Nestled at the heart of Brocket Hall estate (an 18th-century country retreat turned gold-standard hospitality venue), Auberge du Lac occupies a quaint one-time hunting lodge overlooking an ornamental lake (“a must to wander around”, notes a fan). Inside, friendly, obliging staff usher guests into a mini-maze of atmospheric rooms, before presenting them with a seasonally inspired menu that’s a joy to peruse. Chef Matthew Edmonds joins Auberge du Lac from The Gantley Arms (where he achieved two AA Rosettes) and London's sky-high dining space Searcys at The Gherkin and his pedigree shows: the food may cost a pretty penny, but it’s great value when you consider such “beautifully presented” and “consistently excellent” delights such as oak-smoked haddock chowder or duck foie gras ballotine. Next, crisp suckling pig, black pudding croquette and apple or the famous Norwegian skrei cod with eel and salsify. For dessert, check out the fragrant chai tea parfait, and don’t miss the spectacular cheese trolley. Want to stay? Rooms are available at Melbourne Lodge, just a short stroll away.