CELEBRITY pubs are always a big draw so I had been looking forward to trying Fiona Phillips’ pub in Sydling St Nicholas for a while.

The location of The Greyhound Inn is idyllic, tucked into this quaint little Dorset village.

The warm atmosphere that greeted us upon entering made me happy with my choice for a long leisurely lunch.

The 18th century inn has been preserved spectacularly by former TV presenter Fiona Phillips and her presenter husband Martin Frizell – who purchased the pub in March this year.

Not wanting to sit in the more formal restaurant, we opted for a table in the bar.

The menu was fresh and varied.

I was impressed to see a good range of ‘traditional pub grub’ options on the Inn’s special board including ‘proper ploughmans’ and welsh rarebit.

After some debate I chose the Greyhound open fish pie, which came with sorrel mash and parmesan gratin. It was the perfect choice for this cold winter’s day.

Two of my companions chose the red deer venison saddle, with roasted figs, beetroot fondant, bulls blood leaf salad and venison jus. The meat was rare and very tender. The other dish was the pan roasted guinea fowl breast, with little chicken and ham pies. The meat was delicious and the skin was packed with flavour.

Impressed by the mains we decided to opt for every dessert on the specials menu and share them.

The pear tarte tatin was almost impossible to share willingly.

The expresso burnt cream crème brulee with Kahlua iced parfait and butter shortbread was luxuriously soft and the Valrhona Chocolate torte was rich. The goat’s cheesecake was a nice alternative to your average cheesecake.

• The Greyhound Inn is open Monday to Saturday 11-3pm and 6pm-11pm, on Sundays it is open 12pm until 3pm. Call 01300 341303 or visit dorsetgreyhound.co.uk This is an independent review by a reporter without the cooperation of the establishment.

Our Greyhound bill:

2x red deer venison saddle: £19.50 each

Greyhound open fish pie: £12.50

Pan roasted guineafowl breast: £16.50

Hand cut chips: £3

Seasonal green vegetables: £3

Expresso crème brulee: £6.75

Goat’s cheesecake: £6.50

Pear tarte tatin: £6.50

Valrhona Chocolate torte: £7.50

Coke: £1.40

Bitter shandy: £2.80

2x lemonade and lime: £3.90

Total: £109.35

The Ratings Board (out of five)

Location: 5

Atmosphere: 5

Value for money: 4

Quality of food: 5

Service: 5

Comfort: 5

Family friendly: 5

Menu choice: 5

Overall rating: 5