The UK's best pubs with rooms
We know a good pub when we see one. Curl up by the fire in the Lake District or tuck into a hearty roast in the Cotswolds then prolong the cosy vibes with a night in a great-value boutique room
Looking for gastro pubs with rooms to stay over in after your Sunday roast? Read our guide on the best pubs with rooms in the UK, from the Cotswolds to Sussex, Yorkshire to the Peak District. We’ve got country pub hotels in Oxfordshire with log fires, to classic good pub food in Kent. Whether you fancy a relaxed weekend getaway in a luxury pub, or a a stopover in a pub hotel, check out our recommendations below, then check out our pick of the UK's best boutique hotels, the best restaurants with rooms in the UK and best London pubs for food lovers. You can also bring the cosiness of a great pub to your home with recipes from olive's favourite pub chefs.
All of our UK gastro pubs have been chosen and reviewed independently by our editorial team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases made, but this comes at no extra cost to you and helps us to continue providing top-quality content for our loyal readers.
Best gastro pubs with rooms
The Bell at Charlbury, Daylesford
The newest of its stable of pubs with rooms, The Bell has all the hallmarks of a Daylesford bolthole: a commitment to local suppliers, largely British menu and cute motif (see the bell on plates, menus and staff T-shirts). The 17th-century building is home to a dozen cosy bedrooms, with a contemporary barn at the rear.
There’s more to the pub than a smart market town boozer. Discreetly positioned behind the main building, The Barn serves weekend wood-fired feasting menus – rotisserie chicken, roasts, whole lobster. In summer there’s an additional dining space in The Bell’s acre of apple orchard. The pub’s small, welcoming dining room serves classics like a half pint of prawns, soups, salads, cheeseburger, fish pie, sticky toffee pudding and crumbles, with locally farmed ingredients. Daily specials range from the luxurious, including a chateaubriand for two or whole roasted brill, to a simple porchetta and apple sauce bap. Beers on tap are from family-owned Hook Norton and Jeremy Clarkson’s Hawkstone, Daylesford’s own cider, gins and English sparkling wine.
Exposed brick, embroidered bedspreads and reclaimed wooden furniture create a homely, rustic atmosphere. And four posters, red stripes, and crisp blue and white checks feel very British.
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Rooms start at £194 per night, based on two adults sharing. Check availability on their website.
The Tickled Trout, Maidstone
Set in the picturesque Kentish countryside, The Tickled Trout balances rustic country charm with smart modern touches.
The all-day menu heroes Kentish produce and reflects the seasons, spanning pub grub classics (bavette steak, IPA-battered fish and chips, beef and mushroom pie) and signature fish dishes sourced from local fisheries and trout farms, including the whole baked rainbow trout en papillote with garlic butter, smoked bacon and winter veg. Dreamy desserts include the spiced orange tart served with a dollop of dark chocolate crème fraîche and crystallised citrus peel, artisan ice cream from Deal-based Solley’s, and Kent and Sussex cheeses with biscuits, winter chutney and frozen grapes. Beer and wine are provided by nearby Balfour Winery, located on the Hush Heath Estate – make a beeline for its flagship Balfour Brut Rosé or enjoy a glass of crisp Springfield Chardonnay as part of your post-prandial unwinding.
The six bedrooms are a blend of snug and stylish, featuring exposed wooden beams, shabby chic décor, plush velvet textures and trendy rattan headboards – the back bedrooms overlooking lush fields. Rooms are equipped with a flat screen TV, Dualit coffee pod machine and Joe’s Tea teabags, with modern en suites kitted out with lime, rose and sandalwood-scented Arran toiletries. Breakfast covers the classics (full English, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, breakfast bap), best washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee and, dependent on the weather, enjoyed on the large terrace and lawned garden.
