Off the beaten track, in a tiny Somerset village, is a mellow stone building, an old cider pub. It’s a whole lot smarter now, tastefully updated, and yet emitting country warmth and character.
Locals flock for the log fire in the bar, the idyllic summer terrace, and the gorgeous food – Cornish monkfish, homemade pork scratchings, local cheeses with membrillo. Whether you drop by for a laid-back lunch, a candlelit dinner or a restorative pint of Lawrence’s cider, it’s a very pleasing place. You can stay the night above the pub (fancy a room with a view?) or in the coach house that reveals the sign ‘Dogs and muddy boots are welcome!’
Head east 30 miles for quaint cobbled Shaftsbury, for houses, thatched cottages and weekly market high on a hill – or south for Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage site.