The Shoe Inn, New forest
There are numerous attractions in the forest that offer all types of activities for most types of taste. Visit the cosy 15th century coaching inn, The Shoe Inn, situated just on the edge of the New Forest on the A36, has been welcoming hungry travellers ever since 1430 and is steeped in history. Today it is a family-run free house with an elegant rustic interior and a pretty terrace garden. The Shoe Inn is renowned for its quality home-cooked food and is the perfect retreat for a relaxing weekend away or a comfortable overnight stop.
The Dog & Gun Pub, Keswick, Lake District
The Dog & Gun pub is a friendly cosy pub with a fire, it also has a good reputation for ales and food. Its got a real fire, comfy and lets dogs in. This unpretentious pub is deservedly popular. They offer very reasonably priced bar food all day (until about 9pm) The Hungarian Goulash is one of their specialities. The interior itself is beamed with old coins that have been persuaded into the cracks. You’ll find a lovely warming log fire at one end with a bare slate floor. Perfect after a days cycling or walking in the hills.
The Fountain Inn, Sussex
The Fountain Inn, Sussex The 16th-century Inglenook Bar is a snug place to be on a cold and rainy night, as Paul McCartney and Wings discovered when they made their Wonderful Christmas Time video here in 1979. In the flagstoned, candlelit bar, aromatic with woodsmoke from the wafting fire, be treated to wholesome food (steak, mushroom and ale pie, apple and Calvados sausages, nursery puds), along with a great selection of wines and three real ales. No need to bother with the wine list – just wander into the corridor where, on an ancient wonky wall, the bottles themselves are on display.
Knoydart Peninsula, Scotland
Known as Scotland’s last wilderness, the Knoydart peninsula is an enticing blend of glens, lochs and rivers in a protected landscape that faces Skye, Eigg, Rum and Muck. It’s not an easy place to reach, but worth the effort. Although it’s on the mainland, the only access is on a ferry from Mallaig, seven miles away or a 16-mile walk. The only village, Inverie, is surrounded by three Munro mountains, which effectively block mobile phone signals. Other forms of life are still going strong, including the Old Forge pub, with local food and traditional music.
Café at Foyles, London
The most easygoing and relaxing place you’ll find on Charing Cross Road, this unpretentious joint (on the first floor next to Ray’s Jazz) has jazz playing , which is a perfect to have a coffee and chill out to. To get to the café go in to Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Rd, Tottenham Crt Rd tube station is three minutes away. Wood floors and wooden chairs and tables and a bar against the window looking on to Charing Cross Rd. There are loads of cakes, also pastries, brownies and biscuits. Their hot chocolate is wonderful!
Shepherd Neame Brewery, Kent
Simple pleasures are often the best and winding down in a cosy Kent pub in village or town is one of them. Stay the night, toasting your toes by an inglenook fireplace, tucking into hearty local food – it’s the perfect weekender. We suggest taking a guided tour of Shepherd Neame – Britain’s oldest brewer. Start from the recently-refurbished Visitor Centre; see the traditional mash tuns; taste natural mineral water from the brewery’s well; try some malted barley; smell locally-grown Kentish hops; see bygone delivery vehicles and step into a recreated cooper’s workshop. Finally there’s a fascinating tutored tasting of our Kentish ales and specialty lagers.