The Fox at Oddington
The Daylesford group’s pared-back aesthetic is tempered here with a light-hearted foxy theme on everything from topiary to tableware. Its airy bar and Saddle Room is built around a lively open kitchen where chefs knock out the kind of relaxed, seasonal food we could eat every day. Sustainability is built into all Daylesford does, most visibly in the pub’s living roof, planted with wildflowers and herbs, and acting as a nectar source for bees.
Chef Alan Gleeson’s menu of modern classics encourages sharing, from a half-pint of prawns and some Daylesford cheese to the full three courses. Small plates including tuna tartare with soy and ginger, and heritage tomatoes teamed with feta and mint are a promising start. A decent, tender pork chop comes with greens and apple; a simple plaice with seaweed butter and Ratte potatoes. Flatbread with lardo, anchovy and salsa verde is a must-try, as is Korean fried chicken. There’s usually a fruit tart and a dark chocolate mousse with pistachio biscotti. At breakfast, The Fox is flooded with light. Oversized plants and artfully placed saddles all echo the Gloucestershire location. Omelette Arnold Bennett, a rich haddock and cheese concoction, is served with hollandaise in a mini skillet; french toast with poached apricots is equally luxurious, as are breakfast brioche rolls.
Wood-beamed rooms are decorated with hunting scenes and local wildlife from local artists. Sheepskins, woollen rugs and quilted blankets add a cosy touch to crisp white bedding. Some rooms include a free-standing bath, showers are powerful and fragrant with sage and geranium Bamford botanical products.
The Rectory, Crudwell
The Rectory’s relaxed approach reflects the owner’s desire to create the kind of place he’d like to escape to. His background in the music business is seen in cool touches throughout the hotel: pop art, great magazines and excellent cocktails. Communal areas in this Georgian house are delightfully lived-in and welcoming. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet Basil, the resident golden labrador.
A pre-dinner snack of a gruyère and truffle toastie strikes a playful note. A roster of classic dishes are well executed and include crab and chilli linguine, Hampshire pork belly, Gloucestershire lamb with potato gratin, and loin of cod with mussel butter, alongside nostalgic puddings such as sticky toffee, eton mess and chocolate fondant. The calm, uncluttered dining room captures the light during the day, with doors opening out onto the fragrant hotel garden. After dark, it’s thoughtfully lit, encouraging you to linger over dinner. Breakfast features a bloody mary station, cold meats and cheeses, fantastic fruit compotes, and eggs, waffles and a full English breakfast.
In summer, sipping a refreshing negroni sbagliato on a lounger next to the outdoor swimming pool is the place to be. Across The road, the hotel’s wooden-beamed Potting Shed pub is a year-round favourite, with a blackboard menu featuring a very generous pork chop with salsa verde and a rich cheese soufflé (see recipe, opposite) that are worth the visit alone.
All 15 rooms in the house and the self-contained three-bedroom cottage (perfect for family or friend stays) ooze comfort. Think crisp linen, sheepskin rugs, leather armchairs and herringbone throws in a neutral colour palette, complemented by richer navy, mustard and rose fabrics. In the main house, there’s a mixture of bold modern art and vintage, squashy sofas with bursts of colour from the wildflower displays.
The Merry Harriers, Godalming
Check into this calm countryside idyll featuring stunning views and cosy pub vibes. Set in the small picture-postcard village of Hambledon, you’ll find five glamped-up shepherd’s huts set around a tranquil pond, with an uninterrupted view of the rolling Surrey Hills in the distance.
The menu covers everyone’s favourite pub classics: homemade burgers with chilli relish, crisp-battered fish ’n’ chips with chunky tartare, and generous slabs of ham hock terrine with punchy piccalilli. There are also more refined dishes – beetroot carpaccio with local goat’s cheese and candied hazelnuts and a delicately spiced vegan squash massaman curry. Local drinks are well represented, with wine from Albury Organic Vineyard, Crafty Brewing Company beers from up the road in Godalming, and Vann Lane Gin from the distillery next door. Breakfasts are generous – pastries, porridge and fruit are included, as well as made-to-order hot plates such as the Surrey farmhouse fry-up, smashed avo with poached eggs, and smoked salmon with scrambled eggs. Picnic hampers with homemade scotch eggs, sausage rolls and local cheeses can be ordered, either to eat in your hut or to take on a hike.
