The Wheatsheaf Inn – Northleach, Gloucestershire
This beautifully decorated former coaching inn serves as both a hub for the local community and a welcome 17th-century watering hole for those exploring the beautiful Cotswolds. It combines an informal, welcoming atmosphere with all the attributes of a fully fledged hotel, including a relaxing sitting room, perfectly manicured courtyard and outdoor dining space. Locals crowd into the casual country bar for drinks and light meals, or dine under the beady eyes of the doughty Wills tobacco family, whose early 20th-century portraits decorate one wall of the restaurant, gleaming with polished wood (the menu includes dishes such as grilled lemon sole and Tamworth pork chops). The 14 bedrooms, decorated in sleek style, are elegantly equipped with deeply comfy Hypnos beds, Egyptian cotton linens and original artwork. What’s more, the locally sourced, simple, rustic food doesn’t miss a beat. Dine al fresco in the landscaped gardens, with its outdoor bar and pizza oven. Rambling, centuries-old inns can be hard to modernise, but the Wheatsheaf Inn is a triumph. Plus, as with the best establishments, dogs are welcome, too.
Doubles from £130
+44 (0)1451 860244; cotswoldswheatsheaf.com