Much like its namesake, this country house – plonked in between Bristol and Bath – is tranquil, mellow and, er, beautiful, surrounded by green fields and woodland. The whole house is sure to induce interior envy – think cosy fireplaces, high ceilings and sofas perfect for splaying out on with wine/coffee/papers. Pretty tiles line huge walk-in showers, king-size beds and old-school phones in the 29 bedrooms.
If food's not your thing, you're doing life wrong. Even more so at The Pig, where ingredients are plucked from the hotel's own garden each morning (take a stroll around it to see spinach, apples and more). The restaurant is rustic and informal, and the sausage roll is one of the best we've tried, (and we've taken down many pastry and pork packages). In the meantime, check out the website for pork-inspired recipes, including ham hock and black pudding hash.
This summer the Pigs (there are now four in the family) are holding a series of festivals called Smoked & Uncut, featuring live music, glamping, food stalls and locally brewed ale and wine. Which sounds like our kind of thing.
Cowshed is, funnily enough, all about the beef – so much so that founder Adam Denton set up a butcher next door. He realised it was the only way for him to get the quality of meat he wanted, working closely with farmers and enabling the local community to enjoy Cowshed's locally reared, handpicked meat at home. The butcher, Ruby & White, is now a deli, too, stocking artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and bread, as well as locally grown vegetables and a curated wine list. Together, they've developed Follow This Food – a campaign that means the meat can be traced back to the individual farm, slaughterhouse, breed and length of dry-ageing for each product at the touch of a button, so eat at either the Bristol or Bath restaurant and you'll enjoy serious steaks, fish sourced from Brixham and loads of fresh West Country produce.
Where better to spend time in the sunshine than a picturesque English vineyard, right? Right. Dunleavy, in the sleepy village of Wrington Vale, is the baby of founder and owner Ingrid Bates, who produced the vineyard's first harvest in 2013. Its flagship is a rosé made with pinot noir and seyval, and you can look forward to some sparkling wines in the future.
If you're heading out for a picnic, you should probably stop by the Moor's shop for some of the best craft beer in the area. But if you've got a couple of hours free, it'd be a crime not to stop by the brewery's tap room, which not only shows off the brand's pretty enviable range of beers, but also includes regularly rotating guest beers, too. Grab anything from a third-of-a-pint to a growler (no laughing at the back – it means a two-litre, refillable vessel designed for taking away) – or sip on Clifton Coffee if you're driving.