The Inn at Whitewell
Press pause on the pace of life and elope to this rural retreat, complete with rugged wooden floors, roaring fire and ivy-clad facade. Tuck yourself away in one of their cosy booths and dine under a canopy of gentle spotlights and glinting candlelight. Supper is a foodie’s paradise of seasonal grouse, hand-dived scallops and crispy confit of duck, all ingredients having been locally-sourced and freshly prepared. Retreat to one of their 23 elegantly appointed bedrooms for a long soak in a deep, roll-top bathtub and sleep soundly as the snow falls gently on patchwork countryside beyond. Once a royal resting place in the 1300s, The Inn at Whitewell has stood the test of time and evolved into a perfect hillside hideaway.
Whitewell, Lancashire 01200 448222 www.innatwhitewall.com
The Carpenters Arms
The gourmet selection on offer in the Carpenters Arms’ restaurant is far more than simple pub grub. Set in a classically cosy pub overlooking the Vale of Mowbray, the rich scarlet walls complement the characterful mahogany bar and stone floor, giving the inn that air of understated elegance. The varied menu showcases the best of British produce without pretense or the price tag. The Inn boasts an extensive bar stocked with local beers, hand pulled ales and wine list, so even the most discerning hibernator will find something to settle down with in front of the roaring open fire.
Felixkirk, Thirsk, North Yorkshire 01845 537369 www.thecarpentersarmsfelixkirk.com
The Wheatsheaf at Swinton
A trip to the Scottish Borders is incomplete without a visit to The Wheatsheaf at Swinton. The epitome of cosy country style with its rustic wooden beds, cavernous fireplaces and decorative features such as carved side tables and deep armchairs; The Wheatsheaf’s prime position on the eastern borders is far away enough from the hustle and bustle of city life without making you feel too cut off. With three lounge areas to choose from, spend a cold winter’s evening by the roaring fire with a warming vintage malt from their extensive selection before disappearing to one of their ten bedrooms.
Main Street, Swinton, Berwickshire 01890 860257 www.wheatsheaf-swinton.co.uk
The King's Head Inn
Set against the idyllic landscapes of the famously stunning Cotswolds, The King’s Head Inn dates back to the 16th century, at which time it was originally built as a cider house. A classic country pub that ticks all the boxes, The King’s Head boasts ancient beams, warming log fires and tranquil views of the picturesque village green and babbling brook; a natural playground to countless ducks and bantams. The rooms situated in the old converted inn are rich with elegant simplicity, featuring immaculate decor and service that’s second-to-none. Fantastic cooking is accompanied by a superb wine list offering ten varieties by the glass, handpicked beers from the county’s best breweries, and a range of 25 malt whiskies.
Bledington, Oxfordshire 01608 658365 www.thekingsheadinn.net