Sometimes, the best way to escape the relentless pace of city life is to immerse oneself in the idyllic surroundings of the countryside. And what encapsulates the essence of British countryside better than a quintessential country pub? These historic establishments, often set against backdrops of rolling hills, babbling brooks, or quaint villages, promise an experience drenched in tradition, gastronomy, and romance. Here are the top five country pubs outside London that are just a drive away, perfect for a romantic date.
The White Horse, Chilgrove, Sussex:
- Drive Time: Roughly 1.5 hours from London.
- Ambience: Nestled within the stunning South Downs, The White Horse exudes old-world charm, complete with exposed beams and roaring log fires.
- Highlight: The pub boasts a modern British menu, ensuring a gastronomic delight. The scenic beauty of the South Downs makes it perfect for post-lunch/dinner walks.
The Potting Shed Pub, Crudwell, Wiltshire:
- Drive Time: Approximately 2 hours from London.
- Ambience: Set in the heart of Cotswolds, this rustic yet chic pub offers a warm, inviting atmosphere with its reclaimed furnishings and colourful décor.
- Highlight: The menu is a celebration of local produce. The romantic setting of the Cotswolds offers numerous picturesque spots to explore.
The Five Bells, Stanbridge, Bedfordshire:
- Drive Time: Just over an hour from London.
- Ambience: A 17th-century traditional English pub, with its classic thatched roof and a beautiful beer garden, offers an authentic countryside experience.
- Highlight: The pub takes pride in its cask ales and hearty British fare. The serene surroundings provide a peaceful retreat for couples.
The Bricklayer’s Arms, Flaunden, Hertfordshire:
- Drive Time: About 45 minutes from London.
- Ambience: A winner of numerous accolades, this gastro-pub blends tradition with sophistication. The exposed brick walls and original wooden beams evoke a sense of nostalgia.
- Highlight: It offers an extensive wine list and a menu that’s a contemporary take on classic British dishes. The proximity to London, coupled with the tranquil village setting, makes it an ideal getaway.
The Running Horses, Mickleham, Surrey:
- Drive Time: Roughly an hour from London.
- Ambience: One of the oldest pubs in Surrey, The Running Horses stands as a testament to time with its rich history and traditional architecture.
- Highlight: Their menu, which is a delightful blend of traditional and modern British cuisine, is complemented by a selection of fine wines and ales. After dining, couples can explore the nearby Box Hill or Mickleham Downs.
A drive to a country pub is not just about the destination; it’s about the experience—the winding roads, the scenic beauty, and the anticipation of a romantic escapade. Each of these pubs offers a unique blend of history, gastronomy, and a touch of British countryside magic. So, the next time you’re seeking a romantic sojourn, simply get behind the wheel, and let these country pubs set the stage for an enchanting date.