Even the most committed of London foodies need a break from this glorious city of ours. But when we go away for a weekend break, we still want the food to be amazing. Here's our pick of the best UK hotels, inns and restaurants with rooms where your dinner will be every bit as amazing as the setting.
New Milton, Hampshire.
Situated on the edge of the New Forest, this grand country house has been a hotel since the 60s. Before that it was the kind of country estate to inspire authors - this is where Children of the New Forest was written - and the extensive grounds run down to the sea. Although if you don't fancy a bracing sea dip you could always opt for Europe's biggest hydrotherapy pool instead.
Food and wine have always been key to the hotel's regular appearance on World's Best Hotels lists. The main dining room aims to be fine dining without the fuss - you're as likely to find barbecued cauliflower with hazelnut dukkah on there as Chateaubriand for two. You should be able to find wine to go with it - there are more than 1900 wines on the list. Alternatively, the Kitchen restaurant has wood fired pizzas and gourmet burgers on the menu like wagyu with truffle mayo or soft shell crab with wasabi mayo. There's also a cookery school with a syllabus created by the hotel's alumnus James Martin (he worked in the kitchens here in his 20s).
Rooms: Larger suites look out over the perfectly manicured croquet lawn or you could opt for one with your own hot tub out on the terrace. But the real pearls are the treehouse suites set 35 feet off the ground.
Prices: Rooms from £325, suites from £655.
This Cornish farmhouse combines a restaurant and bakery with a guesthouse. The folk behind it are chefs Tom Adams (Pitt Cue) and NYC’s April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig) and it’s one of our own favourite places to be. Spend the day, wellies on, roaming the 66 acres before heading back to dinner in their converted barn where you’re likely to find meat from their own Mangalitza pigs on the menu in some form. Afterwards, hit up the marvellously stocked honesty bar. Breakfasts are legendary - and baker Ben Glazer’s sourdough that’s made on site helps contribute to that.
Rooms: 5 - a mixture of twins and doubles. Bedrooms are comfortable and homely - on our second visit, the one we were in (Room 5) had beech leaf gin and fudge waiting for us.
Prices: Singles from £130, Thursday & Sunday: double bed and breakfast from £180, Friday & Saturday: double bed and breakfast from £195.
Set in the heart of the Lake District National Park, Forest Side has emerged, literally and figuratively, as a beacon of excellence in the area. Turning this dark Victorian villa into a light bright hotel complete with restored Victorian-walled kitchen garden has clearly been a labour of love for head chef, Kevin Tickle and his team. Tickle, who spent nine years at L’Enclume and Rogan & Co before crossing Cumbria to open his own place, won a Michelin star for the restaurant just eight months after it opened.
Much is made in house, from their own hams and salamis to pickles from food either grown in the garden or foraged nearby. If it's not made here, it's not from far away. One of the main dishes currently is described thus: 'Will and Emma's Herdwick Hogget from three and half minutes up the road (four and half if the traffic is bad)'. The fruits of foraging can even be found in the cocktails served up in the bar here if you fancy trying foraged meadow sweet-infused vodka.
Rooms: They range from cosy through to huge master suites and are designed with a light, modern touch. There are also some set aside that are particularly dog-friendly.
Prices: From £229 per room per night in a Double Room, based on two adults sharing, including breakfast.
Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross
One of those marvellous grande dame hotels, Gleneagles was built by the General Manager of the Caledonian Railway Company and opened in 1924 so folk could enjoy the best hunting, fishing and shooting this part of Scotland could offer. Today it still offers most of that (shooting is now clay pigeon) but one of the big reasons people head up here is for the food. There are several restaurants in the hotel, but the one you really need to book is Scotland's only two Michelin-starred restaurant, Andrew Fairlie. The man himself may have left us, but his team are still striving for excellence. The smoked lobster is the signature dish here - it's given a five-hour infusion over whisky barrel chips. Newer dishes include Confit cod with shellfish, verjus and basil oil. If you're looking for something a little less fine-dining, then they've just relaunched the main dining room as The Strathearn, with a fresh look and a lot ot tableside trolley action going on.
