WALK into the George & Dragon and you are hit by many of the endearing features associated with the good, old fashioned English pub, writes James Roberts.

The buzz of conversation wafts through the low ceilings, wooden beams and beautiful old fire place, with families chatting at busy tables and punters sipping their pints at the bar.

These days, the traditional village pub is supposed to be in decline, but this place, in the village of Upton, near Didcot, appears to buck the trend.

From the landlord shaking hands with customers to the date boards advertising monthly quiz nights and Valentine's dinners, the George & Dragon is a real community hub.

Read again: cosy town centre spot for brunch or a light bite

The walk from the car park to the pub takes you through a terraced area that clearly needs a bit of love and care, although this may be down to owners Hawthorn Leisure rather than the landlord.

Inside, the George & Dragon is a classic, cosy pub with good food served in generous portions.

Staff have got this atmosphere down to a 'T' and we had to wait barely any time at all before we were greeted warmly and shown to our reserved table.

We went for Sunday lunch and it is worth noting that it was very busy, so definitely book a table to avoid disappointment.

Herald Series:

On the A417 between Blewbury and Harwell, it is a popular lunch spot for walkers and cyclists on the Ridgeway.

The bar was full throughout our visit, with a single TV for punters enjoying the selection of beers and ales.

Families also comprised a fair proportion of the clientele, so if you want a quiet Sunday lunch this may not be the place for you.

It is not unbearably noisy, however, and the fact that the bar separates two dining areas means you could certainly avoid sitting next to shouting kids.

That being said, it seems a great place to go with children, especially during warmer weather.

The large pub garden features a play area with a massive, dragon-shaped slide, which would certainly keep younger ones busy while you enjoy a chilled pint and some good pub grub.

Read again: Wantage's newest curry house

Talking of food, I left feeling very satisfied and without needing dinner - an achievement considering my sizeable (or greedy) appetite.

We jumped straight into the main course, although an impressively varied menu meant it took a little while to choose.

Unless you are incredibly fussy, there will be something for you: sandwiches and lighter bites sit next to a range of pub staples, while I was pleasantly surprised to see a sizeable curry menu.

There was also pork, beef and lamb roast, and in the end we opted for the sirloin steak and roast pork.

Again, the wait was short, which was surprising considering the amount packed onto my plate.

The steak was joined by chunky chips, coleslaw, onion rings, vegetables and salad, and I chose peppercorn from the selection of sauces.

Herald Series:

The sauce complemented the steak beautifully, while the rest of the plate did what it said on the tin - top marks from me.

My only criticism was I asked for medium steak, but it came out looking a bit rare.

However, I realise some chefs have different definitions of 'medium' and it did not take anything away from the taste.

The roast, accompanied by vegetables, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and apple sauce also went down a treat, with the crackling as the cherry on top.

The portion was generous but not overwhelming and very nicely presented.

We had to try the dessert menu and, from about a dozen options, went for the knickerbocker glory and apple pie with custard, which was my choice.

The apple pie came bathed in a little too much custard for me, but I polished off the pastry with no trouble at all.

Like the mains, the desserts came quickly, without any frills and certainly did the job.

Our meal was decent value for money, but you may find it difficult to browse the menu before visiting as the website is currently down.

The pub is very active on Facebook, so it may be worth searching 'The George and Dragon, Upton' on the social media site to find out more.

The George and Dragon, Reading Road, Upton, Didcot, OX11 9JJ