Located in the chocolate box village of Martinstown, near Dorchester, in west Dorset, the Brewers Arms is a rural pub with the wow factor.

It's just next to the Winterbourne stream, which runs though the length of the village and was originally built as a girls' school in 1848.

On the rainy summer day that we stopped for lunch at the pub, the cosy interior, complete with twinkly lights and antique cabinets of curios, was a welcome refuge from the drizzle.

It may have been a Tuesday lunchtime but the pub in demand - the car park was already a third full by the time we arrived - and this was generally the pub's quietest time, we were told.

Proprietors Ben and Leanne Carter, who will celebrate three years at the pub in November, pride themselves on making the most of the fresh produce available on their doorstep. Some 70 per cent of the pub's menu is from Dorset and The Brewers Arms has just arranged for East Shilvington Farm at Portesham to supply its free range beef.

Ben and Leanne live above the pub with their two children Noah, eight, and Joss, six - and a younger sibling due next month will be joining the clan.

The pub's menu ranges from traditional pub classics like homemade steak and Stilton pie and hearty Sunday roasts to homemade haddock and horseradish fishcakes and Thai curries.

Because of the unseasonable weather, my friend chose to have a cup of tea as her drink. It arrived in a cheerful little colourful teapot that seemed fitting for such a warm and welcoming stop-off in the Dorset countryside. The pub is keen to attract more passing motorists from the A35 and encourage them to stop off for a drink or bite to eat at the pub.

We shared a starter and opted for the salt and pepper calamari pieces. The calamari was cooked to perfection, with the tenderness of the calamari contrasting perfectly with the crispness of the lightly crumbed coating. It was served with a deliciously thick and creamy aioli dip and a garnish of fresh salad.

I chose a trio of local sausages with mashed potato, peas and onion gravy. The sausage infused with a subtle blend of chilli was the stand-out favourite. The other two sausages, caramelised onion and traditional, whilst less bold in flavour, were plentiful in their taste and were substantial in size and sufficiently filling. Coupled with a generous portion of mash, this dish was the ideal comfort food for an unseasonably cool June day.

My dining companion chose the chicken and chorizo risotto, which was beautifully presented with a parmesan crisp on top. It had a subtle smoky flavour and was pleasantly moist.

Both portions were generous and beautifully presented, in keeping with the pub's fresh flower table decorations.

After such generous portions we were pleased to have a pause before being presented with the dessert menu. Choosing from options such as bread and butter pudding, cheese board and numerous ice creams and sorbets, we decided to share the 'peanut stack'.

This was a dessert so legendary that people phone ahead to check it was on the menu we were told, so we thought we'd made the right choice.

Drizzled with a delicious toffee sauce, crispy and spongy at the same time, the peanut stack was unlike any dessert I'd had before and once tried, we both agreed, you will want to come back for more.

With it being a work day lunchtime we weren't able to try the pub's beer menu, but the flexibility of being a freehouse enables the pub to offer a number of different brews, Ben told us, including the ever popular beer from the Cerne Abbas Brewery. For those who like their grapes, Dorset Wines supplies the wine.

Having been a landlord for nearly three years, Ben says he never tires of talking to the customers in his dog friendly hostelry.

"I really enjoy talking to the customers and finding out where people are from and what they're doing. If they're in the area on holiday I always like recommending places for them to visit in Dorset and especially recommending that they drive along the beautiful coast road to Bridport."

The pub offers accommodation and has two spacious bed and breakfast rooms. Ben and Leanne like to get as involved in the community as possible - Ben has just been elected a parish councillor for the area and the pub ran a local loyalty scheme in January and February of this year in which anyone showing a receipt from a local independent business was entitled to 10 per cent off their bill.

The pub has also recently acquired a horse box from Rice Richardson which has been transformed into a 'Brew Box', available for hire for weddings, birthdays and other functions.

The Brewers Arms' quiz night, every Wednesday at 8.30pm, is always popular, along with a Mexican night on the last Thursday of every month and a traditional roast served on a Sunday. On Bank Holiday Mondays throughout the spring and summer, the pub hosts garden parties featuring local musicians performing.

*Brewers Arms, Burnside, Martinstown, Dorchester, DT2 9LB t: 01305 889361 w: thebrewersarms.apps-1and1.net/ e: contact@thebrewersarms.com