After dinner head on over to the hotel's clubhouse where you can pull up a seat by the firepit and sit with a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue Label and a Cuban cigar for the full oligarch effect.
Rooms: This is a huge place. There are 232 luxury bedrooms, including 27 suites and that's before we get to the lodges in the grounds. Even the compact bedrooms are a generous size but if you're after something special the Glenmor Lodges - which come with free golf thrown in - are amazing.
Prices: Rooms start at £292 a night
Originally a restaurant with rooms, this Pembrokeshire hostelry is most definitely a hotel now and a lovely one at that. Anyone searching for a place to soothe the soul will find the hotel's setting quite magical (and it's also near to plenty of beaches if you're planning any seaside trips while you're here).
They have a large kitchen garden which minimises food miles, as does the foraging in the local hedgerows and woods. Chef Douglas Balish has just joined the hotel fresh from having won a Michelin star at Great Fosters and says his team here are really "pushing to the next level". Dishes in the fine dining Fernery may be starkly described as "Scallop - truffle - chive" but they look wonderful. There's also more casual food on offer in the Artisan Rooms where you might try a braised featherblade from local award-winning Eynon’s Butchers or go for the all-Welsh cheese plate. If you're planning on heading out on one of their walking trails, get the kitchen to make up a hamper of local treats.
Rooms: Choose between rooms and suites in the house itself which are a little more traditional in design or the more modern cottages and suites in the grounds, some of which have their own private terraces.
Prices: Classic rooms from £240 a night, including breakfast
What does a partnership between a billionaire (with great taste) and one of the UK's best chefs look like? Well, Heckfield Place is the answer. Gerald Chan, who also owns Skye's Gyngell's London restaurant Spring, brought her in as Culinary Director of this beautiful Georgian estate in Hampshire.
There are two main restaurants - Marle (which is also open to non-residents) and the more casual Hearth which is for guests only. And from this summer there's also a seasonal place to eat, The Sun House in the hotel's glasshouse with a menu focusing on Heckfield-grown vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs from the 16-acre biodynamically-principled Home Farm, Market Garden and Orchard.
When you're not enjoying the super-seasonal fare, you can be wild swimming in the lake, doing yoga in the Little Bothy or just watching a movie in the gorgeous screening room.
Rooms: There are 38 rooms, six Signature suites and a cottage.
Prices: Rooms start at £350 a night including breakfast.
Set in the heart of the New Forest, this beautiful hotel lavishes as much attention on its food offering as it does its tremendous spa. Angela Hartnett, along with Head Chef, Luke Holder is responsible for the restaurant here and often invites her chef friends over for special events. There’s a cookery school on site, they have their own smokehouse and if you overindulge one day, head to the spa to their outdoor hot pool before working your way through the Raw and Cured menu.
Rooms: Bedrooms range from the cosy - tucked in under the eaves of the main house - to lavish forest suites in the grounds with open fires, and decks opening out over the New Forest.
Prices: Double rooms start from £395 per night, not including breakfast, but include access to the spa.
Chef Michael Caines' actual manor is in a beautiful neck of the woods on the banks of the Exe estuary. In an ideal world, you’ll be staying here when the weather’s clement, allowing you to have a pre-dinner cocktail out on the veranda. Wine is a big deal here - they’re waiting for the vineyard Caines planted to produce its first bottles, but meanwhile, there’s a state-of-the-art Wine Emotion dispense system allowing you to try great wines by the glass. Food is firmly of the fine dining variety - this would be a great place to come for a special occasion.
Rooms: 21 bedrooms and suites. The biggest have outdoor soak tubs and fire pits. If you can afford it, spring for one with a balcony or terrace so you can enjoy a G&T, from your complimentary gin tray, outside overlooking the amazing views of the River Exe.
