This 17th-century, tile-hung pub in the picturesque village of Ivy Hatch is but a short walk from the National Trust’s Ightham Mote, Britain’s best-preserved medieval manor house. From spring to autumn, The Plough keeps its own pigs and chickens in a cobnut coppice in the back garden. During the week it’s open for breakfast and a wide range of teas and coffees. In the bar, the real ales come from a select roster of Kentish breweries, and food includes sandwiches with chips or soup; and a choice of fish, ploughman’s and deli farm charcuterie boards. On the daily-changing restaurant menus are British- and European-style dishes featuring rare-breed steaks (Longhorn T-bones, Dexter sirloin and Shorthorn burgers) seafood, game and, courtesy of those pigs, country pork terrines; home-made bacon, pork and apple burgers; and mouth-watering, slow-cooked legs and shoulders. Looking to other options, a starter of grilled halloumi, avocado, pomegranate and baby leaf salad might be followed by a main course of deep fried squid and courgettes with green chilli mayonnaise and mixed salad; chargrilled lamb rump with celeriac mash, roasted shallots and red wine jus; or wild boar and apple sausages with creamy mash, onion marmalade and red wine jus. Desserts include raspberry pavlova; and hazelnut praline with honeycomb. There are many excellent walks through the countryside surrounding The Plough, and the road- and mountain-biking opportunities are excellent too. Muddy boots and cycling gear, if not necessarily de rigueur, are definitely not frowned upon and wearers caught in the rain will be able to dry off either in front of the winter open fire, or, if the sun’s out, on the terrace.