71 St Martins, STAMFORD, PE9 2LB
One of England's most renowned old coaching inns, it shares a stunning streetscape of imposing silver-limestone houses and villas tumbling down to the River Welland. Many period films and TV programmes have been filmed here. The George, with its extraordinary gallows sign (erected as a welcome to some and a warning to others), was built in 1597 to extend an earlier inn, elements of which survive in the crypt and walled garden. In the York Bar northbound coach passengers waited while horses were changed; the London Room fulfilled the same purpose for those heading south. The York Bar menu offers sandwiches, ploughman's, toasties and light dishes such as minestrone soup; and smoked Scottish salmon with capers. In the slightly more formal Garden Room expect the likes of 'a taste of Asian chicken' (Thai green curry, deep-fried tempura, peanut satay and aromatic basmati rice); steak and kidney pudding; beetroot risotto; or push the boat out and opt for the Grand Brittany platter comprising half lobster, crab, oyster, king prawn, mussels, clams, shell-on prawns and whelks. Local beers from The Grainstore and a considerable choice of 24 wines by the glass may accompany.