We've rounded up the very best gourmet gastropubs you can spend a night in – each one perfect for a romantic break.
All these inns offer top-notch dining and decent wine lists in a cosy, intimate setting. Many have roaring fires to boot.
And there are walks close by, for those who like to explore the great outdoors before retreating to the pub.
A stay here guarantees a great pub atmosphere, genuine charm and fantastic food. A mixture of old beams, worn flagstones and crackling log fires combine for a warm, welcoming atmosphere in the bar areas – and form the classic backdrop to a wealth of stylish contemporary furnishings. Chunky wooden tables and high-backed chairs lend a sense of occasion to the dining room.
The Hand & Flowers, Marlow
This gorgeous rural hideaway is owned by Tom Kerridge and boasts two AA Rosettes. There's a cosy bar, a smart lounge and a classy restaurant and the inn's food philosophy is to simply cook local produce where possible. The 16th-century former coaching inn has plenty of genuine character – old beams, oak panelling, flagstone floors, log fires and four-poster beds – plus immaculate bedrooms.
This pub boasts two AA Rosettes and on-site fly-fishing – as its name suggests, it sits right by the River Test. Head chef Alan Haughie is an apprentice of The Savoy and has worked at many prestigious establishments in the UK and abroad. His menu at The Greyhound features classic British and European dishes, some with a twist, and naturally plenty of seafood. The Greyhound has seven bedrooms – all ensuite – and there's even an honesty bar for residents, containing spirits, soft drinks and snacks.
The Anchor Inn, Lower Froyle
The Anchor is not the easiest pub to find, but it's worth the effort. With a beautifully restored interior that still boasts plenty of character, a cosy bar, a restaurant that's been awarded two AA Rosettes, a small but perfectly formed outdoor space, and five unique bedrooms, this place is hard to beat. Choose from three separate dining areas – the main dining room, bar ('Snug') and the saloon. Stay at the Anchor and enjoy comfort and character, delicious dining and a raft of real ales and full-bodied wines.
The Eight Bells, Chipping Campden
A charming 14th century Cotswolds inn featuring flagstones, tiles, oak beams, large gilt mirrors and cosy fireplaces. The bar is strewn with dried hops and dangling tankards, while the kitchen serves British favourites with some Mediterranean and Asian touches.
This lovely country inn is part of the Guinness family-owned Elveden Estate and was refurbished in 2011. It offers a bar, a dining room, a terrace and four luxury bedrooms. There are regional ales on tap, and the menu features dishes using locally sourced ingredients and seasonal produce. The Elveden Inn was named AA Pub of The Year for 2013.
The Angel at Hetton
The Angel boasts 5-star accommodation, a menu that's been awarded three AA Rosettes, and special recognition for serving excellent breakfasts, and it's in a beautiful part of the Yorkshire Dales. Parts of the building date back to the 15th century, so it's oozing with character and charm. And its restaurant has been awarded three AA Rosettes. The menu changes seasonally, with an emphasis on fresh produce and locally sourced ingredients. There's a real attention to detail here, and wonderful, friendly service. The Angel at Hetton offers nine beautifully appointed and individually styled bedrooms..
A couple walking in heather
This gorgeous rural hideaway boasts two AA Rosettes. There's a cosy bar, a smart lounge and a classy restaurant and the inn's food philosophy is to simply cook local produce where possible. The 16th-century former coaching inn has plenty of genuine character – old beams, oak panelling, flagstone floors, log fires and four-poster beds – plus immaculate bedrooms.
Simply oozing character and charm – the perfect spot for a romantic weekend break. A relaxed, imaginatively restored interior mixes Osborne and Little with Farrow and Ball. Flagstones, wooden floors, antique tables and several open fires create a classy, comfortable look throughout. Bedrooms feature style, simple good taste and thoughtful touches aplenty. A modern menu combines a variety of influences with a twist, using local produce.
Updated May 2014