Before striking out on his own, chef/owner Hugh Carruthers worked alongside Frances Atkins at her Michelin-starred Yorke Arms at Ramsgill – so impressive culinary stripes are a given at this sturdy old stone pub in one of North Yorkshire’s prettiest villages. Hugh is an interesting, quixotic man and his eclectic menu is full of quirky ideas – witness Moroccan-spiced chickpea, piquillo pepper, sweet potato and pumpkin tagine. He also does a good line in tongue-in-cheek retro dishes; ‘prawn cocktail’ is gussied up with roast langoustines and smoked salmon, and there’s also a take on chicken Kiev served with mash and spring greens. To finish, his hot chocolate fondant pudding with Chantilly cream is, reputedly, to die for. As for the decor, expect flagstone floors, crackling fires and splendidly uneven walls hung with original contemporary art.