Charming rural pub with excellent Anglo-French cooking
At a glance
AA Pick of the Pubs
Famous children’s author and long-term local resident Roald Dahl was a regular here, which is why you’ll find many of his limited-edition prints in the dining room (his award-winning museum is in the village). And over the years many a prime minister, especially Sir Harold Wilson, has called in here en route to Chequers, the premier’s official country house retreat not far away. Originally three late 15th-century cottages, whose inhabitants were known as ‘bodgers’, the Chilterns word for chairmakers in the surrounding beech woods; over time the properties became a popular coaching inn on the London road, which follows the Misbourne Valley. The owning Michaels family have restored it, just as they have their sister pub, the Bricklayers Arms in Flaunden, over the county border in Hertfordshire. Low oak beams and an inglenook fireplace set the scene for the bar and its real ales from local breweries in perhaps Brill, Prestwood or Tring. The Anglo-French fusion menu abounds with interesting dishes, typical starters being baked brie strudel, salad with dry shallots, poppy seeds and toasted sesame dressing; and fresh Cornish white crab and home-smoked salmon with chive cream and blinis. Main courses might be lamb neck with thyme and olive oil infusion, roasted peppers and courgettes with a sherry jus; and duo of duck comprising barbary duck breast and confit leg with black fig jus. For dessert look for dandelion and burdock sticky toffee pudding with date mascarpone; or banana and caramel millefeuille. In summer, relax under the pergola over a drink or a meal in the lovely garden and gaze out towards the hills. Maybe stay overnight in one of the five beautiful bedrooms.