The Lee boasts two very different traditional pubs – both free houses, both in beautiful settings and each with a long and interesting history. As well as having a loyal group of ‘locals’, the pubs have also all become popular stop off points for walkers, cyclists and other visitors exploring the Chilterns (please take off muddy boots!)
It is also worth visitors to The Lee checking out Forthcoming Events to see what else might be open for refreshments during their visit.
The Old Swan
The oldest of the pubs is The Old Swan at Swan Bottom.
Dating from the 16th century, this free house still retains all of the character of days gone by. In winter it offers a cosy bar and restaurant to while away the evenings, whilst in summer the garden offers an oasis of tranquility. As one reviewer put it: “This place is what an English country pub should be; quiet, pretty, well kept beer, excellent food, a beautiful garden and an absolute delight in the summer.” Review: Beer in the evening
Further information and restaurant bookings (01494 837239 www.theoldswanpub.co.uk)
The Cock and Rabbit
As one reviewer eloquently put it: “…who would have thought that in this quaint village, you would find a splendid Italian restaurant and pub?”
The Cock & Rabbit was rebuilt and re-sited in 1907 by Arthur Liberty during his re-construction of the village green. It replaced a much older pub that allegedly ‘obscured the view from his manor house’.
Now, surrounded by a garden and sun terrace, this pub has according to the reviewer; “the appearance of a quintessential English country house”. That is an English country house with an Italian restaurant!
The Graziemille restaurant also caters for weddings and other functions, as well as for more regular dining. (Review: Guide to Rural England by ‘The Lady’)
Further information and restaurant bookings ( 01494 837540 www.cockandrabbit.uk )
The Gate Inn
The last pub in the village to close was The Gate Inn at Lee Gate.
The Gate Inn at Lee Gate was created from two timber framed cottages, also dating from the 16th century, and re-cased in brick in the 18th century to form the present building.
Now a Grade II listed building, this former pub will be recognised by Midsomer Murder aficionados.