A Second Helping of Alfresco Dining

18 June 2017

(Photograph courtesy of the Anchor Inn, Walberswick)National Picnic Week starts this weekend and if you can’t escape to the beach or fields with a hamper of food, then seek out one of these fantastic pubs with rooms and make the most of the long June evenings and this wonderful weather with a lazy alfresco lunch or supper in a gorgeous garden. Tuck into pizzas and roasts from wood-fired ovens, the best barbecue food, seafood from a summer shack, and quaff fizz and Pimms from a quirky horsebox bar.

The Swan at Wedmore, Somerset

Recently restored and revamped, the Swan has more than a touch of boutique swagger about it, with a winning combination of period charm and well-judged creative and quirky touches. The kitchen has a passion for seasonality and provenance, delivering daily menus and innovative dishes. In summer, the BBQ and wood-fired oven in the sheltered garden steal the show, so expect roasted meats and fish; Friday evening is pizza night. 
Read more about this pub with rooms in Somerset
The Anchor, Walberswick, Suffolk

Just a stroll from the sand dunes and beach, the vibrant Anchor is the place to relax after crabbin’ on the quay or a coast path walk down to Dunwich. Foodies flock from afar for daily menus, which brim with local ingredients, the elegant, earthy and full flavoured food, and the amazing beer and wine lists.  The oven on the terrace is fired up on summer weekends, delivering delicious roasts and perfect pizzas.
Read more about this pub with rooms in Suffolk
The Griffin Inn, Fletching, East Sussex

A cracking 16th-century village inn filled with wooden beams, oak panels, real log fires and serving Sussex ales and inventive food – menus brim with local produce. When the sun shines, dine on the terrace or quaff a pint in the gorgeous garden with its stunning views across Sheffield Park Gardens (NT) towards the South Downs. Don’t miss the memorable barbeques & jazz on the lawn on summer Sundays.
Read more about this pub with rooms in East Sussex

Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax, West Yorkshire

A renovated 17th-century corn mill hidden in the folds of the wooded Shibden Valley, overlooking the babbling Red Beck – a truly peaceful spot just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Halifax. The streamside terrace, floodlit and heated at night, is place to be on sunny summer days; arrive early at weekends and order seafood, salads and burgers from the Shibden Shack, a cool little outside kitchen.
Read more about this pub with rooms in West Yorkshire

The Red Lion, Babcary, Somerset

A charismatic thatched pub with contemporary smart rooms just two miles from the A303, so an ideal stopover on the trek west, or the perfect base to explore unspoilt Somerset. Expect regional ales and local ciders at the pumps, flagstone floors, real fires and lots of nooks and crannies in rambling rooms, a great garden, and a super little terrace outside The Den, a chic little converted barn, serving pizzas from a wood-fired oven.
Read more about this pub with rooms in Somerset

The Bull Inn, Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Expect stylish, quirky design touches, modern British food, fab bedrooms and a cool vibe at this rejuvenated Cotswold inn. The smart rear terrace is the place to be on sunny days, where you’ll find chunky sleeper benches and tables, a copper water urn (‘dog’s drink for free’) and a brilliant horsebox bar dispensing fizz, cocktails and jugs of Pimms – perfect with the Bull burger from the grill.
Read more about this pub with rooms in Oxfordshire

Kings Heads, Letheringsett, Norfolk

An impressive manor-like pub set in extensive grounds with a country-chic interior, seasonal menus, Norfolk ales and four cosy bedrooms. With teak tables and posh brollies on the suntrap front terrace and a secret side garden, it’s the place to rest and refuel after a day on the beach. On warm weekends and during the ‘season’, the Garden BBQ Shack is in full swing from noon to 8pm.
Read more about this pub with rooms in Norfolk
Refreshing Summer Lemon Sorbet
by head chef, Darren Parkinson, Shibden Mill InnIngredients

6 large lemons, juiced & zest of 2
200g caster sugar
75g glucose syrup
2 tablespoons of vodka
400ml still bottled water
1 sprig of lemon thyme
3 pink pepper cornsMethod
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, pink pepper, thyme, glucose syrup, bring to the boil and boil until the sugar dissolves, approx 1 minute.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in the lemon juice, vodka and lemon zest, then pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Churn for 20 minutes. When the sorbet has frozen into ice crystals (it will still seem quite soft), transfer to a storage container, cover tightly and freeze for 24 hours.

Remove from freezer 1 hour before serving.

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Thank you for visiting our blog – this is where we have the latest on what our pub industry expert David Hancock has been up to including his discoveries when searching for Britain’s best pubs with rooms. We’ve also got insider tips and extra updates to share about what makes our handpicked inns such wonderful – and individual/unique places – to help you find anything from the cosiest corner, to a special room with a view or even the heartiest breakfast.