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, and fires smouldering all over the place. 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 and Sundays! 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 duck terrine, crispy pork belly, rhubarb crumble. And don’t miss Burghley, a five-minute stroll, one of Britain’s finest houses.