Inside, the huts have been furnished with luxurious king-size beds and walk-in shower rooms. Underfloor heating and wood burners keep things cosy, with an outdoor fire pit for late-night lounging. At the back of the sunny beer garden, you’ll find the pub’s other residents – a herd of llamas, whom guests can accompany on treks, picnics or just grab sunset selfies with.
The Gin Trap Inn, Norfolk
Treat yourself to a getaway at this cosy 17th-century coaching inn for instant relaxation, modern-meets-traditional rooms and a G&T or two. The vibe is relaxed: a children’s play area backs onto the outdoor bar, and dogs are made very welcome. A youthful team makes you feel at home immediately – you’ll feel like a local in a lively pub you’ve known for years.
On the menu you’ll find plenty of ‘drinking snacks’, such as guacamole and tortilla chips, and fiery chicken wings, plus a decent burger with buttermilk onion rings and hay roast ham with duck egg, chips and piccalilli to please pub traditionalists. There’s a nod to trends in the more ambitious charred harissa octopus, charcoal-grilled chicken with ’nduja and smoked saffron aïoli, and a crispy buffalo cauliflower bun. There are more than 100 gins on offer, including its own locally made Gin Trap brand. British gins rub shoulders with international varieties including Aussie Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz – drink with tonic, neat or in a post-dinner negroni. Breakfast must-orders are Staithe Smokehouse kippers, a beautiful cinnamon bun and the smoked salmon bagel with pickled cucumber and soft cheese.
When it comes to décor, the line between modern and classic is nicely blurred: in the restaurant there are dark wooden tables and shelves stacked with well-thumbed, classic books. Beyond the main house is the light, contemporary, part-covered outdoor bar with raffia, sage and natural woods, a comfy corner sofa and bench seating. Cottages are cosy and stacked with games and books and filled with interesting textures and tiling that provide splashes of colour in the bedrooms.
The Swan Inn, Esher
José Pizarro's Spanish pub features the greatest hits of the top chef's popular London restaurants – including his moreish croquetas, wobbly tortilla and ibérico ham – plus regional Spanish dishes, and pub classics with a José twist. The wine list nods in the direction of his homeland, and there is a selection of real ales, draught beers and Estrella Damm on tap. The pub also has an al fresco dining area, complete with an outdoor kitchen and open fire, and five bedrooms in the converted barn next door.
The Swan, Ascott-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire
This 16th-century half-timbered inn, at the heart of pretty Ascott-under-Wychwood, has been revamped by hotel gurus Sam and Georgie Pearman (the couple are also behind the spruced-up Talbot in Malton). It bears all their hip-yet-homely hallmarks, including playful, eclectic furnishings and art, sink-into beds and spot-on seasonal food. You’ll also find the usual attention to detail, from swan-shaped room keys crafted at the local forge to homemade cookies in bedrooms. British to the core, it appeals to locals, young and old, and city foodies seeking a rural weekend escape.
The Pheasant Inn, Hungerford, Berkshire
Once host to lock-ins and parties amongst the racing community, this renovated pub in the heart of Berkshire’s ‘Valley of the Racehorse’ still has plenty of character. Pub grub classics (Pheasant Ale-battered fish and chips, beef burgers, chicken kiev) sit on the menu alongside more unusual seafood dishes from head chef Andy Watts. The pub’s popular Sunday lunch includes whole-roast Cotswolds chicken for two, rich venison shepherd’s pie topped with piped mash, and crisp Kelmscott pork belly, followed by caramelised tarte tatin. There are plenty of local beers on tap – light, crisp Eagle IPA, malty Good Old Boy bitter and Ramsbury Gold, plus the pub’s own citrusy Pheasant Ale.
