Just a few miles from the lovely old town of Ashbourne is the ancient village of Shirley and this handsome pub-with-rooms dating back to 1791; it’s been gussied-up and wears its gastro-badge with pride – but there’s nothing here to scare the horses. Inside, the floors are scrubbed, furniture is chunky and proper fires belt out cheering warmth, with some feature wallpaper adding a trendy note. A crowd-pleasing menu touts everything from fresh crab and avocado salad to duckling with ginger and orange syrup or rack of lamb with chorizo mash, olive and garlic jus. If you tuck into a plate of dark chocolate pudding with chocolate and Amaretto sauce, you might like to consider a brisk walk round the charming village afterwards. Visitors can also drop by for coffee and cake during the day.