ONE of the area's traditional country pubs, The Crown, has just reopened following a major revamp so we decided to visit for Sunday lunch.

Situated in the picturesque village of Bransgore, the rustic pub, part of the Vintage Inns Group, looks freshly painted and benefits from a large garden which is now in full bloom.

At the centre of the overhaul inside is an updated pub bar and dining areas with comfortable new seating and a revamped menu.

The place was buzzing when we arrived just before 1pm but the staff still found time to give any new arrivals a warm welcome.

The Sunday lunch menu is very impressive and divided into sections including sharers and grazing, starters, vintage classic roasts, platters, mains and desserts.

Although several dishes on the sizeable menu had already sold out, there was still plenty of choice.

My daughter and I chose a sharing starter of Camembert which had been baked in its box and was served with celery and rustic breads (£10).

We particularly liked the addition of cider soaked raisins nestling in the molten cheese which added a lovely hint of sweetness.

My husband ordered prawns in a lobster cocktail sauce with a fan of avocado and rustic bread (£5.95). Our only criticism was that it needed more sauce.

The service was outstanding. All the staff were friendly and helpful, particularly our waitress Laura Messingham who knew the menu inside out.

For our main course we had slow-cooked lamb shank seasoned with rosemary (£13.50) and two of us had roast pork which had been sweet cured and was served with a herb crust (£10).

All the dishes were served with a generous portion of roast potatoes, parsnips, seasonal vegetables, a giant Yorkshire pud, cauliflower cheese and a jug of gravy on the side.

We particularly liked the attention to detail such as a free standing ice bucket for our wine, the offer of ice and lemon in our water and extra gravy.

My only quibble would be that the food could have been hotter, but otherwise ten out of ten for atmosphere and service.