A great deal of money has been lavished on this handsome Cotswold stone rectory resulting in a stylish new look, one that successfully blends the classic Cotswold country house ambience with a funky contemporary feel. Think bold colours and modern fabrics alongside grand fireplaces, mullioned windows and period antiques. Vibrant paintings and opulent flower displays dominate the dining room, where well-spaced tables and pleasant, professional service create a fitting backdrop to Matt Weedon’s food. With a reliance on top-quality ingredients, he consistently hits the high notes with his gutsy modern European expressions of classically based cooking. Plump and juicy scallops served with pancetta, cauliflower and curry oil, followed by red mullet with clams and cockles, mussel risotto and bouillabaisse sauce (a surprisingly exquisite medley of concentrated flavours) were hard to fault, as was a light and intensely flavoured passion fruit soufflé with coconut sorbet and pina colada sauce. (It’s worth considering the impressive cheeseboard, too.) The exceptional wine list favours Italy with over 200 fantastic regional classics to choose from.