The Beech House is where you sleep, but the Olive Branch began it all and the two, though divided by the road, are really indivisible. So good was the food in the pub (named to mark the end of a quarrel with a farmer; this is not an ordinary place) that rooms were needed to house those who had travelled to enjoy it. What looks like a pretty doll’s-house was bought and six en-suite rooms were made, decorated with fashionable modern colours and furnished with a mix of rather striking antique and modern pieces. It is a thoughtful management that provides a fully wheelchair-accesible bathroom in the ground floor room.
Attention to the guests’ needs and attention to detail are probably what won the combined establishments the Michelin Pub of the Year award in 2007. There are four types of tea in the bedrooms and fresh coffee for the cafetiere; a Roberts digital radio (de rigueur in smart inns these days); DVDs and a choice of duvets or sheets and blankets. So far so homely. But the extra factor which this place seems to have in spades is what Michelin’s men call ‘star quality’, the willing, informal, kind and efficient service you get from people who have put their hearts (and their savings) into a venture like this.