Each of the eleven bedrooms is individually decorated, with fabric headboards, vintage pieces of furniture and Audubon’s Birds of America watercolours (look out for the flamingo on the stairs). Room 4 is fresh and botanical, with illustrations of plants, while rooms 3 and 7 boast stand-alone bathtubs in marble bathrooms. If you want to have a few drinks with your Sunday roast, you can prolong the weekend with the Settle in Sundays deal. Spend £100 or more in the restaurant on a Sunday evening and they’ll throw in a bedroom on the house.
The Bottle & Glass Inn, Henley-on-Thames
In the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside, the cosy Bottle & Glass Inn is a perfect bolthole for a weekend away in Henley-on-Thames.
A traditional low-ceiling pub at the front opens up into the smart airy restaurant. The game-heavy menu takes advantage of the Phillimore Estate location, with a partridge wellington and fallow deer haunch both featuring at the time of our visit. The decadent dessert menu leaves you spoilt for choice – the winter pavlova topped with creamy orange curd was a highlight. The house wines are great examples of smooth organic Italian bottles.
The Bottle & Glass also has a large outdoor restaurant complete with open fire within a barn adjacent to the pub, that attracts local walkers, families and plenty of dogs. The barn alternates between a burger menu or pizzas straight from the hefty pizza oven. Alongside classics and hot dogs (don’t miss out on the rosemary chips), the burger menu continues the game offering with the darkly named ‘Bambi burger’ for a fallow deer burger topped with braised venison shoulder.
Three cosy, warm rooms are tucked above the inn with a separate side entrance. All are smartly decorated with a soothing Farrow & Ball colour palette: try room 3, complete with a roll-top bath in the bedroom, dressing gowns and a giant king-size bed. The simple breakfast menu served in the main restaurant covers the classics, from warm pastries to yogurt and granola or a full English using plenty of locally sourced meat.
The Alice Hawthorn, Nun Monkton, North Yorkshire
Set in the rural surroundings of Nun Monkton, The Alice Hawthorn has been revived into a thing of beauty. This pub with rooms has been awarded three Royal Institute of British Architects awards for its sustainable redevelopment. Inside the pub itself, rooms have been renovated to remain in keeping with the age of the building and outside, new buildings mimic agricultural structures – a stable, a field barn and an agricultural store. Internally, these feel traditional and warm while also having a modern edge. Whatever your preference, the quality of the rooms will ensure a comfortable stay – you'll want to take the beds home with you. nnThis attention to detail is also reflected in the menu. Pub classics such as steak and chips are given a rework (chargrilled Waterford Farm fillet steak) and locally picked ingredients, such as Spilmans of Helperby asparagus, are brought to new heights with wild garlic pesto. These dishes will change with the seasons, but the thoughtfulness of head chef John Topham will be there whichever time you visit.nnFor those staying overnight, there’s also a range of breakfast options, such as granola, yogurt with seasonal fruit, or a full Yorkshire breakfast, which was made with the same level of care as the dinner menu. Breakfast is made to order and served with a breakfast shot (non-alcoholic) and tea or coffee. Claire Topham’s thoughtful managing of the front of house leaves you feeling well looked after. There’s plenty to keep you busy nearby for a weekend, be it walks, heritage properties or wine tasting. Once you’ve finished your day, be sure to have a seat in the pub and order their homemade crisps (the parmesan crisps are a real find). For those happy to explore further afield, both York and Harrogate are within a short drive. Though the comfort of the rooms will entice you back soon enough.
The Three Daggers, Wiltshire
A cosy country pub, with bedrooms, in the peaceful village of Eddington, Wiltshire, at the heart of village life with a focus on hyper-local food and ales brewed on site. After travelling through the rolling hills of the south west, either head straight to the pub and settle in for the afternoon, or cosy up by the log fire in the guest lounge to sink into a sofa and play a game of Scrabble (or delve into one of the well-thumbed books that are left out for guests). While the pub is full of regulars from the village, the bedrooms are filled by couples and families from further afield, all looking for a relaxed retreat.
