The Walnut Tree Inn is one of those places that seems to resound with chat and laughter and the food certainly merits a special journey (cottage accommodation nearby is a bonus). For this we have to thank Shaun Hill. When this iconic venue was at its lowest ebb during 2008, he stepped in, won back the restaurant’s Michelin star and gained a loyal following among those who appreciate honest, intelligent cooking served in friendly, informal surroundings. The good-value set lunch might bring plaice with shrimps and dill, while the carte could yield smoked eel with brandade and horseradish cream followed by rack of lamb with its own suet pudding and a side of chicory and gem salad with mustard dressing. To finish, look for reinvented classics such as toffee rice pudding with mango and pineapple or baked chocolate mousse with honey ice cream.