The Black Swan, Ravenstonedale, Cumbria is this month’s prizegiver. A former César winner, this Victorian pub-with-rooms in an Eden Valley conservation village is as much a locals’ favourite as an inn with smart food and bedrooms. The substantial, late Victorian-Edwardian building, in a beautiful setting with a large beer garden running down to a stream, has been well run by Louise Dinnes and her friendly staff for 14 years. Scott Fairweather’s food offers a creative twist on local produce; perhaps venison tartare with truffle mayo, or smoked haddock in mustard sauce, as well as staples such as beer-battered fish and chips. Breakfast is much liked.
All you need to do to win this handsome prize of dinner, bed and breakfast for two at the Black Swan is to SEND A REVIEW of your favourite hotel or B&B in Great Britain or Ireland. We welcome reports on places that have never been in the Guide or have been omitted, as well as those that have a current entry.
Francis Thomas from Aylesbury is the winner of last month’s prize of dinner, bed and breakfast for two at HAMBLETON HALL, Tim and Stefa Hart’s much-loved hotel (Relais & Châteaux) at Oakham, Rutland, is this month’s prizegiver. Built as a fox-hunting lodge for a wealthy brewer in 1881, and later a society hotspot, it has elegant, individually designed bedrooms with sumptuous fabrics and richly patterned wallpaper. Most rooms overlook the lake; all have garden views, fresh flowers, and biscuits from the hotel’s famous bakery. In the restaurant (after 37 years, this holds the UK’s longest-retained Michelin star), chef Aaron Patterson’s sophisticated, locally sourced, seasonal menus include Launde Farm lamb, Mediterranean vegetables, ewe’s curd.
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