Prices: Rooms from £315 per night including breakfast.
Great Milton, Oxfordshire
Raymond Blanc’s vision for his 15th century Cotswolds manor house has taken 35 years to come to fruition and he’s still innovating. The kitchen gardens here are wholly organic, and have been way before it was popular, helping to direct the seasonality of the menu. It’s been the proud possessor of two Michelin stars since it opened and dining here you can see why. Throw yourself into the gourmet experience and go for one of the tasting menus. Either before or after your meal here, make time to enjoy a walk in the exquisite water gardens, created by the monks who were here in the 16th century.
Rooms: There are 32 rooms and suites. We’ve stayed both in the main house and out in one of the fabulous garden suites and both rooms were amazing.
Prices: Deluxe rooms either in the Main House or the Garden Courtyard start from £695 per night based on two people sharing, including breakfast in the Conservatory.
This 17th-century country house is in a beautiful spot, set just off the North Norfolk coast road. Owners Galton and Tracy Blackiston have been running things here since the Nineties and the restaurant's held a Michelin star for 20 consecutive years now.
Join fellow diners for canapes before dinner, which is served in one sitting, with a no-choice seven-course menu that changes daily. They make full use of local produce so you might find Wild sea bass from down the road in Stiffkey served up with a whey butter sauce or a dessert of Suffolk raw milk cream from Bungay with blackcurrants. Breakfasts are full-on with kidneys and fried bread on the full English or opt for the hall's own smoked salmon with scrambled eggs.
Work off the calories with a walk to the sea - you're just five minutes from a quay where they do boat trips to see the seals.
Rooms: There are 13 bedrooms in total. You'll find seven in the main house and six garden suites in the grounds. Some have separate lounges and private patios, surrounded by lavender. A lot can be made up as twins, making this a useful place to come if you're travelling with friends not partners.
Prices: Room rates start at £180 per person for their Dine and Dream package which includes dinner, bed and breakfast.
There are now five hotels in the Pig group, but this was the original, opened in 2011 by Robin Hutson, fresh from having sold off his Hotel du Vin chain. Head Chef Andy Wright teams up with forager Garry Eveleigh and kitchen gardener Alex Coutts to make sure the menus here are ultra-seasonal and when you browse them, they’re split into dishes derived from food grown in the hotel’s kitchen garden or polytunnel, or from local ‘Forest & Solent’ produce. If you’re after something more casual grab a flatbread from the wood-fired oven out on the hotel’s terrace.
Rooms: The 31 rooms range from snug to the spacious Bert’s Box cabin in the hotel grounds. Minibars/larders serve a strong game with local beers, snacking salamis and retro sweets.
Prices: Rooms start from £190
Given the size of this 19th-century manor house, it’s amazing that they’ve managed to fit in not one but three restaurants. The Grey’s Brasserie menu features slightly more casual fare, and The Green Room is a counter dining spot serving up small plates prepared in front of you. But the real reason you’re here is for Niall Keating’s food. Keating - Michelin’s European Young Chef of the Year for 2018 - says his food is modern British, but you can trace influences from around the world. They also do particularly good vegetarian and vegan menus. The gardens here are lovely, and the spa does a good job of destressing frazzled urban folk.
All the rooms have recently had a full refurb, and they've added a "Kitchen Table" experience in the main kitchen too.
Rooms: There are 23 rooms ranging from classic up to Grand Suite. We stayed in a suite which, frankly, was bigger than our flat in London and much better appointed.
Prices: Rooms are available from £249 (including breakfast and VAT), with Gourmet Packages from £569 Spa Packages from £529.
If you haven't heard of Tommy Banks and this Yorkshire restaurant with rooms, where exactly have you been for the past five or so years? Liberally festooned with awards - it has a Michelin star, was voted The Best Restaurant in the UK 2018 by The Food and Travel Magazine and Tommy won the Great British Menu two years in a row. It's very much a family affair. The Banks have farmed these here parts for years and Tommy's brother James is head of front of house.
