CLIFFORD'S MESNE, Newent, GL18 1JS
Although not immediately apparent as you arrive - and you might need the sat nav to help you do so - this now-family-owned, former cider house dates back to the 1600s. Indeed, the interior suggests as much. Because it stands on the slopes of May Hill (National Trust), Gloucestershire's highest point, the views from the terrace are excellent, especially on a clear day, when you can see the River Severn, the Malvern Hills and the Welsh mountains. Of course, you might prefer to stay in the quarry-tiled interior, where log fires do their stuff in winter, while all year round the beer pump badge-festooned bar serves a good choice of real ales, such as Wye Valley, and a real cider or two. The Clarke family who run the pub offer a seasonal menu of fresh, home-made food inspired by their time spent abroad, as well as plenty of British classics. For lunch there might be chicken satay, sausage and mash or homity pie, which if you're not familiar with it is an open pie of garlic-mashed potato, red onion, cheddar cheese, a hint of cayenne pepper, cannellini beans in sage passata sauce, and a side salad. For dinner, perhaps Oolong-marinated sea bass; a classic chicken and mushroom pie; chilli con carne; crispy duck with sweet chilli noodles; or nut roast, with a generous helping of New York cheesecake or orange pannacotta to finish. Children will enjoy the play area whatever the month, while in October adults will relish the beer and cider festival.