Greatest nation pubs
Queens Head, Cumbria
Within the coronary heart of the Lake District, the Queens Head at Hawkshead is surrounded by very good walks. Most of those Lakeland rambles begin on the Outdated Grammar Faculty close to the pub and so they embody a five-mile stroll by way of woods and fields to Tarn Hows (thought to be probably the most breathtaking of all Lake District magnificence spots) and the equally spectacular stroll to Blelham Tarn by way of unspoilt countryside between Hawkshead and mock-gothic Wray Fortress near
the shores of Lake Windermere. As befits a pub that has welcomed drained fell walkers for the reason that Seventeenth century, the Queens Head serves a full menu at lunch and dinner, in addition to lunchtime sandwiches. Lakeland lamb makes a star look in dishes akin to a tagine of shoulder with apricots, almonds, sultanas, tomatoes, coriander and spices. Time a go to for a Sunday and you may tuck into the ‘Royal Roast’, maybe with a pint of Lakeland Gold brewed by Hawkshead Brewery within the village.
The Plough Shiplake, Henley-on-Thames
The Plough, Shiplake, Henley-on-Thames At Orwells, cooks Ryan and Liam Simpson- Trotman create formidable, trendy meals. Ryan leads the kitchen whereas green-fingered Liam grows a lot of the seasonal produce. The Plough, in distinction, shall be very a lot a pub: family- and dog-friendly, and open all day. It’s attributable to launch in Might.
Fordwich Arms, Kent
Fordwich Arms, Fordwich, Kent Cooks Dan and Natasha Smith have turned this good-looking Thirties pub right into a Michelin-starred vacation spot for intelligent, approachable cooking which, in dishes akin to pig’s cheek with lardo, prune and cracked wheat, or roast lamb with confit breast, nettles and broccoli, makes stellar use of the UK-Kentish larder. The pub’s pergola-shaded River Stour terrace has been prolonged and, with a glass of English glowing wine in hand (Kent vineyards akin to Gusbourne and Simpsons are distinguished on the menu), it makes for a very idyllic location.
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The Bridge Arms, Canterbury
Panisse simply would possibly pip chips to the put up for being probably the most moreish pub snack. The model at Daniel and Natasha Smith’s Michelin-starred The Bridge Arms are particularly good, with dashi powder for an additional savoury hit. “The chickpea panisse has been an enormous hit,” says Daniel. “We all the time needed The Bridge Arms to retain the texture of a pub – a spot you possibly can come for drinks and snacks as a lot as a three-course meal.”
Fox at Oddington, Decrease Oddington
The most recent addition to the Daylesford steady, the group’s pared-back aesthetic is tempered right here with a light-hearted cunning theme on all the pieces from topiary to tableware. Its ethereal bar and Saddle Room is constructed round a full of life open kitchen the place cooks knock out the type of relaxed, seasonal meals we may eat day by day. Sustainability is constructed into all Daylesford does, most visibly within the pub’s dwelling roof, planted with wildflowers and herbs, and performing as a nectar supply for bees. The bar and a few rooms are dog-friendly.
Chef Alan Gleeson’s menu of recent classics encourages sharing, from a half-pint of prawns and a few Daylesford cheese to the complete three programs. Small plates together with tuna tartare with soy and ginger, and heritage tomatoes teamed with feta and mint are a promising begin. A good, tender pork chop comes with greens and apple; a easy plaice with seaweed butter and Ratte potatoes. Flatbread with lardo, anchovy and salsa verde is a must-try, as is Korean fried rooster. There’s normally a fruit tart and a darkish chocolate mousse with pistachio biscotti. On-trend vanilla tender serve (with flake!) is a playful end.
The Merry Harriers, Hambledon
Set within the small picture-postcard village of Hambledon, at first look The Merry Harriers appears to be like like a daily nation pub. However cross over the highway and also you’ll discover 5 glamped-up shepherd’s huts set round a tranquil pond, with an uninterrupted view of the rolling Surrey Hills within the distance. All the pub classics are current and proper: do-it-yourself burgers with chilli relish, crisp-battered fish ’n’ chips with chunky tartare, and beneficiant slabs of ham hock terrine with punchy piccalilli. There are additionally just a few extra refined dishes – beetroot carpaccio with native goat’s cheese and candied hazelnuts, sea bass with crushed potatoes and salsa verde, and a gently spiced vegan squash massaman curry. Native drinks are effectively represented, with wine from Albury Natural Winery, Artful Brewing Firm beers from up the highway in Godalming, and Vann Lane Gin from the distillery subsequent door.
