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Hartwell House Café, Aylesbury

Muddy says: An elegant all day café in the old stable block within Hartwell House. Brekky, brunch, lunch and even afternoon tea all available overlooking the pool or courtyard.

Hartwell House Spa

Located in the former coach house in the grounds of stunning National Trust-owned hotel Hartwell House, the café has views of the courtyard from the stone balcony on one side, and the spa pool from inside. An alternative to your local cafe or the generic coffee chains that yawn up and down the high street, Hartwell Café has just extended its opening times from 9am – 7pm, and started a brunch service from 10.30-12pm with chef Alexandra formerly of Chiltern Firehouse and Rosewood London. What that woman can’t do with a egg hollandaise isn’t worth knowing.

The atmosphere is refined, so it’s probably the place to bring your parents or well-behaved kids rather than rampaging toddlers. If you’re feeling particularly elegant, afternoon tea is available until 6.30pm.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon