A centuries-old thatched country inn beside a village pond, with a large garden (complete with rooting pigs), heavy stone walls and lots of exposed woodwork, The Nut Tree certainly has bags of character. Real ales reinforce the pubby image, but the award of a Michelin star gives notice that food is in the ascendancy here – no wonder people come from miles around to sample what the kitchen has to offer. Michael North’s cooking pulls together an impressive list of local and seasonal ingredients, from diver-caught scallops with cauliflower mousse, cauliflower ‘couscous’ and curry oil to roast free-range chicken breast accompanied by potato purée, a wild mushroom pie and truffle jus. Full flavours get the thumbs-up, while classic desserts along the lines of the sticky toffee pudding, elderflower pannacotta or hot cherry soufflé are true to the patriotic cause. Hard-working staff extend courtesies and goodwill.