STACKPOLE, nr Pembroke, SA71 5DF
This traditional inn is a walker's delight, set in pristine gardens at the heart of the National Trust's Stackpole Estate and close to the spectacular Pembrokeshire coastal path. There's a rare George V postbox in the mellow stone wall outside, a survival from the time when one of the two original stone cottages was a post office. Nowadays the pub offers facilities for walkers, cyclists, fishermen and climbers, as well as those who simply prefer to relax and do nothing. Once inside, you'll find a slate bar, ceiling beams made from ash trees grown on the estate, and a wood-burning stove set within the stone fireplace. The pub's free house status means that there's always a guest beer from around the UK to accompany three Welsh ales, a couple of real ciders and a varied wine list. Chef Maciej 'Magic' Martyka oversees the creation of menus that use the best of local produce from the surrounding countryside and fish from the coast. Three-course appetites might begin with pork and apricot terrine served with home-made piccalilli, Welsh Telifi cheese rarebit with chutney and tomato salad, or Stackpole fishcakes with lemon sauce. Main course options range from roasted butternut squash stuffed with root vegetables, Drewi Sant (a soft cheese washed with mead) and rosemary; to traditional cottage pie served with seasonal vegetables and gravy. Round things off with apple and sultana crème brûlée, steamed syrup sponge pudding with custard, or a rich chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Walkers may enjoy the 'Walkers lunch', a selection of cheeses, ham, pickles, salad and bread.