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 charming village of Granborough, this 1600 coaching inn has been completely refurbished since it came under new ownership 2013.
Truly beautiful nestled in the historic surroundings of Nether Westcote the Feathered Nest has ale in its blood – its roots having grown from a Cotswold stone malthouse dating from around 1665.
You’ll discover this quaint little building nestled in the Vale of the White Horse near Lambourn of race-horse fame.
This small endearing building is entered directly off the street through a low cottage-style door to a surprisingly elongated area. Standing in the centre of this lively market town, there is certain...
As pretty as a picture, this 16th-century, cottage-style pub, bedecked with flowers, lays nestled deep in the Chiltern Hills.
Nestled in the heart of the pretty village of Nettlebed, this delightful, red-brick coaching inn dates back to the 14th century.
The Ship Inn sits in a fabulous waterside position at the exact point where the Great Ouse and Little Ouse converge, offering striking panoramic views.
A true delight in the heart of the Meon Valley, well worth the detour to sample robust award-winning food, a homely atmosphere and a friendly welcome.
An enchanting grade II listed building dating back to the 16th century with a very distinctive eyebrow roof. Inside, it remains delightfully unspoilt retaining original features such as the inglenook...