All that fresh air that comes with a Peak District trudge tends to give us a real urge for a decadent dinner full of quality local fare. But rocking up to a classy establishment with grass stains on your knees isn’t best behaviour. Which is why a gem like The Peacock at Rowsley, which has both a mouth-watering menu and plush, traditional bedrooms, is heaven-sent. A good hike, a quick shower, and downstairs for the seasonal (sometimes foraged from the gardens) menu. If you go for the à la carte offering, the hare with artichokes and lapsang souchong sauce is a stunner. Otherwise, the nine-course tasting menu will give you a real flavour for the quality of Peak District produce. Seeing as your after-dinner journey will simply involve staggering up the stairs to bed, it would be a shame not to opt for the wine pairing, which also includes a martini.
The sting of sea spray on flushed cheeks, soaring cliffs and chips coddled in newspaper – nothing compares to the Great British seaside, so why not shack up a stone’s throw from it? Dorset’s Anchor Inn – with its two separate bars, dining area and three grand boutique bedrooms – sits right on the Jurassic Coast, so makes for a charming West Country retreat quite unlike any other. As for the menu, head chef Jean Paul De Ronne combs the county for the best local produce and his delectable dishes take inspiration from both land and sea. Expect to find everything from pheasant breast and chestnuts to roasted hake, foraged wild mushrooms and malt barley poached pear on your plate. See you soon, Dorset. Rooms start at £280 for two nights
Anyone familiar with bonnie Scotland will know that one of its loveliest spots is the historic town of St Andrews in Fife – where cobbled, romantic streets are strewn with colourful shops and castle ruins trickle onto pretty beaches. It’s in this county that the Peat Inn has stood since the 1700s. The first restaurant in Scotland to ever be awarded a Michelin star (a toothsome trophy it holds to this day) the sleek dining room boasts not just some of the finest culinary talent in all the land, but eight delightful double bedrooms to boot. Since 2006 the inn has been owned by award-winning chef Geoffrey Smeddle, and his menu still reels in critical acclaim by the bucket load. Just how on earth we’re supposed to decide between the Cairngorm venison and monkfish cheeks with lime and coconut mousse, we’ll never know. From £205 per night
Artist Residence has been transforming dilapidated locations into luxurious bohemian retreats since 2008. Its handful of boutique hotels make up some of the hottest hideaways going, and last year the company got its mitts on a thatched farmhouse in Oxfordshire, which it promptly transformed into the louche countryside playground of our wildest dreams. The edgy 16th-century inn houses five spacious, eclectically decorated bedrooms alongside its very own pub – which looks a lot like we imagine The Leaky Cauldron would if it relocated to Shoreditch. Think low slung timber rafters, roaring fires, clusters of arty types plus galactic neon signs that read “What Did I Do Last Night?” Head Chef Leon Smith’s menu is brimming with locally foraged mushrooms, garden grown veg and meat from local suppliers – all ingredients he considers an ode to the local countryside. It’s official: Oxfordshire’s the new east London.
Nestled in the rolling hills just outside Snowdonia, glaring white against a lush green backdrop, Ynyshir is one of Wales’ most-loved dining destinations. And with good reason. Gareth Ward, who heads up the restaurant, has got a clear respect for his produce – his Instagram account is awash with raw ingredients, he praises producers and neighbours, and gives a fascinating insight into the development of his complex menu. Those tasting menus are – naturally – seasonal, and local, with the very best quality meat, whether it’s duck, deer, pork or pollock. The food is fun and pushes you out of your comfort zone; even old favourites like tiramisu are shaken up, smashed up, and surprising. The rooms are spectacular, and all very individual – there’s a 70s-esque palette of olive green and orange, a pink Parisian palace, a bathtub with a view, and a few sheep pillows.