WITH friends coming to stay from Wales, what better way to spend a Friday evening than enjoying a meal in a traditional English pub.

I had been told good things about the new menu at the Bug and Spider in Calne, so we ventured in to find out what was on offer for ourselves.

We were given a warm greeting by staff at the 200-year-old pub, and when told we could sit in the bar or conservatory we chose the latter, where it was very bright and airy.

Despite being tempted by starters such as crayfish salad or soup of the day, stilton and broccoli, we opted to share a plate of nachos with cheese and salsa (£3.95).

After a short wait we were told the chef had burned the nachos and there were no more to replace them. We decided to carry on with the main course.

Stew ordered traditional cottage pie, while myself and Laura opted for chicken in a white wine and mushroom sauce, both of which were served with boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage, and cost £8.50.

Riah choose spaghetti bolognese from the specials board, which also offered chicken balti with rice.

When the food arrived Stew was concerned there would not be enough to satisfy his manly appetite, but he was pleasantly surprised by the filling pie.

We all thought the vegetables were perfectly cooked, and the chicken in sauce was tender and creamy.

The only complaint came from Riah, who is notoriously hard to please, when she decided the spaghetti to bolognese ratio was unequal and that she could have done with less mince.

Faced with the dessert board all evening we were not able to resist and ordered two vanilla cheesecakes and two apple crumbles to finish off the meal (£4 each).

Due to a shortage of apples, however, the crumble was now blackberry, so we chose the intriguingly named ‘our own mess’ – meringue with fruit and cream.

When the puddings arrived we could see where the name came from, and luckily the fruity concoction tasted nicer than it looked.

The blackberries were sharp and set off perfectly by crumbled pieces of meringue and sweet cream. The cheesecake tasted homemade, and was served with a generous portion of raspberry sorbet.

The bill came to £55.90 with a free round of drinks to make up for the burnt nachos, which we thought was a nice gesture and a reasonable price for four meals.

Although the unusual name might sound less than appetising, the Bug and Spider offered tasty, unpretentious food which did the job.

The Bug and Spider, Oxford Road, Calne.

(01249) 813318

Car parking on site

Twelve rooms available

All day breakfast and lighter bites available

Food served noon to 2.30pm (until 4.30pm Sunday) and 6pm to 9.30pm (except Sunday evening)

Dining room available for private hire

Beer garden

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