The Bell on The Common, The Common, Broughton Gifford, SN12 8LX.

(01225) 782309

In an attempt to fortify ourselves before doing the weekly food shop, my partner and I sought out The Bell on The Common in Broughton Gifford.

Set in the pretty village near Melksham, the 17th-century pub was a sight to behold bedecked in hanging baskets, with a beautiful beer garden to one side.

We entered the dining area to peruse the lunchtime menu and received a warm welcome from the lady behind the bar before ordering our food and opting to enjoy the warm sunshine in the garden.

The menu had a mix of traditional pub fare and more exciting options and, best of all, a whole selection of vegetarian choices that were not a cop-out pasta with tomato sauce or omelette.

Mike went straight for a main and chose the Mega Bell Burger with the option of a slice of cheddar cheese or Stilton (no plastic cheese here!), while I opted for spinach and mushroom lasagne.

When the food arrived, it was just as well we hadn’t been tempted by any of the reasonably-priced starters as our meals were good-sized platefuls.

A delighted Mike tucked into his burger, proclaiming it was how pub food should be: tasty, well-presented and accompanied by a heap of chips (he hates it when pubs count the chips onto the plate).

It was accompanied by a tasty salad that had a interesting variety of leaves, tomato, onion and peppers, covered in – but not drowning in – a light, tasty dressing.

My lasagne arrived piping hot with a larger side salad. The lasagne was flavoursome with a yummy cheesy topping and was packed full with spinach. I would have preferred a more equal split of spinach and mushrooms, but it was delicious nonetheless.

To my delight, the lasagne wasn’t swamped in sauce, so avoiding having to play hunt the vegetable.

We debated for some time about whether to have dessert, which came at £3.95.

There was a good choice that came with cream or ice cream and I was tempted by the apple pie and sherry trifle. But in the end we decided that we were too full.

The bill, with a white wine spritzer and a lager shandy, came to a very reasonable £25. Well worth a return visit.

Food served daily noon-2.30pm and 6-9pm; Friday and Saturday noon-2.30pm and 5-9pm.

Disabled parking space as well as access via a small step to the bar. Step-free access to the garden.

16th-century building

Our Eating Out is an independent review carried out by the Gazette without prior knowledge of the owners.