The pub has teamed up with micro-distillery Village Spirit Collective subsequent door to create a bespoke Ginfluencer in a single day expertise. This features a tour of the distillery from proprietor Ian Cox, plus a masterclass in making a bespoke gin. Ian has remoted 20 botanicals (together with lesser-known ones akin to orris root, angelica and cubeb pepper) that you could style individually and charge for choice, then create your personal mix out of your favourites. The expertise lasts from a one-hour taster to a full two- to three-hour masterclass and contains an in a single day keep, two-course dinner and full breakfast.
Kinneuchar Inn, Fife
Fife’s newest opening has already proved an awesome hit with the critics – Marina O’Loughlin referred to as it “spellbinding” in her Sunday Occasions column – and it’s straightforward to see why. Opens fires, cosy nooks and furnishings crafted from native wooden occupy the whitewashed village inn, and from the kitchen there’s a every day altering menu that’s in tune with its considerable native larder. Wild and farmed meals come from the close by Balcaskie Property, fish and shellfish from the county’s shoreline, there are native breed meats and recreation, that are butchered on web site, and natural and foraged fruit and veg.
Chef James Ferguson has been within the business all his life, rising up within the kitchen of his dad and mom’ Yorkshire restaurant earlier than making his mark alongside Angela Hartnett in The Connaught and Margot Henderson at Rochelle Canteen; whereas associate Alethea Palmer has been GM at Arnold & Henderson in London for the previous eight years, and right here runs entrance of home.
Anticipate British meals at its greatest: belted Galloway sirloin to share with chips, horseradish and pickled walnuts; Texel lamb faggots and break up peas; devilled hare kidneys on toast; and rooster, smoked bacon and trotter pie.
Arrive for lunch Thursday to Saturday, dinner Wednesday to Saturday, or simply for drinks (native, British and European beers, or from the wine checklist) Tuesday night by way of to Sunday.
The Black Bear Inn, Bettws Newydd
Having taken over Bettws Newydd’s village pub in November 2018, Josh and Hannah Byrne are profiting from their new rural setting to create hyper-local menus that change by the week. With the likes of Bristol’s Poco Tapas and Bar Buvette, in addition to The Hind’s Head in Bray, on his CV, chef Josh has an appreciation for impeccably contemporary produce and a style for daring and bold flavours. There are simply three choices for every course, one meat, one fish and one veggie – all are scrawled on the large blackboard and decided by what’s rising shut by. Meat is sourced on a whole- or half-animal foundation and Josh butchers them himself, utilizing each final inch.
His creations are a homage to the couple’s new life within the Welsh countryside: hogget, sourced from a close-by farm, is slowly braised till blissfully tender and ultra-umami, and served with mash loaded with cream and butter, and a heap of forest-coloured greens from Hannah’s veg plot. Domestically foraged ceps bathed in butter and garlic are meaty giants of the fungus fraternity. Save rom for bar snacks, too – home favourites embody deep-fried Porthilly rock oysters, conventional Welsh rarebit, and ham and mustard croquettes.
Low-intervention and natural wines take the lead on a complete drinks invoice. There’s additionally an attention-grabbing choice of artisan cider and perry, together with a reasonably particular champagne-method bottle from Herefordshire producer Gregg’s Pit.
Brassica Beaminster, Dorset
Chef Cass Titcombe used to run London’s Canteen, an influential place well-known for its roasts, and he continues this custom at his Dorset restaurant. On Sundays, Cass serves a full à la carte menu alongside a roast choice that alternates between sharing platters of native hogget, pork, Devon Ruby beef and sometimes venison, all with duck-fat-roasted potatoes and natural greens from a neighborhood farm. Children can order half parts so the entire household can tuck in as they’d at dwelling.
