High Street, HURLEY, SL6 5LX
In the 12th century what is today's inn was a guest house for pilgrims visiting Hurley's Benedictine priory, its nave surviving to become today's parish church. Sadly, unlike in the 1890s, so it is said, the landlord doesn't stand at the Olde Bell's door every Sunday dishing out free sherry to churchgoers. Although not medieval throughout, it has a good claim to be the country's longest-operating inn, understandably when you see all its nooks, crannies and crooked doors. Meals are served in both the bar and chic dining room, where the banquettes at some tables are softened by Welsh woollen blankets. Bar menu favourites are Cumberland sausages, mash and red onion marmalade; and beef and beer puff pastry pie, while likely to appear on the main menu are pork tenderloin with creamy Stilton and parmesan polenta; pan-fried fillet of sea bass with sweet chilli escabeche; and wild mushroom risotto. Guests are free to roam the charming estate.