As for the food, it's a real field to plate operation - they grow loads of their own. There's just one tasting menu on offer and it does feature his signature dish of Crapaudine beetroot cooked in beef fat. The best thing about staying over is that you can enjoy some of the really inventive cocktails on their list using foraged ingredients they've then distilled, frozen or dried. Breakfasts are also a highlight.
Rooms: All nine rooms are out of the main building and have been designed by Tommy's mother Anne. Expect cosy interiors, the odd four-poster bed and copper baths.
Prices: From £390 for dinner, bed and breakfast.
Strachur, Argyll & Bute
Could there be a prettier spot than this Scottish restaurant on the shores of Loch Fyne? Looking out over the lake and with a charmingly ruined medieval castle in the background, it's the perfect - dare we say it - Insta-friendly getaway. Luckily the food more than lives up to its setting. Chef Pam Brunton is ex-The Greenhouse and took over this rural restaurant with her husband Rob back in 2015. There is an a-la-carte menu if you're hiking past here and want to pop in for a glass of great wine and oysters, but what you really want to do is book in for the full experience along with the tasting menu. Dishes might include wild sea trout and green strawberries or local Isle of Bute Lamb served up with new season garlic and kale.
The dining room is gorgeous. On a summer's evening when the sun barely sets, it's flooded with light. On a winter's evening, you can hunker down next to the wood burning stove. Before or after dinner, make sure to spend time in their lovely bar - where you can try their own beer, brewed in partnership with the local brewery Fyne Ales.
Rooms: Overnight accommodation is in luxury bothies next to the restaurant. The best thing is that you'll be brought a picnic breakfast basket in the morning with their homemade sourdough bread, fresh local eggs, and juices from the fruit and veg they grow themselves.
Prices: Bed and breakfast £185 (Based on two people sharing / Single occupancy £160). Dinner, bed and breakfast £295 (Tasting menu only, for two people / Single occupancy £215)
Ormskirk, West Lancashire
Moor Hall is so old they think it pre-dates the Norman Conquest. But while the building is ancient, its transformation into one of the UK's top restaurants with rooms is very much of the moment. Chef Mark Birchall was formerly Executive Chef at L’Enclume and in the two years he's been here, the main restaurant has picked up no fewer than two Michelin stars, 5 AA Rosettes and voted as the best restaurant in the whole of the UK by the National Restaurant Awards.
The main 50-seat restaurant serves up modern British cuisine, wherever possible using produce grown on the five-acre Moor Hall site, or from local suppliers - think dishes like Baked carrots served up with Doddington cheese, chrysanthemum and sea buckthorn. The Barn is their 65-seat informal dining room if you’re after venison fritters or maybe roast Herdwick lamb. There's also a small dairy, bakery, meat-aging and curing room and a mini brewery on site.
Rooms: They have seven bedrooms - five located in the main Hall with a further two in the gatehouse by the lake. They're beautifully decorated - cosy up in one of their window seats while you gaze across the lake - and have all the mod cons like a Nespresso machine too.
Prices: Prices range from £195-£350, inclusive of VAT and breakfast.
Paul Ainsworth is synonymous with Cornwall seaside town Padstow (as well as a certain Rick Stein), where he has three places in the town. His main restaurant is Paul Ainsworth at no 6 - the Michelin-starred restaurant in a Georgian townhouse that focuses on British cuisine while using all the local produce that Cornwall produces. Alternatively, there's Rojano's in the Square serving up Italian and Mediterranean influenced dishes
While these restaurants don't have rooms themselves, Ainsworth also owns the nearby Padstow Townhouse. That's an adults-only hotel, so no chance of been woken up early if you've partaken of the wine the night before. While there's no full restaurant on the site (although breakfast is served), there's a stocked kitchen with an honesty box system, and you're delivered a flask of hot chocolate in the evening. While it's only a short 5-minute walk to No 6 from the Townhouse, they'll take you there in an electric BMW if you fancy.
