In the present economic climate the quintessential English pub has been forced to move with the times and we are witnessing the birth of a new breed of country inn. The finest real ale, often supplied from a local brewery, remains a major priority but these days it doesn't stop there – exceedingly good ciders and lagers are also offered, along with a comprehensive wine list and a huge range of soft drinks and speciality coffees. But the biggest change is in the quality of food now bought to the table.
The standard of cooking reflected in rural inns is reaching new heights, and rising all the time, and many are getting their just reward in the way of food awards. This is largely due to the quality of local produce that goes into the cooking and the standard of talented chefs employed by these establishments. The regions boast a plethora of evolving gastropubs and we are pleased to report that the ambience and atmosphere has not been neglected in the pursuit of first-class food and drink.
Food is very much key at the Cherry Tree Inn near Henley on Thames (Oxon), where the chef comes from an accomplished culinary background; his food is full of innovation yet still showcasing many pub favourites. Or seek out The Milk House in Sissinghurst (Kent) for accomplished simple food.
Many pubs take it a step further and make the whole eating and drinking experience more of an event. Some put on themed menu nights, summer BBQs or serve scrumptious afternoon tea and cakes. But one traditional thing that has survived the test of time is the good old Sunday roast, still very popular with families.
Situated in the heart of the picturesque Chiltern Hills, this well-run village pub offers fresh, locally produced food that you really want to go out for, and an excellent range of drinks.
A Lewes gem that you won’t want to miss! Tucked away on the edge of town down by the boat dock overlooking the chalk cliffs, this is the perfect place to finish a hike, particularly as many trails...
This ivy-clad pub comes in the form of a listed Georgian coaching inn, with high ceilings and open fires, dating back to the 1830s.
Inside this authentic village tavern, situated in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, is everything you would associate with the word 'authentic.'
Claiming to be the only pub in the UK called The Polecat, this rather smart rural pub supporting a partial timber frame, dates back to the 1600s and is housed in an attractive former hunting lodge.
The Griffin is a proper local pub with a truly authentic feel that is matched by few other establishments. Family run with great passion, a devoted crowd flock to the well-stocked bar for real ales...
This unsung little gem of a pub, set in a delightful village in the heart of the Chilterns with a vineyard directly behind, brings back fond memories of what a real English country pub should be.
A dreamy Cotswold inn serving award-winning food, the Swan pins its colours to the mast of the flagpole stood outside its doors.
The Old Queens Head sits on the border between the villages of Penn and Tylers Green and is proud to find itself at the heart these two lovely communities.