After years in the doldrums, this classic sixteenth-century coaching inn has been taken over and turned into a stylish hotel offering real ales, fine wines & superior food. At one end of the spectrum is a humble sounding but well-executed day menu – served in either the beamed, pubby George Tap, or in the light, modern, intimate dining room. Delicious platters of charcuterie or a club sandwich are there for peckish drinkers, while gutsy chicken liver pate, Rye Bay plaice goujons with homemade tartare sauce or venison burger with chunky chips make a perfect light lunch. In the evening, a short, daily changing menu could bring stir-fried squid salad with red chilli & spring onion, then oxtail stew with chorizo, mashed potato & sauteed curly kale. The wine list is divided by style & balances affordability with good global choice – there are even eight wines from vineyards in Kent & Sussex – & should you be tempted to stay, bedrooms are stunning. A new opening that has really upped the stakes in this picture-perfect town.