Rooms: There are six suites in the Townhouse, with each room given an individual theme - and each room has a huge TV with an Apple TV if you need a lie-in.
Prices: Rooms from £280 per room per night, based on two people sharing, including breakfast and VAT.
It's relaxed, but also Michelin starred, and big on local produce whilst also taking a modern approach to dishes. In other hands, this could be a bit Jack of All Trades, but Chef proprietor Geoffrey Smeddle manages to delight everyone. You can lunch at this countryside restaurant with rooms incredibly well on a lunch set menu that comes in at just £25, but if you've come all this way you might as well push the boat out. Recent dishes have included a warm halibut gravlax served with cucumber, keta and seaweed butter sauce and a delice of Scottish “bean to bar” dark chocolate with smoked apricots, Lapsang Souchong mousse and apricot sorbet.
Rooms: There are eight suites, all light and bright and most with sitting areas. Best of all you're met with a decanter of sherry and chocolate brownies. Breakfast is served in your room and it's a continental affair which is a good job as you'll probably still be full from the night before.
Prices: Double Rooms from £235 per room per night, including breakfast.
If there's one thing that's always mentioned in pieces on Sat Bains, it's the unprepossessing location for the chef's Nottingham-based restaurant. But while it might have views of electricity pylons rather than rolling hills, a visit here is a must for any UK restaurant obsessive. With two Michelin stars under their belts, Sat and his Head Chef John Freeman curate an amazing food experience. There are just two tasting menus to choose from - seven courses or ten courses and a meal here might kick off with Scallop, Marmite and Elderflower and finish with Thai green curry ice cream with candy floss.
If you really want to get in on the action, book either the Chefs Table or Kitchen Bench. The first is private dining room style looking onto the Savoury Kitchen, the other is a high bench actually in the pastry kitchen. If the weather's good, you might have time to have pre or post dinner drinks in the restaurant's courtyard garden - ask to see their kitchen garden which, even in this tiny urban space produces almost half of the salad and herbs they use here.
Rooms: There are eight bedrooms, all of which were redone this spring. Some are upstairs from the restaurant, others are accessed through the garden. You'll find homemade biscuits waiting for you and Aesop toiletries in the bathroom.
Prices: Rooms start at £180.
The opening of The Seafood Restaurant back in 1975 was the start of the transformation of this fishing port into Padstein - a place of pilgrimage for foodies who worshipped at the altar of TV chef Rick Stein. Now the restaurant is run by Head Chef Stephane Delourme who uses Rick's recipes on the super-fresh seafood that's brought in by local fishermen every day. Kick off a meal here with some local Porthilly oysters before moving onto Padstow lobster risotto or maybe Sea Bass Polichathu - which has the whole fish cooked Keralan-style in a banana leaf. If you prefer to see a bit of food as theatre - there are walk-in spaces at the seafood bar for a spot of counter dining.
Love the food so much you'd like to learn how to cook it? Then you can always book yourself in for a lesson at the cookery school here too.
Rooms: There are 16 rooms upstairs from the restaurant, all designed by Jill Stein. Some have private rooftop terraces, many have glorious Estuary views and all are stocked with Jill Stein's own-label toiletries and homemade biscuits. If there's no room at the inn/restaurant, the Steins have seven other locations around the village to choose, some of which are self-catering. It's dog and family-friendly and if you fancy going crabbing yourself, they'll provide you with lines and buckets.
