This was Roald Dahl’s local – it features in Fantastic Mr Fox, half a mile out of Great Missenden. It’s a beautiful old building built of red brick and flint under bright red pantiles, framed by the rolling hills of the Chilterns. At the back is a vast garden with plenty of trees under which to dream and picnic tables with umbrellas. Inside, a classic refurbishment from owner Alvin Michaels of the award-winning Bricklayers Arms, with food to match: the beloved 15th-century boozer has become a great dining pub. Now low dark beams and big inglenook blend with modern oak and lemon hues, there are salt and pepper mills on shining tables and boxed shelves guarding armagnacs. The food is faultless: try pan fried wood pigeon breast with black pudding and a dry sherry jus, or slow cooked pork hock on a bed of sweet & sour cabbage. Drinks cover every aspect of the grape and globe, including London Pride, and young staff are attentive. Bedrooms above are equally good, their creams and whites complementing ancient timbers. There are ironing boards, toiletries and full-length mirrors, and the bed linen is gorgeous.