Rodborough Common, STROUD, GL5 5DE
Located amidst the rolling, windswept grassland of Rodborough Common with its far-reaching views of the Stroud Valley and Severn Vale, and cattle roaming free in the summer months, this 17th-century former alehouse takes its name from the bear-baiting that used to take place nearby. Head to the bar for a pint of Wickwar before seeking a seat on the York stone terrace or in the gardens with their walled croquet lawn. The bar menu has many delights, such as afternoon tea, sharing platters and ploughman's, and fond favourites: fisherman's pie, cornfed chicken supreme and chargrilled steaks. Look to the Library Restaurant for a more formal affair, where you can try smoked Scottish scallops with butternut squash and chorizo; followed by rump of lamb and braised shoulder, dauphinoise potatoes, wilted spinach and rosemary jus; and lastly raspberry crème brûlée with a cassis smoothie and vanilla, all the while enjoying panoramas of the Cotswold countryside. Guest rooms are distinctively furnished and decorated with rich fabrics.