George Eliot set her first novel Adam Bede in Ellastone. In this bucolic corner of Staffordshire, between the wooded Dove Valley and the shapely Weaver Hills, is where you’ll find The Duncombe Arms, a notable dining pub. Classic and contemporary architecture now blend seamlessly in the sturdy old inn. Over a glass of Duncombe Ale or Addlestones cider consider a comforting menu of pub stalwarts enhanced with modern dishes; start with salmon rillette, cucumber and radish, horseradish sorbet before enjoying perhaps pollack, crushed potatoes and crabmeat, purple sprouting broccoli, south coast crab bisque. Finish with prune and Armagnac soufflé, almond streusel and prune ice cream. The wine list is extensive.