Looking for a stylish yet cosy weekend bolthole that’s easy to reach from town? Here it is. Opened last year by charming young Jack Greenall, the Pheasant ticks all the boxes. Though just moments from the M4, the old drovers’ inn stands alone, with uninterrupted views across the Berkshire Downs, and feels properly rural. Inside, thanks to the spot-on taste of Jack and his interior designer, Flora Soames, it is smart and sophisticated yet intimate and warm, in racing green and red (the inn is much frequented by trainers and jockeys) with a constant buzz at the bar and plenty of comfy corners for quiet dining. Upstairs: 11 immaculate, spoiling, incredibly good value bedrooms, full of thoughtful extras. As for chef Andy Watt’s superior pub grub, it’s spot on too: Scotch eggs like you’ve never tasted before; chateaubriand of Wiltshire beef to share; Dover sole; fabulous puddings. Has Jack got a hit on his hands? You bet. Doubles from £100.
Name to Know: Debbie, who has worked in the building for 24 years. Ask her anything and you’ll get an interesting answer.
See: Go for a walk around the nearby and famed location of Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, and the surrounding Capability Brown gardens.
Eat: Stick around for the Sunday lunch – it’s done properly with a great wine list.
Buy: Head straight to Garden Art in Hungerford for delightful garden goodies, then to JAX, a fantastic women’s clothes shop on site, stocking irresistible cashmere, jeans and shirts.
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