The Pheasant, Shefford Woodlands, Berkshire
As befits a rural pub a delicate canter from Lambourn within the so-called ‘Valley of the Racehorse’, The Pheasant has a powerful racing theme and is frequented by riders and trainers alike. With a pint of Pheasant Ale, seize a desk by the log hearth and tuck into venison shepherd’s
pie with piped whipped mash, parsnips and honey-roasted carrots; or roast pork with super-crisp pores and skin, yorkshire pud, roast potatoes and a aspect of creamy cauliflower cheese. Depart a gap for the melt-in-the-mouth sharing tarte tatin served sizzling from oven and accompanied by two bowls of ice cream.
The Woodsman, Stratford-upon-Avon
From the open kitchen within the centre of this lodge restaurant, Mike Robinson and his cooks serve conventional Sunday roasts akin to wood-fired bantam rooster with lemon, garlic and glazed carrots, or dry-aged Hereford beef picanha (a rump cap) for 2 cooked over native charcoal. The menu additionally contains loads of wild recreation from the Midlands and Cotswolds, together with the signature dish of braised, glazed shoulder of untamed Gloucestershire roe deer with ‘soiled mash’ (pomme mousseline made with 50% butter and cream, and 50% potato, with shredded deer shoulder, herbs, crispy crumbs, venison gravy and Wiltshire truffle) for 2. Mike says: “We concentrate on sharing dishes reasonably than a carvery-style lunch and this makes for exact and constant cooking. Our in-house butchery means we use carcasses nostril to tail, and our personal deer larder within the Cotswolds implies that all of the venison served is harvested and ready by us.”
The Star Inn at Harome, north Yorkshire
After cooking professionally for greater than 30 years, Andrew Pern is aware of a factor or two about creating the proper atmosphere for a correct Sunday lunch. A 14th-century pub with-rooms within the chocolate field North Yorkshire Moors village of Harome, The Star focusses on utilizing hyper-local produce, a lot of it grown in Andrew’s considerable kitchen backyard. “Sunday lunch at The Star has grow to be very a lot a spot to have fun all issues ‘household’,” says Andrew. “Having been voted Greatest Sunday Lunch within the World by Lonely Planet, we have now loads to reside as much as, however with our open fires, low beams, wonky partitions and thatched roof, The Star definitely units the scene.” In fact, the Michelin-starred meals helps, too, and Sunday menus embody native recreation when it’s in season and a Yorkshire Pudding Royale which is full of black truffle shavings and foie gras, and served with aged madeira gravy.
Pink Lion Freehouse East Chisenbury, Wiltshire
A thatched pub tucked away in a distant a part of Wiltshire, The Pink Lion has been run by husband-and-wife cooks Man and Brittany Manning for the previous 11 years. The couple beforehand loved a stellar profession within the kitchens of notable eating places each side of the Atlantic – Man labored at Chez Bruce in London after which at Thomas Keller’s three-Michelin-starred Per Se restaurant in New York, the place he met pastry chef Brittany. Although it has its personal Michelin star, the Pink Lion remains to be very a lot a village pub the place locals can pop in for a pint of Wiltshire-brewed beer from Three Daggers Brewery. A full menu runs alongside the Sunday roasts so anticipate roast Cornish turbot sitting alongside rump of Wiltshire beef with roast potatoes cooked in roast rooster and beef fats, roast veal chop and truffled mash or, in case you’re fortunate, slow-cooked pork from the pub’s personal Saddleback pigs.
Fortress Farm Midford, Tub
A transformed barn on a farm a brief drive from central Tub, Pravin and Leah Nayar have definitely created one thing particular at Fortress Farm. On Sunday, it’s all about sharing platters down the center of lengthy tables so you possibly can style all of the meat (42-day-aged rump of beef from native farmer Robin Pitkin, entire Castlemead rooster and roasted loin of Berkshire pork) with greens from the backyard outdoors and “good” golden roasties. “You solely have to take a look at his Instagram highlights to see he’s actually obsessed about his roast potatoes,” says Leah of her husband’s meticulous consideration to element. Altering his potato of selection relying on the season, chef offers his spuds an extended parboil, a correct drain and “a superb shake so that you get all of the crispy bits”, earlier than cooking in native Fussels rapeseed oil with herbs and garlic for the last word color and texture. Depart room for traditional desserts akin to seasonal fruit crumble, and bread and butter pudding.