The Wild Rabbit, Cotswolds
In the heart of the Cotswolds, on the Daylesford estate, The Wild Rabbit is a modern British inn serving seasonal, hyper-local food and offering 12 bedrooms (all, like the inn itself, named after creatures found in the English countryside). There are also two cosy cottages just a short walk away and, as of late 2018, three more opposite the inn.
While it attracts an out-of-town crowd, at its heart The Wild Rabbit is a country pub, albeit one with Hugo Guinness block prints on the walls and tea lights flickering on farmhouse-style tables. It acts as a kind of sociable living room for the locals (the notice board was calling out for village bakers on our visit), with squidgy leather sofas taken up by blush-faced walkers escaping the cold, shaggy dogs lounging in front of the crackling fire and families wrapping their hands around mugs of hot chocolate and hot buttered rum.
The Boot Inn, Repton, Derbyshire
The Boot is a country pub hotel steeped in history. There has been an inn on this site, in the Derbyshire village of Repton, for several centuries, but this gastro pub has a lot more going for it than timeworn character. New owner Heidi Taylor has transformed The Boot into an ambitious bar and restaurant, where respect for tradition is confidently reconciled with contemporary design flair. There is much to see and do locally – the Peak District, Calke Abbey, sailing on Foremark reservoir – if you can tear yourself away from the inn.
Mr Hanbury’s Masons Arms, Artist Residence, Oxfordshire
A luxury pub with rooms in the countryside. In a sleepy village in rural Oxfordshire Justin and Charlie Salisbury, the duo behind quirky Artist Residence hotel group, have restored a 16th century Cotswold-stone farmhouse and opened it as their fourth property, Mr Hanbury’s Masons Arms. A community-focused pub, with five perfectly put-together bedrooms upstairs, Mr Hanbury’s is split into two areas – a cosy bar area with a classic pub menu and a more sophisticated dining room where guests can enjoy a fine dining menu.
The Bell at Langford, Cotswolds
There are plenty of contemporary-chic gastropubs in the Cotswolds but not all manage to retain the laid-back feel of a village boozer after their Farrow & Ball transformations. Happily The Bell, a 17th-century inn in pretty Langford, on the fringes of west Oxfordshire, does.
Eight stylishly simple bedrooms mean you can settle down to sample that cooking, relaxed in the knowledge you don’t have to drive anywhere afterwards. Digest with a stroll to Langford’s pink-towered Saxon church across the fields, then enjoy an early night.
The Five Bells Inn, East Brabourne, Kent
The Five Bells Inn, in the quiet Kent village of East Brabourne, surely boasts one of the prettiest approaches of any gastro pub in the southern counties. Steer a bucolic route down narrow country roads, over the rolling hills of the North Downs, and you’re met with a 16th century hostelry, its monochrome paintwork embellished with rows of cheery red and pink geraniums. The bar sets a foodie tone, with its deli-style display of local cheeses and hams – and a long list of local beers, wines and spirits, with a restaurant next door offering posh pub food.
The Montagu Arms, Hampshire
The Montagu Arms is a just a short cycle ride or drive from Brockenhurst, an ideal jumping off point for a tour of the New Forest. With open fires and wood panelling inside, and a terrace bar and pretty kitchen gardens outside, it’s a characterful spot no matter which month you visit. Add in the promise of a good supper and charming bedrooms and you’ve got the perfect recipe for post-walking or cycling pampering.
Head chef Matthew Whitfield has brought a seasonal approach to the menu, with an emphasis on produce from the surrounding coast and countryside. There’s a kitchen garden where head gardener Barry Daniel grows, prunes and plucks ingredients to then use in the Terrace Restaurant.
