There are an awful lot of trees in Oxfordshire, we mused as we wound along country lanes through forests, woods and copses into the heart of the Chilterns.

It always comes as a surprise to head into the sticks beyond Nettlebed and get lost among the stands of ash, oak and beech which line the lanes and meet overhead.

We were on our way to one of the prettiest, and furthest flung, corners of the county: Binfield Heath, to all appearances lost in time in that tangle of rolling, leafy country this side of Henley.

We had heard the village pub, the Bottle & Glass Inn, did a rather good Sunday roast and were eager to see if it lived up to its reputation. But first we had to get there – which was fun in itself, involving ambles up single track lanes, the odd detour, and eventually to the village itself – a clutch of pretty cottages, the tang of woodsmoke and wet leaves in the air – and onto the almost too pretty-to be-true half-timbered hostelry, with its bowed wattle and daub walls, ancient black beams and overhanging thatched roof.

We felt like Hansel and Gretel arriving at the candy cottage – though instead of a witch, we were greeted by a cheery barman who held court in a cosy brick-floored bar heated by a wood burner flanked by stacks of chopped logs.

If the bar was olde worlde, the dining room behind was very ‘now’ – white walls, minimalist decor, big windows but still good solid furniture with room to spread out.

We were hungry after our journey and eager to get stuck in, so declined the offer of a drink at the bar and instead took our table in the restaurant, though I took the advice of our delightfully friendly, and wickedly witty, waiter and tried a pint of the excellent IPA from Rebellion Brewery in Marlow, which is light, tangy and perfect for winter (they also have a good range of the even more local Loddon Brewery ales from down the road in Dunsden. Dry January could wait (especially as I didn’t have to drive).

Also on hold, was any form of ‘veganuary’. While boasting good veggie and vegan options, the menu is a meat-lovers dream – and that started with the nibbles. We tucked into large, perfectly cooked homemade venison and black pudding Scotch eggs – the egg yolk moist and just the right side of runny; the meat rich and gamey. Absolutely delicious.

We really didn’t need starters after that but were tempted by the sound of English farm beef shin croquettes. These were warm, and generously loaded with rich tender beef, and served with roasted cauliflower puree, pickled walnuts and divinely unctuous bone marrow.

The Oxford Times:

 I also stole a mouthful of the super-rich game terrine, which came with bacon, heritage beetroot and mustard seeds and was wonderful on crunchy toast. Exactly what one would hope for from a Chiltern inn.

There was really no debate when it came to choosing a roast, with the prospect of a shoulder of Newbury lamb for two to share. Although, for a special occasion, the Chateaubriand of dry-aged Herefordshire beef for two (£15 extra per person) sounded pretty extraordinary too. But the lamb had the added bonus of cauliflower cheese – and who could resist that?

It's one of the world's best restaurants but is Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons worth the money: Read our review here My son and I prepared to make light work of the meat, but both our jaws hit the table when it was brought on its platter to the table. It was immense – easily big enough for a family of four. It was cooked to absolute perfection. Crisp on the outside, pink and tender within and with a sinfully tasty layer of fat. We dined like Henry VIII at a banquet, carving off slices of the hot beautifully-scented meat and spoonfuls of roasted spuds, carrots and that cauliflower cheese. Yet, when we finished, most of it remained. And while I would have been embarrassed to ask for a doggy bag, I didn’t need to – it was proffered anyway; bless them!

READ MORE: Is the Manoir aux Quat'Saisons worth splashing out on?

Somehow finding room, we finished with a rich, but pleasingly cleansing concoction of chocolate cherry and ice cream. Wonderful.

Was this the best roast I’ve ever had? Certainly I can’t remember a more magnificent one. The only problem was getting up at the end. Given a choice I’d still be there, propping up the bar at that cosy bolthole in the woods.

What a find!

The Oxford Times:

THE ESSENTIALS

  • The Bottle and Glass Inn, Bones Lane, Binfield Heath, near Henley Prices: Sunday lunch: two courses £27.50, three Courses £35.
  • Do try the: Shoulder of Newbury lamb for two with mint jelly and cauliflower cheese (£5 supplement per person). The gamey Scotch eggs are also a delight and worth the journey alone.
  • Drink: There is a phenomenal, very reasonably-priced wine list with a good selection by the glass, from £3.75 for a 125ml glass, or £22 for a bottle of very good old vine Pietas Carignan or Frogs Haven, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.