Plate With A View: White Hart Inn, Nayland
Owned by Michel Roux of Waterside Inn fame, and staffed mainly by ex-Watersiders, the menu at this more intimate, less wallet-busting Suffolk outpost of the Roux empire strays surprisingly far from its owner's Gallic roots. I started with a meltingly delicious home-cured haddock gravadlax, followed by a subtly intense honey roast pork belly on a bed of cabbage and lentils.
My wife was tempted by the twice-baked cheese soufflé, but being in the early stages of pregnancy thought it safer to order a seasonal salad marinated "à la Grecque" vegetables and fresh herbs - the soufflé long forgotten by the time she had wolfed down this toothsome harvest.
Her pan-fried fillet of local Maldon beef came rubbed in star-anise and cumin, and moistened by a tarragon jus. If you fancy something simpler, there's a macaroni cheese. Puddings consist of old favourites such as a twist-baked Bramley apple with cinnamon ice cream, or creamed rice pudding with mango.
Sit by the windows and you can try counting the different Farrow & Ball-style shades - from taupes and cooking-apple greens to French mustard and French blue - that Nayland's justifiably famous timber-framed houses come painted in. The view inside is arguably even more theatrical, a large section of the restaurant floor being a plate-glass window through which the wine cellar can be viewed. Diners suffering acute vertigo may prefer the wine list - where a half bottle of Montagny Premier Cru La Vigne sur le Cloux 1997 (£11.50), or a Coudoulet de Beaucastel Château de Beaucastel Rhone 1996 (£27) might catch the eye.
Starters range from £4.50 for a shellfish bisque to £12.80 for a terrine of foie gras. My gravadlax cost £7.70. My wife's beef was the most expensive main course, at £16.60, but she wasn't drinking alcohol so our bill came in at a relatively modest £66.55, minus service, for some confident, above average cooking. We ate less happily at a well-regarded gastro-pub in a nearby village the next night.
The White Hart Inn, High Street, Nayland, Suffolk (01206 263382; www.whitehart-nayland.co.uk)
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The 10 Best hiking boots
Australia Day 2015: Best alternative places to visit
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...
Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...