The Family Goss – as they like to style themselves – have run this attractive stone-built free house since 2004, and their expertise is evident. Dating from 1649, its flagstone floors, low-beamed ceilings and two open fires are original. The bar is well stocked with snacks, including home-made salamis, biltong and pork scratchings, any of which would happily accompany a sloe gin, elderflower vodka or Zermatter mulled wine, all made here with locally foraged or donated berries and fruit. Real ales come from Grainstore, Marston’s and Shepherd Neame; the very local Fynburys real cider is also stocked. Chef James Goss has earned two AA Rosettes for his seasonal menus – his ‘buy local’ policy relies heavily on a network of farmers, millers, brewers, hunters and fishermen; sea fish are all wild or line-caught from British waters. Lunchtime snacks include onion soup topped with grilled vintage Lincolnshire Poacher croûte; and crispy black pudding fritters with the house relish. A smokehouse platter results from the pub’s smokery which James was able to set up after experience of air-drying and fish-curing in Switzerland and Denmark. Typical of robust winter dishes are hare loin tournedos with beetroot and chocolate purée, pomme rissole, roots and kale; and stuffed corn-fed pheasant suprême, with Jerusalem artichoke purée, root vegetable and potato terrine, and mushrooms à la crème. Leave some space for fruit crumble, custard and cinnamon yogurt ice cream. A Bin Ends blackboard lists fine, affordable wines, while a Farmers Market board in the Snug promotes locally grown fruit and vegetables. The eight spacious letting rooms are located opposite the pub.