The buzz and banter from a gregarious throng of happy diners and drinkers says it all. Just take note of the glorious views of the Essex/Suffolk border country, the soothing interiors, historical charm, good beer, really excellent selection of wines (for consumption on or off the premises), and a gutsy menu that sources as much local produce as is practical – who could deny that this “fabulous country pub” comes close to perfection. The seasonal array of hearty dishes might include the likes of pressed corn-fed chicken with pistachios and crispy chicken skin, lamb Wellington with apricots or slow-roast pork shoulder with cider crème fraîche, port sauce and curly kale. Fish specials change daily and game is also given deserved attention in winter. And if you are looking for a weekend bolthole, the superb bedrooms show great attention to detail.