A HAVEN of tranquillity in classically Cotswold surroundings, the Crown exudes a serene, secluded feeling from every corner.

So secluded in fact, that you can’t actually see it from the winding road through the village.

The only glimpse you get after turning into Church Enstone is the regal signage, helpfully informing you that you are indeed in the right place.

I arrived on a pleasant summer evening and as I surveyed my surroundings, I thought, the scene could be from any era with houses of honey-coloured stone set amongst a backdrop of greenery.

Around the oak-panelled bar are many of the pub’s original features including overhead beams, an open fireplace – not much use in July but the perfect winter scene-setter – as well as flagstone floors.

A great selection of ales on tap complete the welcoming picture.

It was a warm night, so my friend and I chose to sit outside in the pretty walled garden.

The menu cleverly caters for all-comers with those in search of traditional pub grub and diners wanting a little more refinement.

I chose the refreshing and light salad of watermelon, feta and olives as a starter which was perfect for the time of year and offered a wonderful mix of flavours and textures.

Next, I plumped for the sautéed scallops with pancetta and cauliflower puree.

Scallops being one of my favourite dishes, I was pleased to find them cooked expertly and bursting with flavour.

My dining companion opted for the barbary duck breast – incidentally my second choice – with a cherry jus and luxurious dauphinoise potatoes.

The dessert menu is a dream for those blessed with a sweet tooth, one of those lists that you would happily eat almost everything from it.

Not being the night for sticky toffee pudding, I chose the raspberry and white chocolate crème brulee, served with a cookie.

Crunching through that glaze atop the structure is always a treat, and the mixture of flavours underneath certainly didn’t disappoint.

My friend chose the Limoncello cheesecake on the recommendation of our friendly hostess and out came a huge chunk of goodness – its rapid disappearance said more than I could about its quality.

The quiet garden is a lovely place to spend time with a drink or a meal and is accessible to guests throughout the night.

The Crown makes a lot of its local producers, priding itself on sourcing local goods.

Its location also makes it easy to visit Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold or drop-in to attractions like Blenheim Palace.