Prices: Rooms start at £165 bed and breakfast
For more than 30 years, the team at this magical Scottish restaurant with rooms have been serving exceptional food in extraordinary surroundings. Shirley and Eddie Spear first opened Three Chimneys in 1985 where they say took The Three Chimneys’ biggest business constraint - the restaurant’s remote location - and turned it into a unique selling point. And what a setting it is, The Spears may have sold the restaurant (this spring to hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray, who also owns the Machrie Hotel on Islay) but the restaurant team remains intact. Running the kitchen is Head Chef, Scott Davies whose gorgeous food won the restaurant The Good Food Guide 2018 Editor's Choice for UK Restaurant of the Year. In practice, that means dishes like the divine-sounding Gorse and apple cured Sconser scallop (from Skye) with roe parfait, coast herbs and rapeseed oil.
Rooms: There are six large suites in the separate House Over-By next door to the restaurant. Guests enjoy loads of lovely touches, like afternoon tea trays in the room, binoculars for seal spotting and a full Scottish breakfast.
Prices: Rooms start at £360 per night, including a full Scottish breakfast and afternoon tea tray with home baking on arrival.
Chef Chris Harrod came to Wales from Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and was rewarded for his work here with a Michelin star not quite a year after opening. Here, the commitment to cooking locally embraces foraging, with ingredients found in the nearby countryside in every dish. It’s a handy place to stay if you’re planning on coming to the Abergavenny Food Festival, but don’t want to be right in the madness. Don’t forget to pop into Trealy Farm’s shop just down the road for some top charcuterie too.
Rooms: There are eight rooms - 1-4 are those that have been recently refurbished and are slightly larger than those on the floor above. A really nice touch was the appearance of warm Welsh teacakes and tea served in local pottery mugs in our rooms after we checked in.
Prices: Rooms start at £265, includes a three-course meal, bed and breakfast for two.
Ingredient Led, Flavour Driven, Fat Fuelled, Meat Obsessed. That's how Ynyshir sets out its stall. Chef Patron Gareth Ward wants his restaurant with rooms out in the heart of the Welsh countryside, to be somewhere all foodies have on their to-do lists. Right now he has a Michelin Star and five AA rosettes to show for his efforts. The intimate dining room has room for just 20, or you could opt for the kitchen table set within the pastry section or book the bench table right in the heart of the kitchen. Expect a multi-course dining experience (the kitchen tables get up to 19 courses on their surprise menu) using amazing local produce - this is the kind of place that distils its own birch syrup and pickles wild garlic from the local woods harvested for pickles.
The house itself is in an amazing setting if you want to get away from it all - bordered on one side by the Cambrian Mountains and on the other, by the Irish sea.
Rooms: There are 10 in all, seven in the main house and three out in the garden. All are beautifully decorated - the bathrooms are given particular attention - and some even have log burning stoves in them.
Prices: Dinner, B&B (for 2) House Room £520, Garden Room £720
Hetton, North Yorkshire
This already-famous inn got a big boost last year when chef Michael Wignall bought the place with his wife. Wignall, who was previously at Pennyhill Park and then Gidleigh Park has been running two Michelin-starred restaurants for over two decades. Plans to build a bold, modern glass extension to house a new restaurant Cove are currently on hold due to planning issues, but in the pub itself Wignall is already serving up a menu that promises much. A starter might be poached and roasted veal sweetbread with grelot onion, parsnip & spiced coconut while a main of local Yorkshire duck breast comes with boudin noir, turnip, pak choi, Japanese BBQ and soy nuts.
Breakfast has also been given an overhaul and if you're a vegetarian who wants a full English, you can here with a platter that includes a beetroot black pudding.
Rooms: The Angel has nine bedrooms - five in Fell View Barn across the road and four in the converted cottage Sycamore Bank. The suites are particularly grand and can be turned into spacious twins if you're coming here with a friend.
Prices: Rooms start at £99 per room for bed and breakfast on a Sunday or Monday (not bank holidays)
The honey-stoned Churchill Arms is one of those pretty pubs in an equally comely Cotswolds village that must make tourists swoon. It does a pretty good job on jaded Londoners too. You might recognise owner and chef Nick Deverell-Smith from his appearances on Saturday Kitchen. He trained up under Eric Chavot at the Capital and was head chef of Soho House and Dean Street Townhouse before abandoning the big smoke for this rural idyll. Here the menu focuses on classic dishes with a seasonal and local focus. In summer you might find Roast rump of Cotswolds lamb with Jersey Royals and Evesham asparagus, while a year-round classic is their calves liver with confit bacon, cider onions and mash.
