As one of the first to identify and applaud the many excellencies of The Pointer in Brill on its opening six years ago, I naturally observed with interest as other writers and foodie manuals joined in the swelling chorus of praise.

The features I so liked pleased others too, not least its reliance on home-grown fruit, vegetables and herbs, and meat reared on its owners’ farm, some of which was sold in the pub’s own butcher’s shop. How unusual is that?

Acclaim reached its apex last year when The Pointer simultaneously became the Michelin Guide’s Pub of the Year and the Sunday Times’s Hotel of the Year.

Gratifying as the latter accolade must have seemed, the honour struck many as risible, given that we are talking of a pub with four guest rooms, in a converted garage on the opposite side of the road.

To such heights was The Pointer raised in general opinion that it would clearly not be long before someone appeared to take it down a peg or two. Step forward Grace Dent of The Guardian who, in a disobliging review last month, opined: “If this is the future of hospitality, count me out.”

Her main complaint hotel-wise was disturbance through the night from a Thames Water repair in the road outside, though the management could hardly be blamed for this.

As for the food, she struck particularly at undercooked potatoes and the kitchen’s refusal to allow her to redesign one of its dishes (as we shall see).

Ms Dent’s review appeared in the week that Jay Rayner, the critic in The Guardian’s sister paper, The Observer, took a pop at The Old Parsonage in Oxford. Do the Scott Trust’s left-leaning journals have it in for high-end places widely judged sound by the rest of us?

Anyway, it being a year or more since Rosemarie and I ate at The Pointer, we seized the chance of assessing how things look after a change of ownership in the interim.

Pretty much as before, it turns out, for Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, scion of a local landed family, knows better than to mess with a good thing. He, too, rears meat that features on the menu and game is also supplied by the estate.

Rather more in the way of ‘pubbiness’ is the only observable difference. The jolly group enjoying their real ales (from the local XT and Vale breweries) took me back to 20 years ago when this was The Red Lion.

We kicked off on this Friday visit not with beer but with gin and tonics, at the suggestion of our hosts, Gerald and Clico Kingsbury. Mine was Chase Crisp Elegance, its fruitiness augmented by a slice of dried lemon, while Rosemarie had her favourite TOAD, from the Oxford Artisan Distillery.

These were delivered to our table in the restaurant – full on this Friday evening.

So what to eat? In my case it could only be the Pointer Farm Charcuterie Board , which had become a pointer contention (sorry!) with Ms Dent. She had wanted only the longhorn beef cured in red wine and the venison salami, and not the other salami or the potted pork – all delicious, I found – considering this “not a big ask”. The kitchen’s refusal to accede to her whim provoked an assault on chefs (“always men”) for refusing to plate up what she wanted instead of what had already been prepared.

In fact, as can be seen, the board is not a selection of discrete items but a carefully planned assemblage, in which crab apple jelly and pickled cucumber also play a part.

While Rosemarie and I shared this good-looking dish, Gerald praised the black pudding with pressed apple and Clico the prettily arranged (like an opening flower) halibut ceviche with sea buckthorn and chilli. She found the fillet of stone bass with squash, mushrooms and chestnuts too salty, as was the mashed potato Rosemarie ordered with her splendid pork chop with force-meat stuffed cabbage.

My pair of pheasant breasts were tender but ungamey (who dares hang these days?) and needed all the extra flavour the Savoy cabbage and bacon and juniper jus supplied. The haunch of venison with celeriac, blackberries and juniper, delighted Gerald, who then did his bit, with my other companions, to demolish the flourless chocolate brownie.

The Pointer, 29 Church Street, Brill, Bucks, HP18 9RT. Tel: 01844 238339,