armstrong. Much attention has been paid to detail; log fires and fresh flowers enhance the warm, cosy atmosphere. It has new oak floors and a plethora of sofas in which to sink after experiencing the superb food now on offer.

The recent addition of a new bar also blends in well with the eclectic nature of the décor. Their general philosophy is to create an environment that they would like to frequent and this they have certainly achieved.

For years many would have avoided the pub as a series of owners failed to capitalise on the character and individuality of the building. Now the large car park seems permanently full and I encourage all my Cheltenham friends to revisit - they are never disappointed!

As well as a sumptuous menu the Puesdown offers much more. It is the perfect place for a weekend getaway with so many Cotswold attractions within easy reach and somewhere to park for a brisk Sunday walk followed by a beer or two and a traditional Sunday lunch. The Inn boasts three en-suite double rooms all with their own individual character to reflect John & Maggie's international background - they have at various times worked in Egypt, Beijing and St. Lucia. Room prices start at £80.

There is a large garden and patio area, which is the perfect venue for weddings and private parties; it is also an ideal launch pad for the Cotswolds to the extent that Cabair Helicopters Ltd., are running a shuttle service from the Puesdown to Cheltenham races.

The menu is mouth watering and my colleague and I went for it in a big way! For dinner I had a delicious homemade pate whilst my colleague enjoyed grilled goat's cheese with red onion marmalade. This was followed by fillet of Scottish beef - succulent and tasty with a delicious sauce which didn't overpower the meat. My colleague's roast sea bass with compote of white Cornish crab was pronounced 'delicious'.

We finished with apple and banana crumble and passionfruit crème brulée respectively, washed down with a glass of Woodstock dessert wine.

So good was the meal that I am tempted to attend the live cookery theatre which is planned in the near future by John, who is celebrating the AA rosette that they have just been awarded (but too late for the 2005 restaurant guide!).

This place doesn't stand still. Soon you will be able to hire a conference/training room, attend a jazz night, overload on alcohol at the Hook Norton beer tasting or join The Oxford Wine Company for a wine tasting. It all happens here at the Puesdown!

Don't just drive past - stop and have a look for yourself.

John & Maggie can be contacted on:

phone - 01451 860262

email: inn4food@btopenworld.com or take a look at the website www.puesdown.cotswoldinns.com