The White Horse Haselbury Plucknett, Somerset
With dried hops dangling from the excessive ceiling beams, luxurious leather-based armchairs and Instagram-friendly pooches stretched out in entrance of the fireplaces, this Seventeenth-century inn could be very a lot the hub of the tiny (inhabitants of round 750) Somerset village of Haselbury Plucknett each Sunday. The welcome from proprietor Rebecca Robinson is as heat as the 2 crackling fires within the bar, whereas chef husband Richard (previously at London’s Orrery and Prism at Harvey Nichols) concentrates on roasts so spectacular that the pub was runner-up within the 2018 Observer Meals Month-to-month Awards for Greatest Sunday Lunch.
In addition to three roasts, the pub serves a Sunday sharing board, which might function roast rooster, nine-hour slow-cooked pork stomach and roast 40-day, dry-aged beef with yorkshires, duck-fat roast potatoes and BBQ seasonal veg.
The Crown, Minchinhampton
Again open, after seven years dormant and because the newest opening from The Fortunate Onion group, The Crown serves cask ales and polished pub fare within the Cotswold market city of Minchinhampton. Danny Fields leads the kitchen, whereas govt chef Ronnie Bonetti (beforehand of Soho Farmhouse and Babington Home) oversees the menu right here, in addition to at sister eateries together with No 131 and The Hole Backside in Cheltenham.
Courting again to 1715, The Crown has been handsomely restored. Assume candlelit picket tables, chandeliers and leather-based banquettes, alongside uncovered brick partitions painted in shades of sage and gray, with glinting rose-gold detailing. It’s as welcoming whether or not you’re windswept in wellies or dressed up for date evening. There’s a large sun-trap patio, too, with its personal bar, and it’s all dog-friendly.
Anticipate conventional British dishes, completed proper. Meat eaters take your choose from the dry-aged chiller cupboard – steaks are regionally sourced, aged for no less than 30 days, grilled over charcoal and served with fries and watercress. There’s fish and chips, rooster in a basket, ham, egg and chips, and the like, in addition to tempting veggie choices. Silky-smooth discipline mushroom baked with a golden, crumbly garlic and stilton filling served us effectively for a starter, whereas a pie from the specials board arrived as a steaming-hot mixture of mushrooms, beetroot, broccoli, carrots and spinach with a proud pastry lid. Puds are equally basic and effectively completed – jammy plum crumble neatly balanced sweetness with tartness and was the proper foil for a creamy custard.
The Gurnard’s Head, Cornwall
This award-winning pub with rooms overlooking the Atlantic is known as after the close by granite headland that juts into the ocean and resembles the top of a gurnard fish. Accessed by way of winding, slender roads that bisect gorse-covered moorland dotted with cows from the natural dairy farm subsequent door, The Gurnard’s Head occupies an enviable spot on one of many UK’s most dramatic coastlines. It’s little marvel that this wild and distant (you’ll be fortunate to get a cellphone sign) place near the coastal path between St Ives and Penzance has impressed so many artists and writers through the years, together with DH Lawrence, who lived in a close-by cottage in 1915.
Individuals flock to the Penwith Peninsula for some critically bracing walks alongside the coastal path with its stays of previous tin mines, waterfalls, shallow river valleys and glimpses of tucked-away sandy coves on the foot of the craggy, windswept cliffs. Additionally close by is Chysauster, a late-Iron Age village and one of many earliest identified pre-Roman settlements within the nation.“The easy issues in life completed effectively” is the tagline for The Gurnard’s Head, the place foods and drinks is as vital because the no-frills however comfy bedrooms (with pastel-coloured Roberts radios and opulent beds). The pub’s fashionable Winter Escape deal (£160 per couple per evening together with a three-course dinner) sees a seasonal menu profiting from the area’s produce, with typical dishes together with a hearty ploughman’s of Westcombe cheddar, pickles and soda bread, and purple gurnard with cuttlefish, spring onions, ginger and seaweed.
The Globe Inn, Norfolk
On a Georgian sq. in Wells-next-the-Sea, The Globe Inn is as fashionable with walkers as it’s the birdwatchers who flock to this timeless North Norfolk (take a look at our weekend information to North Norfolk right here) coastal city. The pub has robust hyperlinks with the city’s farmers and fishermen – anticipate to eat lobster and crab delivered straight from the marina, and beef that has grazed on the salt marshes on the fringes of centuries-old estates.
