The Rose & Crown – Romaldkirk, County Durham
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For anyone seeking a quintessential English inn, loved by regulars and first-time visitors alike for its warmth, character, comfort and good food, with beautiful surroundings, look no further than the wonderful Rose & Crown. Run by the Robinson family, who also own the popular County Durham hotel, Headlam Hall, this 18th-century coaching inn continues seamlessly to do what it has always done so well: fine hospitality in an archetypal rural hostelry. There are thick stone walls, beamed ceilings and stone fires, with enough contemporary touches to blend old-fashioned charm with modern comfort and expectation. Great food is at the heart of the inn, showcasing local ingredients of good provenance: typical dishes might include homemade parsnip and apple soup or venison Bourguignon pie. The 14 bedrooms display a faultless combination of contemporary country design (including modern bathrooms) and terrific character and charm. Brilliantly placed for walking in the spectacular Dales countryside, mountain biking through Hamsterley Forest and fly fishing on the Tees (tuition can be arranged). Well-behaved dogs are very welcome, too.
Doubles from £125
+44 (0)1833 650213; rose-and-crown.co.uk