RAIN pelts my windscreen as we chug along the A34 to Steventon, leaving me wishing more pubs would deliver to the comfort of my kitchen.

The car park is packed when we arrive despite it being a Monday evening – a fact that I resent as I manoeuvre a nine-point turn back out onto the road.

After eventually finding a space and a short scurry to the door, my weather blues are warmed by a cosy atmosphere and welcoming smile from the barman.

He shows us to a table in the restaurant, which is decorated like a hunting lodge with a wood-clad ceiling and dark swirling carpet.

A charming display of pumpkins sits on a ledge to mark the onset of Halloween, one hollowed out and used as a vase for fresh flowers.

The vibe is unashamedly eighties with a throwback soundtrack and patterned wallpaper, which oddly I find more endearing than off-putting.

The tallest man I have ever seen then looms over our table and introduces himself as the mastermind behind the pub quiz, which our visit has unknowingly coincided with.

We gratefully receive a blank answer sheet and a pen, in it to win it despite our dusty general knowledge.

Our order is taken at the bar – a shared starter of breaded brie, chicken and chorizo skewers for Tom and crab and crayfish linguine.

It feels like only a few seconds before our first course arrives, but time passes quickly when you are desperately trying to remember the names of Marge Simpson's sisters.

I would prefer the brie to breadcrumb ratio to be cheesier but it was still tasty, with a delicate dressed salad and generous dollop of cranberry sauce.

My pasta arrives just as we enter the general knowledge round, announced by aforementioned tall man whose enthusiastic voice deserves a radio show.

The size is a bit daunting but I tuck in nonetheless, twirling the creamy strands and stabbing on some rocket.

Although the crayfish is overcooked it still tastes lovely, and with Tom's help I manage to finish off the majority.

The food was not much more than 'nice' but the friendly atmosphere left me glad I bothered to battle the elements to get here – even if we failed miserably at the quiz.

The Cherry Tree, High Street, Steventon. 01235 831222