Click through pictured for larger images.
The coaching inn is looking a little scruffy from the outside these days, especially the 'modern' extension and lean-to, and the locals tell us that prices have risen in a similar way to prices everywhere.
Scruffy exteriors often hide elegance behind the facade as I discovered when I visited the Relais' website. The terrace is just as I remembered it the evening MWNN and I enjoyed a rather lovely meal there in May 2000. We were seated on the terrace overlooking the 'river' and had just started our entrees when the thunderstorm struck. The canopies coped valiently with the downpour but, within minutes, were sagging under the weight of rainwater. The rather starched staff tried to remove the water without dousing the customers but their efforts were futile. Eventually, we were all re-seated inside.
It was shortly after the storm had passed that MWNN spotted a large rat crossing the terrace, heading for the stream. His offer to fetch the rat terrier from the boat did not go down well with the staff whose sense of humour was conspicuous by its absence all evening.
It's a pity we didn't eat there again this year. We were so convinced that the venue had moved to shoddy accomodation that we didn't want the disappointment of finding it was not as good as we had remembered our first visit.