The Horse & Groom – East Ashling, West Sussex

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This centuries-old former blacksmith’s shop turned pub was a local haunt of jeweller Annoushka Ducas and her businessman husband John Ayton for nearly 20 years before the pair decided to buy it in 2019. The pub had lost some of its charm, and their aim was to restore and redesign, putting it back at the centre of village life again. Now, there are 10 cosy rooms, all with traditional oak furniture, exposed wooden beams and a palette of soft, calming hues. The elegant dining room – where guests can polish off dishes such as local Selsey crab or a Sunday roast with all the trimmings – has a backdrop of mid 20th-century paintings, a handcrafted oak floor and interesting collections of Italian sardine pots and vintage gardening books. Beers on tap in the bar include Hophead, the golden pale ale from Dark Star brewers in Partridge Green. With its location four miles west of Chichester and on the edge of the South Downs National Park, it’s especially popular with walkers and those attending events such as Glorious Goodwood and the Festival of Speed.

Doubles from £125

+44 (0)1243 575339;

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