DESPITE the dark clouds and spots of rain, I bundled the dog into the car and set off with my friend Liz for Bourton-on-the-Water.

We chose this destination as Liz had never seen the model village, and I wanted to walk the dog along the River Windrush, which flows besides the main street.

It was an easy journey. Having arrived in Burford, we took the A424 to Stow, turning left when you get to the A429, which takes you straight there. On approaching Bourton-on-the-Water, you will find an official car park, which is just a few minutes walk from the centre of town and only a stone's throw from Birdland, The Dragonfly Maze, and the model village. This bustling little town is so full of attractions it's difficult to fit them all in during a day trip.

The first pub we encountered didn't allow dogs inside, so we moved on to the town centre, where we discovered The Kingsbridge Inn, which is dog-friendly providing you sit on the left-hand side of the bar, and not in the interconnecting rooms reserved for food. There's a patio area, where dogs can sit too.

As you can see from the photo, it's a very attractive pub, particularly as it stands next to the river. No doubt, it gets its name from the stone bridge spanning the water.

It's quite dark inside, your eyes need time to adjust. Once focused, you will encounter so many pictures, mirrors, ornaments, fruit machines, and bric-a-brac scattered around, that you won't know where to look first. Even one of the lower beams is cluttered with jugs and ornaments.

The staff are mainly Oriental, which must surprise overseas visitors, who assume an old English inn will be manned with local staff. Apart from a few language difficulties, however, they proved very hospitable and efficient. The only time anyone shouted at me during my stay happened when I stood beside a notice saying 'order your food here', when I should have ordered my food from the centre of the bar. I was informed this in the curtest of tones by a very officious English woman, who actually made me feel quite uncomfortable. Once we had checked out the menu, we accepted that the food would be cheap and cheerful, served with loads of chips, peas, and perhaps a few carrots. Although the sign outside boasts that home-cooked food is cooked here, the items listed suggests the chef's occasional recourse to the freezer.

Liz ordered slow-cooked gammon ham hock, glazed with honey and mustard (£8.95), and was served two hocks, which proved far too much for one. I ordered the grilled chicken, served with a creamy pepper sauce, pictured, which comes in two sizes (£9.95 for a double portion, and £6.55 for a single). I chose the double, which seemed an average portion to me. It certainly made me question how small the single size would be.

As meals like this go, it was OK. Indeed it was everything I'd expected.

The chicken was cooked a little too much, and the chips and peas tasted like pub grub chips and peas.

Fortunately, my glass of Marston's Pedigree, which is such a good honest premium ale, managed to excite my taste buds.

Other dishes on the main menu included steak and vegetable stew, with dumplings cooked in the slow-roasting oven (£8.95), prime rump steak (£10.95 for 16oz/£7.95 for 8oz), and gammon steak (£8.95), served with pineapple and egg.

There's an excellent children's menu here, with starters such as soup and bread and butter, at just £1.20, main courses at £3.49, and puddings at £1.35.

Pensioners are catered for too, as several selected dishes are offered on a two-for-one price structure.

Because we discovered a superb dog walk after lunch, by taking the Windrush Way, any problems with our meal were soon forgotten.