THERE’S nothing quite like a hearty, traditional Sunday lunch to cheer you up on a wintry weekend.

And few places are more inviting than the picture-postcard Alice Lisle Inn, situated in glorious countryside on the edge of the New Forest at Rockford.

The former school sits on an attractive plot with views over Rockford Green to the front and Blashford Lakes to the rear.

It has a cosy bar, large restaurant area and a huge outdoor space to seat hundreds more diners in the warmer months, with a top class playground to keep the little ones amused.

But the main attraction of this popular pub is its delicious grub, which quickly became apparent when we visited on a very busy Sunday in January.

Without doubt, the main attraction of the day was the old-fashioned carvery, where diners have the option of one, two or three meats and an impressive selection of freshly-cooked vegetables.

On the day of our visit, choices included roast beef, cooked to perfection, pork – complete with delicious crunchy crackling – and gammon.

It was a treat to see the generous portions carved in front of us, then to be allowed to pile on our own veg and gravy, ensuring everyone ended up with a meal exactly to their taste.

Other dishes are also available on Sundays, including steak and kidney suet pudding, seared calves’ liver, haddock and sausages and mash.

And a wide choice awaits the younger members of the family with good-value children’s meals including pasta bolognaise, cauliflower cheese and salmon fillets.

For those who have room, there’s also a great choice of desserts, including warm chocolate brownie, baked winter fruits, apple and blackberry pie and new Forest ice creams.

Attentive and knowledgable staff ensure the meal runs smoothly despite the vast numbers of people they are dealing with.

And it is clear that many customers are regulars, greeted with a friendly smile and a chat.

The locations of the Alice Lisle makes it a perfect choice before or after a walk in the beautiful surrounding area but don’t forget to book – we saw a few disappointed people reluctantly leave after being told there was no room at the inn.

This is an independent review by a reporter without the cooperation of the establishment.

My Alice Lisle Inn bill

One meat carvery £11

Sausage and mash £8.95

Apple and blackberry pie £5

Two scoops of ice-cream £3

Regular Pepsi £4.40

Americano £2

TOTAL: £34.35