Mark took over The Masons Arms in 2005 and achieved a Michelin star in 2006. Over time the menu has evolved and the food is currently both refined and smart, but with a certain homeliness to it. And Mark's Waterside heritage is clearly evident on the plate, which, as fans of the Inn, we find it simply fabulous.
And as these restaurants tend to be, it's a family affair, with front of house run by Mark's wife Sarah who was absolutely charming throughout and the perfect person for the job despite coming from a very different line of business ahead of this venture. I felt very welcome throughout.
The Masons Arms is also the village pub in Knowstone, sadly a village with a dwindling population, standing currently at just 220 people apparently. As the only pub in the village, it does mean that you can get a good pint of beer at The Masons Arms also, and I enjoyed sitting in front of their real fire (sadly necessary in October) both before and after the meal. Prices throughout are reasonable and an after dinner whisky that cost me £4.50 a measure at the pub was being sold at £14.50 in a restaurant I visited later in my trip.
We didn't know Mark before today but with his background, he is in a small and elite band of head chefs of the Waterside, a group that that includes industry titans like as Pierre Koffmann. As such, there was no mistaking the great culinary skill on offer at The Masons Arms so it was a delight to meet Mark and overall, an absolute pleasure to eat his food.
Visit The Masons Arms website
Previously I visited: The Pony and Trap, Chew Magna
Next stop: Driftwood
The Masons Arms location map