It's very difficult to dislike a restaurant that looks like The Olde Bell, especially on a sunny day.Inside is stamped with the deceptively simple, rustic mark of the interior designer Ilse Crawford (underneath the Welsh blankets held down with horse tackle lies a razor-sharp analysis of what lifts a pub from comfy to baronial).I found the panna cotta over-set, which interfered with the flavour, since part of what makes it delicious is the way its delicate flavour grows as you savour the mouth-feel. I have to admit, though, that the look of the place is so perfect I'd go back. Don't miss the Italian chef's signature pork dish, slow-roasted in hay and herbs, with smoked pancetta cream (£20.95) The Old Vine 8 Great Minster Street, Winchester (01962 854616) Ploughman's platters (£5.95), pork terrine (£6.50) and rich trout pâté (£5.95) are the pubby favourites that keep this big, beamed restaurant packed to the hilt.Book well ahead and revel in marinated lamb chops with dauphinoise potatoes (£14.50) The Old Hall Inn Whitehough, Chinley, High Peak, Derbyshire (01663 750529) This handsome 16th-century inn has views that are hard to beat, a minstrels gallery that hosts regular banquets and festivals, and a steak-and-local-ale pudding so popular that you're best to bagsy one when you book (£12) There are over 87,000 different drink combinations at Starbucks, according to the coffee retailer’s website. From flu remedies to Harry Potter-inspired beverages, we highlight the weird and the wonderful brews and infusions. She began her acting career starring in stage productions and attended the Tisch School of Arts in New York.There were some buttery spring greens hiding under it all.S also liked, to the point of insisting that I taste all the parts in various permutations, her coconut panna cotta with pineapple, cherry coulis and some shortcakey biscuits. I had the treacle tart with vanilla ice cream; the cooking was damn perfect but there was a preponderance of lemon in the tart, so I couldn't really taste the treacle, which turned it from an ingredient into a mouth-sticking agent. The Old Bakery 26-28 Burton Road, Lincoln (01522 576057) With its exposed brick walls, flagstone floors, the odd Welsh dresser and original Victorian bread oven, this Cathedral-quarter restaurant is delightfully rustic.But S had a wonderful main course, a herb-crusted rump of English lamb in gorgeous, inch-thick slices, exquisitely pink, jetting flavour from every surface.
Outside, a perfect English garden is large enough to plonk great banquet tables about. In my house, bread gets thrown away when that happens, but they'd just painted the crust with honey and hoped for the best. So it had immediately fallen foul of my first rule of restaurants: if you wouldn't serve it to your friends, you shouldn't serve it to your customers. I had the Stinking Bishop with hazelnuts, poached pear and cheese sablé.
'What a great place for a birthday…a wedding…a Royalists' fête…' you think. But let's not bear a grudge, said S, ordering a Shetland salmon ballotine (the menu is £29.50 for three courses) with soused cucumber and dill crème fraîche; this was professionally presented, moderate in all things (mild salmon, gently dilly crème fraîche, pickled but somehow thin cucumber). The cheese itself was in beautiful condition and exquisitely powerful.