With its inglenook fireplaces, crooked floors, half-timbered frontage and cobbled courtyard, this romantic Elizabethan coaching inn provides a touch of olde-England in the heart of Old Amersham. The surroundings are similarly of a bygone era, with a high street that has maintained its architecture and look over hundreds of years and features shops full of antiques and classic fashion. Located around 25 miles from London, it requires only a 35-minute train journey to reach, but you’ll feel like you’ve chanced upon a time warp as you enter a town that appears several centuries old!
Consisting of a total of 40 bedrooms and several public rooms arranged around a cobbled courtyard, designer Ilse Crawford, of Elle Deco and Babington House fame, has succeeded in taking 500 years of history and giving it a fresh yet traditional feel. Her respect of the buildings heritage has even seen the building’s crooked walls and low beams incorporated into the design.
At first glance, the comfortable bedrooms appear rustic and minimalistic. However, a closer look reveals such luxuries as rush matting and sheepskin rugs, together with such modern creature comforts of flat screen televisions and digital radios. Complementing the design of Crawford’s bedrooms, much of The Crown’s interior uses rural materials including traditional plaster made from lime and horsehair and chairs from the Ercol factory in High Wycombe.
Eating and drinking is central to the Inn. Overseen by chef Rosie Sykes (formerly Guardian Weekend’s Kitchen Doctor), the kitchen produces a daily changing menu of locally sourced farmhouse food. For elevenses (yes, they still serve them here!) and afternoon tea, home baked biscuits and cakes await, whilst visitors to the bar can enjoy home roasted spiced nuts or cheese straws with a pint of the local Rebellion ale, organic ginger beer and traditional lemonade.
The main restaurant menu is all about traditional English fare. Expect starters of Pork terrine with cornichons and Parsnip & apple soup; mains include expertly sourced and beautifully cooked Lamb chops with horseradish potatoes, delicious steaks and plenty of seafood, including Poached brill, saffron & fennel. Desserts are similarly traditional, including Rhubarb Eton Mess and Apple crumble. Prices are also more than reasonable, with starters at around £6 and mains around £15 for plentiful portions.
Room prices: £120/night
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £55
The Crown Inn
16 High Street
Bucks, HP7 0DH
Tel: 01494 721 541