The Royal Oak is easy to find in the centre of the Berkshire village of Yattendon. Lest you mistake it for a mere pub, the sign on the front of this cottagey, mellow red-brick inn announces Hotel and Restaurant. Certainly, the Royal Oak is no longer a common-or-garden local (as it was when Oliver Cromwell reportedly dined there). Rob McGill, who's owned it since 2009 has gradually transformed it into a quintessential charming small hotel.
   Its two dining rooms have a style and elegance not usually associated with ale and darts: authentic beams and tiled floors, meet pretty rugs and floral curtains. But there is still a small bar where residents and non-residents alike can enjoy a large choice of real ales without having a meal.
  Next to the smart/rustic informal dining area, with large open fireplace, is the light, relaxed and comfortable sitting room (with grand sofas piled high with cushions and another huge open hearth) and beyond that the formal restaurant with its elegant reproduction furniture. Bedrooms are prettily decorated and equipped with every conceivable extra. The bathrooms feature bespoke furnishings and splashes of colour, a thoughtful touch - something Rob puts into everything at The Royal Oak.
   Another attraction is the walled garden, full of colour and a delight during the summer months.