The best rural restaurants to snooze off your Sunday lunch in style.
If there’s one thing that we love about winter it’s the opportunity to spend an entire Sunday in a cosy pub (no excuses necessary).
So as we come ever closer to colder climes, we’ve rounded up the best rural restaurants that are ideal for a Sunday well spent.
The Wild Rabbit, Cotswolds
The vibe: Country pubs don’t come much more stylish than The Wild Rabbit in the picture-perfect Cotswold village of Kingham, which was luxuriously refurbished by Lady Carole Bamford of nearby Daylesford Organics in 2013.
Eat this: Michelin-starred chef Alyn Williams recently joined as chef patron, with roasts including a pork loin, shoulder and belly combo, plus a vegetarian dish (wait for it, it’s not a nut roast!) of roast leeks, confit potato and truffle.
Sleep here: Three new luxury cottages (in addition to the current two, plus 12 rooms in the main pub) open later this month a short walk away, with exposed beams, log-burners and private gardens.
Post-lunch: Borrow a bike and cycle the 10 minutes to Bamford Haybarn Spa (bamford.com), where you can sleep off your lunch while enjoying a full-body massage.
Pub rooms from £140; cottages from £350 for a minimum two-night stay; roasts from £22.50; thewildrabbit.co.uk
The Hand & Flowers, Buckinghamshire
The vibe: Tom Kerridge elevates pub grub to pure poetry in the cosiest of country inns where you can rock up in a pair of jeans and sit down to two-starred Michelin food – without exaggeration, the best meal you will ever eat in a boozer.
Eat this: The treacle-cured roast chateaubriand of beef melts in your mouth like butter. Don’t eat meat? The fish and chips are legendary and feature a chip that will ruin all other chips forever.
Sleep here: The pub has 11 rooms in various cottages around the town. The milk and cookies that appear, magically, in your room, will send you off to a fully-sated sleep.
Post-lunch: Take a stroll along the river – the languid meandering of the Thames should perfectly compliment your post-lunch glow.
Rooms from £195; roasts from £39.50; thehandandflowers.co.uk
The Ram at Firle, East Sussex
The vibe: The pub you wish was your local. A quintessentially English brick and flint building in the South Downs village of Firle, the 500-year-old Ram Inn is full of character, with its own walled garden and roaring open fires.
Eat this: Roast lamb and beef from nearby Place Farm comes with all the trimmings. In the summer, the vicar brings back wild strawberries foraged from the Downs.
Sleep here: The five rooms above the pub are a quirky mix of shapes, with antique furniture and cosy cable-knit throws. Bloomsbury is our favourite for its freestanding bath and views of the Downs.
Post-lunch: Drive the 10 minutes into the historic town of Lewes to mooch around the antiques shops and weekly vintage market.
Rooms from £150; roasts from £15; raminn.co.uk
Coombeshead Farm, Cornwall
The vibe: Be as free-range as the chickens in the yard outside at this rustic 18th-century farmhouse.
Eat this: Chef Tom Adams uses his rare-breed mangalitza pigs for cured pork belly served with seasonal veg from the farm.
Sleep here: Room 5 overlooks the pig field, so you can watch them snuffling about while sipping complimentary fig leaf gin.
Post-lunch: Borrow a pair of Hunters for a stomp round the 66-acre grounds.
Rooms from £180; three-courses for £32; coombesheadfarm.co.uk
The Lord Crewe Arms, Northumberland
The vibe: Medieval meets modern candle-lit gastro pub.
Eat this: A heaving sharing platter of butter-roasted chicken, pork loin and sirloin, plus Yorkshire puds.
Sleep here: The former abbots’ guesthouse or converted miners’ cottages.
Post-lunch: Cycle around nearby Derwent Reservoir. Keep your eyes peeled for red squirrels.
Rooms from £129; roasts from £18; lordcrewearmsblanchland.co.uk
Images: Courtesy of brands