The former ‘Black Cow’ has been scrubbed and spruced and is now simply The Cow, a smart gastropub facing the village green, with twelve boutique bedrooms, deep in the South Derbyshire countryside. Step inside to where the copper-topped bar gleams and the fire leaps in the old stone fireplace. You can perch on an upcycled milk churn to down a pint of local ale and choose from the imaginative menu (On the Hoof, Big Troughs, Udder Bits). Perhaps homemade pork scratchings with spiced apple compote scrumped from Lisa’s garden, followed by slow-cooked oxtail with broad beans, peas and baby carrots. Puddings are reassuringly robust: a salted caramel tart with honeycomb ice-cream or baked Alaska. Upstairs, the bedrooms are spankingly new with padded headboards, plump cushions, gleaming linens and a warm glow from clever lighting. The latest hi-tech touches make the rooms smart in more ways than one, while bathrooms sparkle and have attractive stone basins. Breakfast will set you up for a day of exploring the Dales; tuck into poached Finnan haddock or a three egg omelette. You’re in Derbyshire’s Golden Triangle so take time to admire the little villages and vast views.