For years, I drove past a boarded up pub in West Hendred's Reading Road so often that it became part of the landscape, writes JAMES ROBERTS.

So when I saw The Extraordinary Hare had reopened earlier this year, I knew I had to check it out.

The pub shut in 2014 due to low customer numbers, according to then owners Greene King, but a lack of punters is certainly no longer a problem - a planned visit one Saturday evening last month was scuppered as it was fully booked.

It was pleasing to see most tables occupied by the time we left at about 2pm on a Sunday, very full and reasonably satisfied with our meal.

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A full refurbishment has taken place since the reopening and it now has an understated but modern look.

We took our seats near the bar to find the Sunday menu, which features a handful of options in the starter, main course and dessert sections.

Deciding not to challenge ourselves to all three courses - despite the very tempting price of £19.95 - we settled on two, setting us back £17.50 each.

The service was quick and polite and two sizeable starters soon arrived.

We chose the deep fried mushrooms in lager batter served with a strong garlic mayonnaise dip (£6.95 on its own) and roasted halloumi, served with an olive and sun-dried tomato salad (£6.75).

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There was arguably too much garlic dip with the mushrooms, but I had no complaints about the taste.

Meanwhile, more garlic dressing was needed on the lettuce that accompanied the excellent halloumi, while the salad only had cherry tomatoes.

I genuinely felt a little intimidated when my main course was put in front of me.

Before me was roast lamb (£12.95 alone) with a giant Yorkshire Pudding, stuffing, roast parsnips and potatoes, all bathing in gravy, plus a healthy portion of cauliflower cheese and vegetables.

Roast dinners can depend on personal preference and I would have liked crispier parsnips and potatoes and some more stuffing.

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Again, I had no complaints about the quality, with special mentions to the Yorkshire Pudding and the lamb, and I battled through to finish everything.

The one disappointment was the tomato penne, served with olives and capers and garlic bread.

For the Sunday menu's single vegetarian option this was quite bland and we felt something more substantial was needed, but this was the one drawback of an otherwise enjoyable meal at a pub I am pleased to see trading again.