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The Riverside at Aymestrey, Aymestrey, Herefordshire
The Riverside at Aymestrey Country Inn and Dining, tucked away beside the River Lugg in the heart of Herefordshire's beautiful countryside, is gourmands' heaven thanks to the superb food. This handsome black-and-white former coaching inn dates back to the Elizabethan period with some Victorian additions. Chef Patron Andy Link took over the business in 2016, having been head chef for many years, and it's a wonderful retreat for restorative mini-breaks. Apart from the classy restaurant serving exceptional British cuisine, there's a cosy bar, pretty gardens and al fresco tables with gorgeous views. The accommodation is special, too, comprising nine luxurious rooms with treats such as homemade biscuits and freshly ground coffee.
The area's famous Black and White Village Trail takes you through gorgeous places such as Weobley, Pembridge and Leominster itself.
Hereford's magnificent cathedral is a 30-minute drive away.
By car: around 1 hour 30 minutes from Birmingham, 2 hours from Bristol and 3 hours 30 minutes from York. There is free parking on site.
By train: Direct trains to Ludlow run from Cardiff (1 hour 30 minutes) and Manchester (1 hour 50 minutes). The hotel is a 20-minute taxi ride from Ludlow station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
This hotel will suit couples, friends and small groups looking for an upscale escape to the country with good food, luxurious surroundings and great service. There's a special table with mat and dog bowl especially for furry four-legged patrons.
Service & Facilities
Nothing beats arriving at the inn to find chef Andy busy foraging for the freshest herbs and plants in the field next door! Dogs are allowed in some rooms, treats and bowls are available in the bar and the kitchen can make pet meals.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
- Pet friendly
It's hard to choose between garden lodge Covenhope with its terrace overlooking the river, and the charming, spacious Hayloft Suite. If you fancy taking home the art by local artists in your room, the good news is some of it is for sale.
King, Snug Double, Garden Rooms, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with Noble Isle toiletries, waffle bathrobes, TV, free Wi-Fi, homemade biscuits, tea and coffee-making facilities
Food & Drink
The food is creative and exciting - lemon verbena ice cream, battered Herefordshire snails, gin-cured trout, winter braised pheasant stew. A highlight is the spiced apple and local Chase Gin savarin, featuring honeycomb, golden raisins and Herefordshire Heritage apples - it's fruit so it's healthy!
Restaurant: two AA Rosettes. Relaxed, modern British cuisine, emphasis on local produce. Open Tues-Sat 12-3pm, Mon-Sat 6-9pm and Sunday lunch 12-6pm. Mains from £12.50.
Bar: Cosy, comfortable, local ciders, extensive wine list. Open daily.