Name: The Yew Tree
Location: United Kingdom
Set within a 17th-century cottage in the delightful Hampshire countryside just a short stroll from Highclere Castle, otherwise known as Downton Abbey, The Yew Tree is a great choice for a weekend break.
In winter a huge wood burning fireplace welcomes you and the wide copper bar and leather sofas suck you into having “just one more”. The comfy seating and little nooks and crannies make visiting this historic pub really rather special. Upstairs eight beautifully appointed bedrooms invite you in atop a spiral staircase and in summer a new garden complete with seafood bar and parasol-dotted terrace will beckon you outside.
The restaurant here is a huge draw headed by owner Simon Davis who has taken his experience in Michelin-starred kitchens to the countryside, serving up delicious and constantly changing local dishes with flair. The location of the pub enables him to tap into all the local produce which in his own words is “unbelievable” – “fish, game, fruit, it’s better than everywhere else I’ve worked as a chef previously. We get people who come in for dinner offering you pork from their farm or you can just go for a drive in the afternoon and pass by a small sign that sells the most fantastic duck eggs or asparagus. It’s a great part of the world and a great pub.”
“The pub itself warm and friendly without any pretentiousness. It’s a place where people can come in and have just a pint and a scotch egg but also enjoy scallops, turbot or prime steaks as well. The menu comprises of a number or dishes of varying sizes, from bar snacks and starters to mains and sharing plates that let people pick and choose. It really opens the door to creating your own tasting menu. This concept has become quite a food trend. Brunch, snacking, sharing, the menu fits into more categories which means there is something for everyone. The cuisine of course focuses on local British dishes, game, fish.”
“Our scotch egg is fantastic. The yolk is runny and the black pudding lining makes it even better. One couple came in and ordered three plates between them just so that they could have one and a half portions of scotch egg each. That’s the way we do it here – everyone has had high-end kitchen experience but we’re not too precious that we won’t serve a scotch egg or fish and chips. We have one regular customer who orders our fish and chips every time – we make a lovely batter with our Upham’s Punter ale.”
Whatever tickles your fancy in the beautiful British countryside, The Yew Tree is every inch the idyllic pub that luxury travellers long for on a boutique weekend break.
The Yew Tree, Highclere, Nr Newbury, RG20 9SE
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