Hotels, Lodging & Restaurants: The Crown in Amersham, England
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The Crown, Amersham is my go-to place to stay in the UK when I have to catch an early-morning flight out of Heathrow; it's an easy drive from London (and also happens to be the final stop on the Underground's Metropolitan line). The Crown is the lesser-known sister property to the much acclaimed Olde Bell Inn in Hurley, Berkshire (see Hotels, Lodging, Restaurants: Olde Bell Inn in England ). Both offer a modern take on the traditional coaching inn of yore, reimagined by British designer Ilse Crawford. The simple, honest interiors at the Crown contribute to the authentic British feel, and the local fare—orchestrated by much-lauded chef Rosie Sykes—does not disappoint. Caveat emptor: not all the bedrooms have been refurbished, so check ahead when you book. Above: The low-beamed, timber-framed building dates back to 1134. Above: Crawford mixes modern British pieces (a Windsor chair by Ercol and a Fin chair by Matthew Hilton) with antique finds. Above: Materials are simple but honest; oak tables in the dining room are laid with pewter plates. Above: Much of the food at the Crown is served on pewter, which was commonly used in England from the 1500s to 1700s. Above: Crawford added yellow Tolix chairs to the mix, an unexpectedly cheerful Gallic addition. Above: Straightforward oak stools at the wood-paneled bar. Above: Next to the hearth, a high-backed settle bench draped with Welsh wool blankets, held in place with leather straps, offers banquette seating. Above: The original 15th-century wall finish was revealed during renovation and preserved in room number 12. Above: A guest room is furnished with a sheepskin on a Windsor rocking chair, a Roberts Revival radio on the bedside stool, and a Bestlite wall lamp. The handwoven rush matting on the floor is from Felicity Irons' Rush Matters. Above: A cast-iron claw-foot tub. Above: A cobbled courtyard leads to the vegetable garden.