IT WAS a last-minute decision to pop out for Sunday lunch – but boy did I choose right.

Although what I ordered may have been fairly boring, what I was served was anything but.

There were hidden treats in both my starter and main meal at the Bear & Ragged Staff in Cumnor, and I will certainly be back for more.

Having not booked, I feared the worst when I pulled into the car park and struggled to fine a space.

But after squeezing into a tight gap, I was relieved when entering the pub to find a handful of tables unoccupied.

With a group of ten following me in, I decided to place my order sharpish, so avoided studying the more adventurous options on the menu and plumped for the soup of the day: leek and potato, served with homemade bread (£6.45).

When it arrived, I was forced to do a double-take.

I had a deep bowl of bright green soup in front of me, with two toasted pieces of bread accompanied by a generous,

attractively-presented orangey butter.

My first reaction was that I must have

mis-heard the waitress and in fact it was some form of pea soup – I was certainly not expecting such a vivid colour.

But I dived in nonetheless and was instantly blown away by the flavour. Leek and potato it was. And delicious too.

Turning my attention to the intriguing-looking butter, I broke all etiquette and put a small scoop in my mouth without the bread.

There was a little kick to it, although I still was not sure exactly what the added ingredients were.

When a waiter walked past, I took the opportunity to ask more about the food.

He explained that the chef uses the top (green) part of a leek rather than the bottom and that the bread came with a paprika butter. Both certainly hit the spot.

For main, I opted for the roast rump of beef (£14.50).

A huge plate with four generous slices of meat was placed in front of me, along with a big Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, beans, parsnips and carrots covered in a rich gravy.

I was just working out where to start, when the waitress returned with a bowl of cauliflower cheese with broccoli, as well as a jug of extra gravy.

That had to wait on the sidelines for a while, until I made room on my plate, but even after some ten minutes it was still piping hot.

It was a real struggle, but I was determined not to be beaten. And I wasn’t. I will be back for more surprises in the very near future.

l Bear & Ragged Staff, Appleton Road, Cumnor, OX29QH (01865 862329) or