With such tremendous meals on supply, a superb stroll is required to burn off the energy, and the pub is the place to begin for quite a few coastal routes-. The most effective is the 8.5-mile stroll to Morston Quay, which passes fishermen’s huts and creeks with a lot of bird-spotting potential, though the round stroll by way of the deer park on the historic Holkham Property and the pine woods at West Sands, can be a winner. The Globe Inn’s Antonia Bournes says: “It’s such a superb space for walks however we’re additionally very fortunate to have the Coasthopper bus service simply up the highway, which suggests our residents can depart their automobile and stroll so far as they need, catch the bus again to Wells-next-the-Sea, then the following day they will set off on the bus to the place they left off and keep on strolling.”
Cawdor Tavern, Nairnshire
Near Fifteenth-century Cawdor Fortress, with its hyperlinks to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and surrounded by great countryside and numerous walks, this pub within the village of Cawdor serves proudly trendy Scottish meals and Highland beers to match. Within the eating room, with its oak panels and Jacobean chandeliers, refuel with panko-breadcrumbed haggis bon bons and smoked bacon aïoli or venison haunch steak with kale, celeriac purée, wild mushrooms and bramble jus as you sup a pint of Orkney Brewery Pink MacGregor (the Champion Bitter of Britain 2018) or fellow award winner Darkish Island Reserve.
Walkers make up a big proportion of the guests to the Cawdor Tavern, with the riverside stroll alongside the River Nairn and the shorter round stroll to Cawdor Wooden with its spectacular gorges among the many hottest routes for these with strolling boots.
Anchor Inn, Dorset
“On the subject of strolling within the space, you actually are spoilt for selection,” says Paul Wiscombe, the owner of the Anchor Inn at Seatown, a pub on the seashore overlooking Lyme Bay. “However, in fact, it is determined by how energetic you’re feeling,” he provides with a smile, earlier than itemizing the totally different choices for “severe” walkers who deliver their boots and waterproofs, or these merely in search of a delicate stroll after lunch. On the Jurassic Coast, this pub is subsequent to a shingle seashore beneath towering cliffs, and near the seaside resorts of Lyme Regis and West Bay (the situation for the TV collection Broadchurch).
One of the crucial fashionable walks within the space is a hilly one which begins on the Domesday village of Symondsbury and follows an previous drovers’ route, the Dorset Holloways (‘sunken roads’) and Colmer’s Hill earlier than ending at Golden Cap, the very best level on England’s south coast. The seashore at Seatown is a well-liked spot for accumulating fossils, which might typically be noticed after the tide goes out, and the family-friendly pub serves a variety of dishes, from the malt-vinegar and sea-herb-battered fish with crushed peas, tartare sauce and chips, to chargrilled steak with samphire butter, creamed spinach and crushed hot-smoked potato salad. Wash it down with a pint of regionally brewed Palmers ale and watch the well-known sunsets over the bay.
The Queens Arms, Somerset
An 18th-century village pub with rooms within the rolling hills of Somerset, The Queens Arms at Corton Denham has been run by Jeanette and Gordon Reid for the previous decade, throughout which period they’ve received numerous awards. From the mountain of do-it-yourself pork pies on the bar at hand pumps serving pints of Legless Liz – an ale made completely for the pub to mark the Queen’s ninetieth birthday – this pub caters for locals, vacationers and the various walkers and cyclists passing the door. The Reids present maps for native routes, together with a round stroll from the pub by way of quiet nation lanes by way of villages with quaint names akin to Chilton Cantelo and Queen Camel. A few of these locations additionally seem on the menu as lots of the farms and native shoots supplying the kitchen are inside a 10-mile radius. The house owners even have their very own smallholding two miles away. An autumn meal on the pub would possibly function pigeon, swede consommé, pickled beetroot, blackberries and radish, maybe adopted by broccoli risotto with Dorset Blue Vinney and almonds.
