This gorgeous inn is hard to beat. You’re in the hills above Windermere in a pretty village encircled by lanes that defeat most tourists. It’s deeply rural with ten-mile views down the valley and a church next door; there’s a bench to drink in the view, bell ringers practise on Friday mornings, the occasional bride glides out in summer. As for the Punch Bowl, it was rescued from neglect, renovated beautifully, and now sparkles, a stylish mix of old and new. Outside, honeysuckle and roses ramble on stone walls. Inside, rustic elegance runs throughout: Farrow & Ball colours, rugs on wood floors, sofas in front of the wood-burner. Head chef Alex Beard’s ambrosial food is a big draw, perhaps Lancashire cheese soufflé, slow cooked pork belly, then banana and passion fruit soufflé. Chic bedrooms hit the spot, with beautiful linen, pretty fabrics and Roberts radios. Excellent bathrooms have double-ended baths, separate showers and white robes. Four have the view, the suite is enormous, smaller rooms are nicely priced. There’s a terrace for lunch in the sun, too.