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The Chequers, Churchill

Muddy says: this country pub near Chipping Norton is a perfect mix of trad and modern, with both its interiors and menus. Think Cotswold stone meet cocktails.

Opposite the pretty local church in the bucolic village of Churchill, near Chipping Norton, The Chequers is a picture perfect country inn, with a gorgeous Cotswold stone exterior and Sam and Georgie Pearman (who also own The Swan Inn in Ascott-under-Wychwood and The Talbot in Malton under the new Country Creatures brand) at the helm.

However, step inside and you’ll find something a little different from your usual trad gastro pub with the Chesterfield sofa-style seating, roaring fire and exposed beams offset with bold accent colours, funky prints and modern art hung up on the walls.

The food is also a reflection of old meets new with a selection of classic British dishes, like twice baked cheddar soufflé and battered fish, cooked with fresh, seasonal ingredients and presented with a stylish contemporary flair. You’ll also find a modern cocktail list alongside local ales as well as decent gin offering. Plus there’s a kid’s menu and pub garden with views of the church.

There’s loads to explore in the area, including Sudley Castle with its stunning gardens, Chastleton House Gardens, Cotswold Wildlife Park, Batsford Arboretum. And Cheltenham is less than an hour west if you fancy a day trip (FYI Anthropologie recently opened in the town centre).

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon