A magical renovation, an ancient inn that stands a short walk from the middle of glorious Stamford, part of the Burghley estate. Step inside to discover varnished wood floors, golden stone walls, fires smouldering all over the place and newspapers hanging on poles. At the bar venison Scotch eggs are impossible to resist, as are a raft of local ales and splendid wines. Regal oils adorn the walls, leather-backed settles take the strain, and you eat wherever you want – in the kitchen garden with a delicious pizza and a film on Thursdays! As for beautiful bedrooms, they come in country-house style with huge beds, fabulous linen, warm colours and super-funky bathrooms. Most are big, all are delightful, two interconnect for families, and mattresses are divine. Back downstairs, delicious food waits, perhaps stilton on toast, Burghley game pie, apple and blueberry crumble. And don’t miss Burghley, a five-minute stroll, one of Britain’s finest houses.