M50, Junction 2; 9 minutes
Vegetarian or vegan options
Swathed in Virginia creeper, you’ll find the Malthouse tucked away off the lane up to the church in the heart of handsome Ledbury. Its cobbled courtyard is brimming with flowers and perfect for a chilled lemonade on a hot day. Inside is beamed and cosy.
Customers are struck by the friendliness of the self-effacing owners. Food is reliably tasty: the American pancakes with bacon and berries are hard to resist for breakfast; salmon, leek and tarragon tart or tomato and basil soup are perfect for lunch. The coffee is excellent and the dresser is crowded with scones, cakes and bakes under various glass domes to tempt even the most steadfast dieter. We loved the lemon meringue pie and fig frangipani. Even those on a gluten- or dairy-free diet have a choice of treats to indulge in here.
Take a look at the gallery displaying local art upstairs and make time to stroll through the centre of Ledbury to see its famous ‘black-framed’ Tudor buildings.