Well-kept ales are a big selling point art this old village boozer in quiet, leafy Newchurch, with its polished horse brasses, cottage pine furniture and pastoral prints. But behind the pumps lies a passionate kitchen that turns ordinary pub grub into something a bit more special – especially when it comes to pies. A winning contender for best specimen in southern England, the Pointer’s start turn is a cracker made with crisp, buttery shortcrust pastry concealing intense, sticky cubes of lamb shank, braised slowly in wine and herbs. And if that’s not on the menu when you visit, there’s always the steak and ale version – another sure-fire winner. Also don’t miss the stellar desserts – particularly the bread-and-butter pudding laced with plump, whisky-soaked raisins. The pub has lately become a magnet for local producers, who come knocking with their home-grown vegetables and other goodies.