WATLINGTON is the smallest town in England - at least, that's what my new friend informs me as I loiter awkwardly at the unmanned bar, ready to reel off our order.

A regular at The Social, he says he is pleased to meet me as he does not often see a grown adult smaller in stature than him.

With that doubled-edged sword presented, I am pleased to see the barman stride back behind the row of beer and ale taps.

He cheerily takes my order of a large flat white [£2.50] and salmon and scrambled eggs on toast [£7] for me, and tea [£1.50]and baked halloumi with spicy tomatoes for Shannon [£8].

It is late on a Thursday morning and the restaurant is quiet but not empty.

The dining area itself is cosy yet modern: slate-grey walls lit with fairy lights, an exposed brick feature wall with a flaming wood burner, plus a smattering of house plants and floral paintings.

I was dubious about somewhere that specialises in both brunch and Thai food - cuisines that do not make an obvious pairing.

The rave reviews on TripAdvisor were reassuring, however: a solid five stars.

Our drinks make for a good start - the coffee is deliciously smooth and the tea thoughtfully presented in an art-deco style pot.

We have much catching up to do but find ourselves talking in hushed tones to avoid announcing our gossip to the entire café.

It would be nice to have some background music at this quiet time of day.

Half an hour later, we are so engrossed in conversation that it takes my rumbling stomach to remind me that our food has not yet arrived.

It appears about five minutes later - longer than I would have liked for glorified toast.

But it is presented beautifully, with a generous pile of buttery eggs and concertina of smoked salmon, plus peppery rocket.

From the thick-cut sourdough toast to the richly-flavoured fresh fish, ingredients are high quality and nicely seasoned.

We both finish our plates greedily.

South Oxfordshire is more populated by pubs than cafe-come-restaurants, so this space makes a refreshing change.

The atmosphere is quite chilled out, so it is probably best to make a point of saying so if you are in a rush. The Social, High Street, Watlington, 01491 613321.