Situated just outside Henley-on-Thames, in leafy Lower Assendon, family-run Luscombes is “a restaurant with soul” – a likeable rural eatery that oozes pubby olde-worlde charms with its rustic furniture, warm neutral tones and cosy fireplace. Lunch is an affordable deal, while dinner is a classy but pleasantly unpretentious affair, with generous space between tables and a menu designed to whet the appetite. Chef/patron Stephen Luscombe, who trained with Marco-Pierre White, is passionate about locally sourced produce and his food is a “picture of reliability”: cheese soufflé is dressed up with celery and walnut salad), local venison and chicken pie with creamed mash pleases the traditionalists, and there’s pork belly with devils on horseback and winter cabbage too. Fish comes up from Stephen’s native Cornwall (think mackerel on toast or cod with BBQ cauliflower, apple, pine nuts, sherry vinegar and chips), while desserts such as raspberry soufflé are well worth the wait. With friendly, swift service and a well-considered wine list added to the mix, Luscombes is spot-on for the neighbourhood.