Lysley Arms, Main Road, Pewsham, Chippenham SN15 3RU.

(01249) 652864

A full car park at 7.30pm seemed a good sign, not to mention the Excellent Pub Food sign on the door and, even better, a bar which was full so early in the evening.

We were briskly served our drinks by the cheerful barman and settled with the menus – a £10, two-course special and another chalked up on various boards.

Although the pub doesn’t have a separate dining room, there are tables both in the bar and in an open area at one end of the pub.

We had booked for 7.30pm but hadn’t been told that there would be a party arriving at the same time, which meant we had to wait nearly an hour for our starters.

Having said this, the waiters were very apologetic and gave us extra bread which was very fresh, tasty and welcome.

Seeing plates pass our table we were pleased to see that although they were well packed they were not ridiculously full.

Eventually the first courses arrived and the home-made tomato soup and chicken and mushroom pancake were both piping hot, tasty and worth the wait.

We didn’t have long to wait before our mains. Tom enjoyed his smoked chicken stuffed with brie and wrapped in bacon, served with chips and peas. He could have chosen potatoes and vegetables instead.

I had chosen from the two-course menu (with an added starter) and had a tender pork loin chop with a good splash of masala sauce. It came with potatoes and a selection of four other vegetables, including cooked grated carrot, a nice alternative to the usual slices.

For pudding Tom chose a slip-down flavoursome lemon sorbet and I had the home-made Bakewell tart served with cream and a delicious hot jammy sauce.

The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed and the food nicely cooked.

The bill, including two beers and a gin and tonic, came to £45.95 which we considered good value.

When I had booked the table and was told what was on the menu, it had sounded very ordinary and bordering on dull. But I was very pleasantly surprised.

The pub has the usual steak or ham, egg and chips but also more interesting choices such as stroganoff and spicy stuffed peppers. We could well be back.

Large car park

Two sitting out areas, one at the front and the other at the side

A conservatory function room

Home-cooked food

Two-course £10 menu

Vegetarian options

Roasts available on Sundays, along with other meals, baguettes, sandwiches and snacks

Booking advisable

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