Huddled near a 13th-century church hedged by ancient limes is a mellow stone pub with an immaculate makeover. Find a peaceful alcove for a first-class negroni, or a window seat for tea. You can come by train from London, a rare treat.
There are three beers on draft and many fine wines, but here at The Swan, the food is the thing. Locally sourced, it is modern British and delicious. Small plates, Sunday roasts, vegetarian: they do it all. The dining room is raftered; the courtyard can seat a hundred.
Lanes, tracks and stiles start from the door; you can walk for hours. Or follow the road to Charlbury – one of the prettiest drives in the region. Honey-stone houses and wealthy wool churches abound. Then it’s home, to designer wallpapers, wallowing baths, and an exciting bottle of champagne.