Let the dog romp on the South Downs; retire to The Cat for a steak and ale pie. People travel some way for this pleasure. The menu is imaginative, the kitchen has won awards, and the drinks list champions Sussex wines.
This 16th-century freehouse with its Victorian extension stands opposite the church in a small village near Ashdown Forest. Comfortably modernised without losing its character, it is much loved by walkers, opera lovers (Glyndebourne 20 miles) and retired country locals.
Hever Castle, a 30-minute drive, is fascinating. Anne Boleyn lived there in the 1500s and the Astors in 1903; it’s open all year and the gardens are glorious. Return to dogs lounging by the wood-burner, a pint of Harveys and a happy buzz. Four immaculate bedrooms await upstairs.