Only an hour from London, yet in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, this authentic 17th-century inn has a highly regarded reputation for serving topquality cuisine. The restaurant has two AA rosettes thanks to the unmistakably British menu, which takes full advantage of its idyllic rural location — think fresh game, fabulous seafood and locally grown vegetables. It’s perfect for cosying up by the fire while enjoying a local ale or sharing a bottle of wine. In finer weather there’s no better place to relax than in one of the two spacious outdoor areas. Renowned for its exceptional Sunday roasts, The Yew Tree offers options such as sirloin of beef with horseradish and free-range chicken with lemon and thyme stuffing. From the à la carte, select the seasonal curried cauliflower soup with homemade Parmesan grissini, and follow with the lemon sole accompanied by cherry tomatoes, samphire and spring onions cooked in a sharp lemon and caper butter. The kitchen team updates the menu regularly to make use of each season’s produce.
Weary travellers and their fourlegged friends can rest up in one of eight cottage-style guest rooms. The venue is located in the North Wessex Downs, so it’s easy to explore the stunning countryside by foot, bike or horse. Sporting enthusiasts can head to the Royal Berkshire Shooting School to brush up on their skills. Culture buffs won’t have far to go as Highclere Castle, the setting for the TV drama Downton Abbey, is right on the inn’s doorstep.