Set in a charming, quintessentially English hotel with parts dating from the 1400s, The Gallery occupies a 20th-century extension at the building’s rear. The space complements the low ceilings and wooden beams found in the lounge and bar areas, with a fresher, modern design – tiny, star-like spotlights twinkle in the ceiling; floorboards are left bare – and the menu follows suit. Since early 2016, Newcastle native Alan O’Kane has led the kitchen, producing food that’s inspired from his years living in Asia, in combination with classic Brit fare. Pink duck breast might arrive topped with treacle and sesame seeds; oysters are served as tempura; and venison tartare is dressed with burnt orange and smoked coconut. The talking point during our visit was a light-as-air mousse combining mushrooms, aubergine, crisped rice and fiery Thai spice: a daring yet delicious inclusion that transcended the norm for a countryside fine diner. Smart, well-drilled staff suggest informed wine pairings from a long, accessibly annotated list. Food prices are substantial but so are portions, and The Gallery certainly works hard to please, producing a raft of menus (à la carte, tasting menu, Sunday lunch, ample for vegetarians) plus an ever-changing display of art adorning the walls.