The Inn at Whitewell, Ribble Valley, Lancashire
This rambling inn, its old stonework a tangle of creepers, is cradled by rolling sheep-speckled hills above the River Hodder. Inside, fires blaze and crackle in open grates, walls are crammed with hunting prints and men in tweed prop up the bar. You’re not going to stumble on it by accident, but the effort it takes to get to this country pub hotel is worth it, as its many punters appreciate.
The Wheatsheaf Inn, Cotswolds
As glam as it is cosy, former coaching inn The Wheatsheaf Inn, set in a restored 17th-century Cotswold stone building, has three log res, as well as a wood-burning stove in the snug. Get comfortable with some craft beer or a bottle of wine from the 300-strong list. There’s culinary clout too; chefs Anthony Ely (previously at The Square) and Humphrey Fletcher (River Café) create seasonal dishes such as Wiltshire lamb rump with white beans, peppers and salsa verde.
Lord Crewe Arms Hotel, Blanchland
This is a luxury pub with rooms if ever we visited one. The bedrooms are spruce and the styling chic, but there is still a medieval feel to the Lord Crewe Arms in County Durham. This remote 12th-century abbey (later a hunting lodge and manor house) is, with its vaulted crypt bar, rugged stone walls and roaring open fires, a very dramatic setting. Even the prettified upper-floor dining room is suitably dressed with tartans and antlers. Not far from Hadrian’s Wall, this is shooting, walking and cycling country.
The Churchill Arms, The Cotswolds
You’re made to feel at home as soon as you step through the door of this family-friendly country pub hotel. Stand with the traditional inglenook fireplace on your right and choose from the bar, on your left, or a cosy dining room on your right (reached across a flagstone floor). The bedrooms are simply furnished; you’ll find walls painted in muted, chalky colours, original beams, hardwood floors and soft, white cotton sheets.
Timbrell’s Yard, Bradford on Avon
In a recently converted Grade II-listed building, tucked away by the river near the iconic Town Bridge and Lock Up, Timbrell’s Yard provides the perfect hideout for a gastro pub style weekend getaway. With a well-stocked bar buffeted by smartly upholstered sofas and wooden tables, plus a large restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, you need only leave Timbrell’s Yard to stroll up through the town’s honey-stone houses to cafes, shops and delis, or to stride out along the banks of the River Avon into the Wiltshire countryside.
The Star Inn, Harome
At this 14th-century thatched inn it’s a tough choice of tables between huge oak benches overlooking the kitchen garden and a snug little nook in the low-ceilinged bar. Either spot is ideal for a gin and tonic made from Whittaker’s Gin, distilled in Nidderdale using local bilberries, hawthorn and thyme.
The Talbot Inn, Mells, Somerset
In the Somerset village of Mells, close to arty Frome, The Talbot Inn is a pretty country gastro pub that ticks so many boxes it’s in danger of getting repetitive strain injury: honey-coloured stone walls, mismatched wooden tables, brass-buttoned chairs, low-ceilinged bar, open fires, cobbled courtyard and a secret garden. And while it’s possible to drop in for just a pint and a posh sausage roll, it’s a destination retreat as much as a village boozer. Relaxed, affordable cookery classes and demos with food writer Joanna Weinberg also take place at the pub.
Hurley House, Berkshire
Sandwiched between Marlow and Henley, in the Berkshire countryside, is Hurley House Hotel, a luxury pub with rooms (10 bedrooms, to be exact). The pub area has been lovingly renovated with flagstone floors, a copper-topped bar and comfy armchairs next to a welcoming fireplace while the dining room is refined but cosy with dark woods, warm lighting and racing-green leather booths for two.
The Malt House, London
While you can stay overnight very comfortably, good pub food comes first at The Malt House. It’s arguably Fulham’s most elegant pub; the décor and menus are a cut above those of average gastro boozers, treading a carefully drawn line between formal and casual. Service is prompt but never rushed, and the place lights up with twinkling fairy lights in the evening.