The Three Tuns, Wiltshire
This pub welcomes muddy boots, paws and youngsters. With its scrubbed pine tables, contemporary flowers in previous gin bottles, low beams, actual fires, leather-based sofas and window sills lined with previous whisky-branded water jugs, it matches comfortably within the village pub bracket. Earlier than taking on The Three Tuns six years in the past, James Wilsey labored in quite a few high-profile London eating places together with Scott’s of Mayfair and The Anglesea Arms close to Shepherd’s Bush. His menu combines pub classics and trendy British restaurant dishes, with do-it-yourself scotch egg with apple purée and celeriac remoulade sitting fortunately alongside a rump of lamb, braised lentils, purple sprouting broccoli, Provençal tomato and salsa verde.
There are a selection of fantastic walks ranging from this pub within the peaceable village of Nice Bedwyn close to Marlborough. A couple of minutes down the highway from The Three Tuns you’ll discover the Kennet and Avon Canal, which makes for a beautiful stroll all 12 months spherical. “On chilly days, you possibly can scent the woodburners on the barges, and it all the time seems like a distinct tempo of life down by the water,” says James’s spouse, Ashley. “It’s an awesome stroll for youngsters as effectively, as it’s fairly flat and there’s tons of wildlife across the water. You additionally get to look at the locks being opened and closed because the boats make their method by way of.” Walkers may also attain neighbouring villages alongside the canal, in addition to native locations such because the Crofton Beam Engines. From the bottom of the locks, you can too stroll straight up a small hill to achieve the paths of the Bedwyn Brail, identified for its wooded copses, hills and farmland, in addition to stays of Roman settlements.
Alternatively, you can also make your method straight to the woods behind the pub, which might both result in the little Thirteenth-century thatched chapel at Chisbury, the hamlet and hidden treasure of St Katharine’s Church, or straight into the traditional Savernake Forest, the place you’ll discover some 3,000 acres of beautiful woods with a number of notable ‘veteran timber’.
And for these with drained toes and blisters after all of the strolling, it’s value noting that there’s a mainline practice station in Bedwyn with a direct service to and from Paddington, Studying and Newbury.
The Ship Inn, Northumberland
Native lobster and kippers, reside folk-music nights and a wooden burner make this whitewashed pub near sweeping seashores and iconic castles, a must-visit pit cease for weary Northumberland coast walkers. Run by Christine Forsyth and her daughter Hannah for the previous 20 years, The Ship Inn at Low Newton-by-the-Sea close to Alnwick brews its personal beer in an on-site microbrewery. Shut sufficient to the rocks to listen to seals calling, the pub serves meat from neighbouring farms, and fish and seafood from native day boats. A typical dinner would possibly kick off with Peelham Farm salami, chorizo and air-dried ham and proceed with native mackerel fillets marinated with soy and lime, served with a fennel and rocket salad.
It’s good gasoline for walkers recovering from exhilarating coastal rambles such because the Nationwide Belief stroll from Low Newton to Craster – dwelling of the legendary kippers. The stroll passes the ruins of the long-lasting Dunstanburgh Fortress and Embleton Sands, and is notable for its migrating birds in autumn and spectacular mild in winter. Alternatively, the stroll to the village of Beadnell takes in Newton Pool Nature Reserve within the Northumberland Coast Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence.
The Bell at Skenfrith, Monmouthshire
On the banks of the River Monnow within the lush and inexperienced Welsh Marches, this Seventeenth-century former teaching inn has created six of its personal round countryside walks for friends. The walks run to and from the pub, every with a map and outline of footpaths and drawings of factors of native curiosity. The walks have been created with native couple Eira and Harry Steggles, who’ve been married and strolling collectively for some 60 years, and embody The Black Habits Black Deeds Stroll and A Woodland Wander.
Though many weary walkers will cease off at The Bell for lunch or dinner, normally close to the warming inglenook hearth, house owners Richard Ireton and Sarah Hudson additionally organise picnics, and if anybody will get misplaced they may rescue them. The Knights Templar path wanders into England and again once more to Wales, taking in Garway church with one of many earliest Knights Templar altars. And it’s not simply walkers who’re made to really feel welcome at The Bell – four-legged walkers are handled simply as effectively with free canine biscuits behind the bar and an outside pooch parlour the place canines and the muddy boots of their house owners might be washed.