WITH so much to juggle in the kitchen on Christmas morning the family chef is likely to welcome a quiet hour or so with a glass of fizz while everyone else heads to the local pub for a pre-lunch tipple.

Here's our pick of the best pubs to head to for a pint before dinner:

The Barrels, St Owen’s Street

Open 11am to 1pm, drinks only Plenty of fans for this one, picking up more recommendations on facebook than any other when we asked for suggestions! An 18th century coaching inn that is formed partly from the old city wall and is one of the last multi-roomed pubs in Hereford. A down-to-earth drinking establishment, The Barrels was Wye Valley Brewery’s home for many years, and attracts an eclectic clientele who come for the lively, friendly atmosphere and, of course, excellent beer

The Lichfield Vaults, Hereford

11am to 2pm, drinks only A welcoming city centre pub tucked away in Church Street, a minute’s walk from both the Cathedral and High Town. Andy and Lesley, and their friendly team, offer customers a traditional pub experience in “a cosy and relaxing atmosphere, serving up some of the finest ales in Herefordshire”.

The Sun Inn, Leintwardine

11am to 2.30pm, drinks only On the borders of Shropshire and Herefordshire in the Roman Village of Leintwardine the Sun Inn is one of Britain’s last remaining traditional parlour pubs.

This Grade 11 listed Inn keeps all the original feature but now also has a more contemporary extension at the back leading on to a beautiful beer garden.

Originally home to the legendary landlady Flossie Lane, the oldest and longest serving licensee in this country at the time, the Sun Inn is full of history and has been featured on BBC Breakfast, BBC1 Country Tracks, Radio 4, numerous national newspapers including the Times, Telegraph and Mail.

It also lifted the award for Community Pub of the Year at the Hereford Times Food and Drink Awards.

The Red Lion, Pembridge

Situated in the beautiful black and white village of Pembridge in North Herefordshire, The Red Lion has a history which goes back to 1858 when it was listed in a trade directory as a ‘beerhouse’ and today, remains a traditional pub serving a great range of draught beers and ciders.

The Bunch of Carrots, Hampton Bishop

Drinks until 4pm Fully booked for Christmas lunch but serving drinks until 4pm on Christmas Day. A large family friendly pub with plenty of parking and, if it’s warm enough, a children’s play area!

The Volunteer, Harold Street

11-2pm, drinks only There is always a friendly atmosphere at this keenly-run community-focused pub located in the backstreets of the city. It boasts two main bars and a fabulous little snug off a main corridor. Unusually, a skittle alley to the rear has survived and is still used.

The Bateman Arms, Shobdon

Open from 10am to 12 noon, drinks only.

Built around.1750 by Sir James Bateman (Lord Mayor of London) as a building where his estate workers would collect their wages on pay day. Over the years it became a staging post for weary drovers to refresh themselves as they walked livestock from West Wales to markets in Birmingham and London. Today, it’s both a traditional local pub and restaurant with rooms.

Cross Keys, Withington

Open 11am to 2pm, drinks only “Best atmosphere, best landlord and landlady, best customers!” How so many Herefordshire locals would have been in the days when everyone toiled for a living in the fields.

A favourite for its atmosphere and charm, this is a pub at the heart of its rural community.

A single long narrow room, with original beams, totally exposed stonework, and basic bench seating, divides into two separate bar areas - each book-ended with cosy real fires. A folk jam session features on the last Thursday in the month.

The Plough Inn, Whitecross Road

Open 11am to 2pm, drinks only

Popular city pub serving a wide range of beers, ciders and ales, and, when it’s not Christmas, they offer BT sporting events, free wi-fi and regular Saturday night entertainment.

Secret Garden, Hereford

Open 12 noon to 2pm, drinks only On the outskirts of Hereford, Secret Garden is a relaxed country pub where you can expect great food and a roaring fire, where families and four-legged friends are welcome and where special events and live music lift the spirits…The pub was known for many years as the Rose Gardens, then as The Rosie. Now, this traditional country pub has been transformed by current owner Vicky who has made the Secret Garden into a modern family pub. Dogs are welcome to lie down by the fire in the cosy snug.

The Monkland Arms, Monkland

Open 12 noon to 2pm, drinks only. Allie and Jed welcome you to a village pub with folk at its heart. Serving, among others, Wye Valley Brewery beers and Gwatkin ciders.

Cross Keys Inn, Goodrich

Open 10am to 12 noon Country pub set in the Wonderful Wye Valley with rooms, log fires, Muddy boots and clean paws welcome, and there is children’s play area and garden at rear of this family run business set between Ross and Monmouth on the A40.