I MUST admit I’ve struggled to get into the Christmas spirit this year.

Much of this I’m putting down to the General Election – no matter whether you were delighted or devastated by the result it was a strange intruder into the festive season.

Luckily a night at The Greyhound in Besselsleigh has left me with a seasonal spring in my step.

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The pub, which is on the A420, just south of Oxford, was bustling despite it being a cold Wednesday evening, filled with a mixture of work Christmas parties and families out to squeeze in a festive meal before the main event.

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Service was excellent, I could only marvel at the efficiency of the waitresses who wove around the pub clearing dishes after meals had barely been finished, yet warm and friendly enough it never felt like you were being rushed.

A beautiful 17th-century inn, The Greyhound fulfils all the expectations for a cosy winter pub and was tastefully decorated with garlands and a smattering of fairy lights.

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With three courses for £28.95 on the Christmas menu there were plenty of options ranging from traditional dishes to more unusual gastronomic offerings.

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A starter of deep-fried Cornish brie with pickled cranberry salad and mulled pear chutney immediately appealed. Unfortunately it came sans the chutney and cranberry salad, instead with cranberry sauce and an orange salad, but was still delicious.

While there were many tempting choices for the main in the end I opted for roast turkey and 'traditional accompaniments'. I was please to discover this included stuffing, red cabbage and a (single) pig in a blanket.

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The turkey itself was less impressive, the slices falling about when you stuck your fork in. It also committed the cardinal sin of being dry.

The whole thing was also smothered in gravy which, while tasty, would have been better on the side so the roast potatoes didn’t end up slightly soggy. A small circle of stuffing was the star of the show though, packed full of flavour and bringing the whole dish to life.

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Then while waiting for dessert the most Christmassy thing imaginable happened – the group of older men in Santa hats standing by the tree I’d mistaken for a work party broke into a choral performance.

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Just as they started ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’-ing, a truly magnificent chocolate torte arrives with the best sorbet I’ve ever had.

Rich indulgent dark chocolate and a sharp but sweet hit from the cherry sorbet was a perfect combination.