Drinks maintain a similarly locally-sourced theme - the house ale comes from The North Cotswold Brewery just three miles from the pub and they also stock spirits produced at the Cotswold Distillery.
Rooms: The pub has four boutique rooms - think modern country cottage feel mixing exposed beams with ﬂat screen TVs and espresso machines.
Prices: Rooms start at £110.50 for a double room with a cooked breakfast.
Lower Chicksgrove, Cotswolds
Given owner Ben Maschler's background, it should come as no surprise that this Cotswolds pub is worth a trek for foodies. Maschler was part of the team that reinvigorated The Drapers Arms in Islington, his mum Fay is The Standard's food critic and even his Aunt, Beth runs an award-winning pub - The Wells in Hampstead. Hospitality and a keen sense of what people want to eat runs in the blood.
The menu changes daily, so you're always sure of something new to try whether it's Stilton Welsh rarebit with apple and raisin chutney, salad and chips or steamed mussels with coconut, lime leaf, lemongrass and coriander. Desserts sound amazing - we'd kill for one of their sticky date, cranberry and pecan puddings with toffee sauce. Head Chef Paddy Davy also has form in the Scotch Egg Challenge. If there’s a scotch egg on the bar snacks menu, make sure you order it. The wine list is similarly impressive - and it's nice to see so much available by the glass and carafe.
Rooms: There are four rooms above the pub - three doubles and a family room - along with a separate cottage next to the pub which sleeps four. All are simply but beautifully decorated - think sisal floors, old beams and wool blankets on the beds.
Prices: Rooms start at £110 for a double room with breakfast.
This Lancashire hostelry dubs itself a pub with rooms and sometimes a restropub. Unlike many other gussied up inns, it's still very much a place where someone can sit down with a pint and a bag of crisps if they choose. But if they do decide to opt for chef patron Steven Smith's food, they'll be glad they did. There's a reason why this has been in the top 5 of the UK's Top 50 Gastropubs list for a while now. Smith takes locally sourced ingredients but isn't afraid to go further for produce or influences - so wild salmon from the river Lune might be served with ponzu and elderflower while salt chamber aged Herdwick Lamb comes with aubergine and miso puree.
A brand new kitchen means two new ways to experience the heart of the action with a kitchen table and a kitchen bench both now open for bookings.
Rooms: There are four newly open rooms at the pub, with more on the way. The biggest have their own dressing rooms, but all have the same luxuries you'd expect in any good hotel.
Chef and owner Stephen Terry trained up under Marco Pierre White at the legendary Harvey's and used to own the nearby Walnut Tree here in Abergavenny before taking on The Hardwick. Here he turns out modern Welsh food that's unfussy but very well executed. It's not a taster menu kind of place, it's got a much more informal vibe, and you can choose from a range of small plates, plus they're very well geared up for vegetarians and vegans here. Dishes can be classic fare like Grilled bacon chop with pease pudding and parsley sauce or you might find a panzanella and puntarelle salad made with grilled Bristol halloumi. If you overindulge, and it's easily done, there are plenty of epic walks and hikes in the nearby Brecon Beacons to keep you active.
Rooms: There are eight double rooms - one of which can be made into a twin - set in a modern extension to the pub. They're fresh and modern, with views over the countryside and the biggest have walk-in showers. And yes you get, what they describe as "a tidy full Welsh breakfast".
