IF you asked someone who had never visited England before to imagine a traditional pub, they would probably envision something very similar to the Six Bells.

A chunky chocolate-brown thatched roof dwarfs white walls outside, which are brightened by brimming hanging baskets.

It paints a postcard-worthy picture.

Customers are crammed around benches outside enjoying the balmy evening air, and we are pleased to find there is also an extensive garden at the back.

The interior ticks off a checklist of rustic features from exposed beams to stone brickwork, prettied up by tartan cushions and fresh flowers.

We are given menus and left to wander into the garden, greeted by a fragrant thicket of lavender that has claimed part of the path.

There is a lovely table in an open pagoda, warmed by outdoor heaters, but we plonk ourselves down in the sunshine instead.

It is a pay-as-you-order process, so I head to the bar and put in our request: battered haddock and chips for Tom (£10.50) and a fish platter for me (£12).

I generally get bored of most dinners halfway through as the flavour loses its initial punch, but the variety with platters or tapas keeps me entertained for much longer.

A wooden board soon arrives, crowded with four different fish dishes, fluffy white bread and a dressed salad.

I start with the scampi: delicious crisp coating, but the texture of the shellfish was a bit pappy.

But, it was pleasant enough when paired with the homemade tartare sauce.

I enjoyed the tempura prawns and generous portion of smoked salmon, but the fishcakes were really unpleasant.

It sounds ridiculous to say the fish was too fishy, but it certainly tasted like it had seen better days.

Tom's chips were delicious but sadly that was the only thing worth writing home (or a food column) about.

In saying that, the setting was beautiful. It deserves a visit, particularly if you are just after somewhere to nurse a pint in the sun.

Six Bells, The Green, Warborough. 01865 858265.