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our table as we had drinks on a terraced area and then an evening meal in the restaurant.
Stand out choices from a menu dotted with pub classics were the Newmarket sausages, mash and long stem broccoli; Salmon fishcake, pickled fennel and chive mayo and a ‘special’, whole plaice with samphire and brown shrimp.
And while I’m not vegan, the banana bread, rum caramel, caramelised banana, vegan vanilla ice cream was a delight.
Displays of fruit and cereal were absent at breakfast, no doubt a victim of Covid-19 restrictions, but our bacon and scrambled eggs on sourdough was a hearty, wake- me-up, supported by rich coffee.
On a short walk before heading home we spotted a perfect retirement cottage. Woodditton is a charming place and, as explained, it has the kind of ‘local’ that would grace any village. Richard Bryson n Chestnut Group owner interview, page 42.
Sweet surrender: One of the many tempting desserts. Below: It’s a dog friendly pub
Travel expert Lulu Townsend picks out three hotels that should be on your radar
University Arms
The University Arms (pictured above) sits right in the heart of historic Cambridge. It opened in 2018 to great acclaim following a unique collaboration between the architect John Simpson and the interior designer Martin Brudnizki. This independent luxury hotel has been voted as one of the top five hotels in the UK outside London and it’s easy to see why with its classical design and 192 quirky and eclectic hotel rooms and suites. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at Parker’s Tavern a quintessentially English brasserie which serves honest, locally sourced good food and the afternoon tea, inspired by the city’s literary history, is a feast not to be missed. Rates from £159 per room per night. Suites start from £419.
Barnett Hill Hotel
You may not want to leave your pets behind when you go away for the weekend, but you also don’t want to skimp
on luxury. Barnett Hill, a contemporary country house hotel hidden away in the Surrey hills, fits the bill with its luxurious and spacious courtyard rooms. Extra large with superking
size beds they’re the perfect pet-friendly choice and many have woodland views. Here you can revel in life's little luxuries, escape the humdrum of everyday life, put your feet up in the lLibrary and settle into a Chesterfield sofa by the fireside.
Rates from £170 per room per night. Tel: 01483 893361
Duncombe Arms
Tom Parker Bowles
describes this country
chic restaurant with
rooms as ‘the local we
wish we all had’. The
food is award-winning,
with the menus
showcasing the freshest
seasonal and local products and the dishes are decidedly and deliciously British complemented by a 98-strong wine list and a craft gin menu of 28. On the edge of the Peak District in Derbyshire it’s close to the market towns of Ashbourne (a favourite amongst antique hunters) and Uttoxeter, a beautiful location for an autumn break tucked away in the Dove Valley. Return to blazing fires and a hot chocolate after a day of sailing, windsurfing and kayaking on the nearby Carsington Reservoir.
Rates from £160 including breakfast per night. Tel: 01335 324275
short breaks

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