The Malt House is temporarily closed. Keep an eye on its website for updates.
The Cary Arms, Devon
Pub hotel The Cary Arms must be the most tranquil place for a pint in Devon. Happily sat inside the curve of Babbacombe bay, right next to Oddicombe beach, the view from the inn stretches to Portland Bill in Dorset and takes in the pink-soil cliffs of the English Riviera. Inside the inn is all log fire cosiness, with most tables pointing seawards and shiny brass ship paraphernalia throughout, while bedrooms (some dog-friendly) have that fresh coastal feel.
The Old Coastguard, Mousehole, Cornwall
On a hill overlooking Mousehole harbour, The Old Coastguard has one of the best sea views in Cornwall, with a bar that opens onto a huge summer terrace. The downstairs space is divided into an Upper Deck, which contains the restaurant and bar, and a Lower Deck, which is more loungy, with huge sofas and armchairs.
Dolaucothi Arms, Carmarthenshire, Wales
A red-and-white Georgian exterior and beautiful gardens – including manicured lawn, bee hives and wild flower meadow, a pet project of co-owner David Joy – makes for a welcoming approach from the road to Lampeter. Inside, the bar area stays true to its cosy, traditional roots – Chesterfield sofas, log burners, piles of worn books, polished quarry floor tiles and original sash windows are the highlights.
The Hardwick, Abergavenny
Stephen Terry, owner and chef of Abergavenny’s gastro pub with rooms, The Hardwick, and proud adopted Welshman, has worked with the greats – including Michel Roux Jr, Alain Passard and a young Marco Pierre White – and pocketed Michelin stars, but there’s not a shred of show-off in him or his cooking. He and his brigade work with outstanding produce from Wales and the Marches, and turn out highly elevated good pub food that never feels pretentious.
The Sun Inn, Kirkby, Lonsdale, Cumbria
If you want to avoid the tourist hordes in the Lake District proper – and who doesn’t – head into the Lune Valley on the other side of the M6 and make for The Sun Inn, in pretty Kirkby Lonsdale. Mark and Lucy Fuller have turned this 17th-century inn into a warm, lively hub of town life. Whether you want to browse in Kirkby’s independent shops, explore the Lakes or ramble in the neighbouring Yorkshire Dales, everything is on your doorstep at this gastro pub with rooms.
The Bridge Inn, Ratho, Scotland
The 18th-century Bridge Inn, in the village of Ratho on the Union canal is just a caber’s toss from Edinburgh. The field-to-plate concept is an easy one for owners Graham and Rachel Bucknall, who breed pigs and grow vegetables and herbs in the walled kitchen garden.
The Purefoy Arms, Hampshire
Set in the Hampshire heartlands, in the ridiculously pretty village of Preston Candover, The Purefoy Arms is a pub with ambition. There’s a tasting menu, including a vegetarian edition, from young chef Gordon Stott, as well as traditional pub food with modern flourishes. A log burning stove, exposed brick walls and a sea of green-moss panels with shelves of lavender, are joined by friendly staff. We order a riesling and a pint of Moretti to enjoy the view of the garden glinting in the sun, before deliberating over menus. There are slants on classics, like burger with Old Winchester cheese Welsh rarebit, and triple-cooked chips, and a six-course tasting menu. Bijou starters include Old Winchester cheese, dense and intense, in breadcrumbs, and sweet-as-sweet onion, plus pork pie with adeptly made piccalilli and poached cod kedgeree with rich quail’s egg, creamy rice, and salty capers. Lamb loin is pink and perfect and ‘The Chocolate Bar’ dessert arrives with orange sorbet, little cubes of chocolate ganache and white chocolate fudge. It’s hard not to like this pub and its unpretentious, lovely staff. Stott has the right idea – he wants diners to enjoy themselves and return, and he’s succeeding.