The Wellington Arms – Baughurst, Hampshire
There’s something pretty special about ‘The Welly’. It’s a real foodies’ pub, owned and run with great charm by Simon Page (front of house) and Jason King (award-winning chef). Set in countryside on the Hampshire/Berkshire border, it has a prolific kitchen garden and a field where hens, bees, sheep, geese and pigs are kept. The dining room – there are just 12 highly prized tables – is delightfully informal. Here, Jason uses home-grown ingredients in most of his carefully prepared, country-style dishes. There are four bedrooms: the Apartment is a one-bedroom suite above the pub; then, tucked away in a converted 17th-century, oak-framed hay store, are two striking guest rooms, all exposed brickwork and timber beams; finally, outside a green oak barn is the Cart House. They have all the extras, from rain showers with Malin+Goetz products to Nespresso coffee machines and excellent beds, dressed in top-quality linen. Breakfast is a feast, with eggs straight from their hens and divine tea cosies knitted by Simon’s mum. Who could ask for more?
Walk around the Roman walls at Silchester, not forgetting to visit the amphitheatre along the way.
The twice baked cheddar cheese soufflé is a must, as a starter, main course or pudding.
A loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread, choose from a selection of jams and chutneys, free range eggs or even a mohair tea cosy hand knitted by Simon’s mum.