In 2015 this traditional village inn rose like a phoenix from the ashes thanks to the efforts of three residents who campaigned to give Swallowcliffe back its pub, after seven years of neglect had put its future in serious doubt. Extensive renovations and a spot-on refurbishment had a hugely beneficial effect on the 19thC building, says our series editor Fiona Duncan.
     The traditional thatched-roof exterior belies a modern, stylish interior. The bar and restaurant areas on the ground floor combine low ceilings and an open hearth fireplace with Matthew Burt’s custom-made furniture and contemporary landscape paintings. There is an oak and glass garden extension, which impresses with its lightness and simplicity.
     Upstairs, six individually designed bedrooms are extremely peaceful thanks to the pub’s location in a quiet village street, with its back to the valley. They are comfortable, with huge beds and luxurious duvets, radio alarms and fresh flowers. Two rooms have freestanding baths. Luxurious toiletries set on wooden stools are conveniently within reach at arm’s length. There are soothing views over the village and the garden.
     Chef-patron Mark Treasure’s imaginative take on pub grub, with a focus on local produce, has been popular among residents and visitors. You might find slow roast pork belly, smoked haddock and homemade baked beans among the choices, but the menu changes often. Enjoy a walk in the wooded valley before breakfast to make room for the freshly baked bread, seasonal fruit and scrambled eggs.