The air was filled with that unmistakable earthy aroma created by decaying leaves and autumn fungi pushing its way through the ground, which is why I had planned a mushroom foray for Barnaby and I before enjoying lunch together at a south Oxfordshire pub.

I chose the little village of Besselsleigh for our foray. It stands alongside the A420 on the right hand side and behind the 400-year-old The Greyhound pub if you are travelling from Oxford towards Swindon. It is four-and-a-half miles south-west of Oxford.

Having parked in the pub car park, we walked down the lane to Besselsleigh and then a footpath to Cumnor, but regret we didn’t find any mushrooms, not even any toadstools. Nevertheless, despite the slight chill in the air it proved a pleasant walk. Barnaby certainly enjoyed it, even though the grass was long and the footpath difficult to follow in some places.

The warmth of welcome we received on entering The Greyhound after our walk was second to none, even though Barnaby’s paws were rather muddy. One young member of staff immediately rushed round to the front of the bar so that she could say hello to Barnaby, who for reasons I will never understand was on his very best behaviour. In fact, it was probably his best ever.

When it was discovered that he would probably like a bowl of tea, it was delivered immediately and, on inspecting my bill later, I noticed it had not been charged for.

A couple of weeks previously, I had been invited to a ruby wedding celebratory lunch at The Greyhound and I can honestly say I was served one of the most delicious roast beef Sunday lunches I have ever had.

This was one of the reasons I had decided to call in again, though obviously Sunday lunch is not served during the week, so I ordered a crispy beef salad with sweet chilli and cashew nuts (£12.75). It was pleasant, but certainly didn’t compare to the roast. I think that the chef had tossed just a little too much flour on to the beef pieces before frying them, which left a rather cloying taste in the mouth.

We had called on Halloween so I simply had to order a half pint of Hobgoblin to drink with my meal as it’s considered the perfect drink for this special day. And, yes, it was. Hobgoblin is a beer that never lets us down.