A modern British restaurant in a 16th-century coaching inn, Hawkyns is a first for its owner, renowned Indian chef Atul Kochhar, whose signature spicing is entirely absent from its food. Head chef Ross Bott has made the menu his own, keeping things simple yet inventive with uncomplicated starters such as baked beetroot and goats’ cheese dressed in miso and hazelnuts, or chicken terrine with saffron-pickled shallots and bread sauce. Mains charge things up a notch, witness a unique take on fish & chips featuring warm tartare sauce, pea purée and sous vide fish scattered with crisp scraps; or Jacob’s ladder beef rib, braised on the bone and smothered in grilled calçot onions. The signature pudding combines bouncy little doughnuts with syringes of apple and pear purées for self-filling. With its ancient bare wood and rickety black beams, The Crown hotel provides an apt setting that could barely be more old-British. Its quirky but well-kept rooms make overnights a must – even with London only 30 minutes away on the Metropolitan Line.