Prices: Rooms start at £199 for a dinner, bed and breakfast stay mid-week
If you're desperate for a break from city life, but want to stay somewhere that serves up the kind of dishes cooked over wood that you know and love from your favourite London restaurants, then The Mash Inn is the place for you. Set in the stupidly pretty hamlet of Bennett End in Buckinghamshire, this 18th-century inn has, over the past few years, redefined what the English country inn has to offer. Owner Nick Mash's family have farmed in this area for over 150 years so he was keen to create a place where much of what they serve up could be plucked from the inn's kitchen garden just hours before.
Chef Jon Parry is the man firing up the wood burning stove and learned his trade at Tom Aikens before working at award-winning gastropub The Bull and Last and with Adam Byatt down in Clapham at Trinity and Bistro Union. Here in his open kitchen, overlooking the small but perfectly formed dining room, the tasting menu might feature chilled wild garlic soup, or wagyu beef cooked on the grill, or maybe Norfolk asparagus with bog butter - and no, that's not a typo.
Rooms: The inn now has six bedrooms - four above the restaurant and two new Garden Rooms. They're simply furnished but have gorgeous toiletries. Best of all, staying here means breakfast in bed the next morning with croissants and homemade jams, buttermilk yoghurt, house granola or pinhead oatmeal porridge and freshly made Rare Company tea or coffee.
Prices: Rooms start at £110 for the night in the smallest room with breakfast. But other, bigger rooms range from £225 to £250. Midweek rates are also available.
Newton in Bowland, Lancashire
Guests arriving at this Lancashire pub might from the exterior or interior be expecting a standard rural pub experience, but the food here by chef and owner Stosie Madi is guaranteed to blow them away. Recognised both by the National Restaurant Awards and 50 Best Gastropubs for the quality of its food, it regularly attracts foodies from all over the country eager to try its regional and global dishes. There's always a pie on the menu - and you will want to order it - but the daily changing offering also features options like a cider-cured double Bowland pork loin on the bone with rhubarb butter.
The bar snacks are amazing - if you think potato skins sound a bit 'meh' then you need to try the ones here. There's also a quite spectacular beer garden with views for miles.
Rooms: There are just two double rooms at the pub but they're beautifully decorated, have amazing views and you'll find homemade biscuits waiting for you when you arrive.
Prices: Midweek three course dinner plus overnight stay for two starts at £90 (£10 extra per person for a cooked breakfast). For a Saturday night it starts at £110.
Harome, Yorkshire (show on map)
Currently No 4 in the Top 50 Gastropubs list, this medieval thatched roof pub matches Michelin-starred food with a distinct sense of place. Right on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, its Chef/Patron, Andrew Pern focuses on modern Yorkshire food and lets "the seasons write our menus". A glimpse at the pub 'snacks' menu gives you an insight into what to expect. Sandwiches include Savoury Brilliat-Savarin ‘Trifle’ with Garden Lovage and Roasted Gold Rush Apple, Sauternes Wine Jelly and Marmalade-roast Ham with Cloves and Spices with Pineapple Pickle or you could just have a pickled egg. The tasting menu then ramps that up - how about Dressed White Whitby Crab ‘Stick’ with House-pickled Cockles, Shoreline Vegetables, Devilled Crab and Spiced Avocado Ice Cream?
For beer lovers, they even offer a beer-matching service for the dishes. Don’t forget to take a proper look at the bar itself - it was made by the famous craftsman Robert Thompson, the ‘Mouse Man’ of Kilburn.
Rooms: Cross House Lodge plays hotel to the pub and is just across the road. They have nine bedrooms, all of which are quite different. If you're into quirky interiors, this will be right up your street. One has a bed hanging from the ceiling with ropes, another has a full sized snooker table. There's a lounge here complete with a wood-burning stove as well as an honesty bar - plus a complimentary afternoon-tea of cakes, and cheese and biscuits
Prices: Rooms start at £150 for the night for two including breakfast (that's the room with the rope slung bed) although rates rise for a single night stay on a Saturday or bank holiday.
More from our travel section
Subscribe to hear the latest from Hot Dinners