The country-house hotel is a product of postwar England, yet it evokes the aristocratic past, conjuring the image of ancient dowager duchesses exuding disapproval. “In many cases, customers were scared to drive up, let alone come inside,” says Robin Hutson, the hotelier behind Lime Wood and The Pig. Today, a new kind of country retreat is luring travelers inside with star chefs, foraging excursions and more. Even basic food experiences get an upgrade. At Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, for instance, guest cabins are stocked with pre-bottled cocktails, as well as bread baked on-site and double Gloucester, so you can make cheese on toast if you’re hungry.—Christine Ajudua

Food & Wine

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