TIRED and having just got lost driving on dark country roads in the rain is admittedly not the best frame of mind to be in when judging a pub and its food.

I was prepared to have my mood turned around though by The Black Horse in Gozzards Ford, which had an enticing menu online filled with comforting favourites like pie, sausage and mash, and beer-battered cod – perfect for the change in season.

Things got off to a promising start with a busy, open-plan restaurant area, filled with warm lighting and cosy booths.

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There was a lively atmosphere on a Saturday night, with everyone breaking out into cheers and singing 'Happy Birthday' to a little boy as a cake with candles on was brought out from the kitchen.

I was seated, given a menu, and ordered a drink which arrived almost straight away.

This, unfortunately, is when my problems started.

Despite watching other tables around me order no one ever came to take mine.

I remain unconvinced that if, after 20 minutes of waiting I had not gone up to the bar, anyone ever would have come.

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There was an apology from the waitress but I was left feeling like a complete afterthought.

I would have left was but not confident my Sat Nav, having initially sent me to Dalton Barracks rather than The Black Horse, could be trusted to lead me to somewhere with food anytime soon.

Frustratingly, when my lamb burger with mint mayo, chips, homemade coleslaw, and beer-battered onion rings (£12.95)did eventually arrive it was delicious.

It came with a (somewhat concerning) large knife sticking out of the brioche bun to keep it together, the chips were thin and crispy, onion rings light and not-at-all greasy.

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The burger itself was, for me, perfectly cooked and still a little pink inside.

The classic combination of lamb and mint worked well and there was plenty of salad to cut through the rich meat and sauce.

Already pretty full from the generous main meal but because chocolate fixes everything and I couldn't face the drive home just yet I ordered a brownie with ice cream for dessert (£6.95).

The ice cream was sadly not white chocolate and raspberry as promised on the menu but the vanilla was still a lovely contrast to the warm brownie, which had chocolate chips throughout.

Visit the-blackhorse.co.uk.