On our latest visit to the Griffin Inn, the pub was packed, the dining room was almost full and the kitchen was bustling.
Owner James Pullan was just ushering one set of wine tasters out of the door, while representatives from a prestigious Italian winery were expected at any minute. Successful evidently. But still welcoming and cosy definitely.
This 16thC village inn has been owned by the Pullan family for 20 years and it maintains its winning combination of good food and pretty bedrooms with beams, low ceilings and four-poster beds. Everything is a bit uneven, quaint, on a small scale – but endearing rather than cramped. Beds are inviting and bathrooms are in an attractive Victorian style, with funky porthole mirrors.
The pub has more beams, panelling, open fires and hunting prints, while the old public bar has been turned into the ‘Club Room’, with sofas, armchairs and a backgammon board. Good food is always at hand either in the pub or in the restaurant, which uses fresh seasonal ingredients and local organic vegetables. Both menus change daily.
On sunny days, you can take your drink out to the garden overlooking Sheffield Park and enjoy live jazz at the weekends. In summer, they set up what James calls "a proper BBQ", serving Pacific Rim dishes.