IT’S been a while since I last went to the Rattlebone Inn but after Sunday’s visit I think I’ll be heading back there pretty soon.

As a Father’s Day treat we decided to go for a late lunch. In fact it was a 4pm lunch because there were so many bookings. But it suited us fine.

The pub was busy. A casual game of boules was being conducted outside on the pub’s own piste and the families were enjoying the big screen set up in the bar for the World Cup.

We headed through to the restaurant area, ordered our drinks and seated ourselves in a cosy corner with a view of the church.

The Rattlebone – known locally as the ‘Bone - is named after the fearsome Saxon warrior John Rattlebone, who fought alongside King Edmund Ironside against King Canute in 1016 and held a stone tile against his side to allow him to carry on fighting even after being fatally wounded.

He is reputed to haunt the building.

Only a few minutes’ drive from Highgrove, it has also had more recent royal connections as one of the favourite watering holes of the Princes William and Harry.

It plays a prominent part in the active social life of Sherston, an attractive Wiltshire village not far from Westonbirt Arboretum. In summer the main street plays host to a huge boules tournament with players arriving from all over the country as well as from France to compete.

Four years ago the 17th Century pub underwent a major refurbishment following a devastating fire that was fought by crews from seven stations. It was closed for weeks before re-opening.

There are several menus depending on the day. Wednesday is steak night, Mondays are for gourmet burgers and the a la carte menu runs from Monday to Saturday. There is also a children’s menu with dishes including homemade chicken goujons and ragu of venison.

I chose a vegetarian dish to start – sweet potato, balsamic and red pepper tart served with rocket and red pepper essence and topped with ricotta.

It was a delight. The thin pastry had a crunch and the filling was full of taste. My son had gone for the chicken samosa with garlic mayonnaise and was equally pleased with the full flavour and crisp exterior.

His dad’s bresaola with celeriac and wholegrain remoulade proved to be a little less interesting taste-wise, but it was still a very attractive dish.

The Sunday menu had the usual roasts as well as a small a la carte menu. While the men went for roast loin of pork with sage and onion stuffing and a three-meat version, I liked the sound of the Thai green vegetable and coconut curry with sticky rice.

It was a good choice. The vegetables were crunchy and the sauce was piquant, while the rice was light and fragrant. A slight mix up over the Yorkshire pudding and the fact the stuffing had run out did not marr the men’s enjoyment of their mains. The vegetables were very slightly soft and the beef a little bit more done than we generally like, but it wasn’t at all dry and the little curls of crackling on the top were a nice touch.

Portion sizes were good and there was almost nothing left on the plates by the time we finished, but the dessert menu was so enticing we decided to order one to share.

There were the favourites like chocolate brownies, sticky toffee pudding and lemon cheesecake, but we were tempted by other more exciting sounding dishes, including coconut milk rice pudding with sweet chilli jelly and apricot and white chocolate sponge.

We could also happily have gone for the cheeses, which included Brinkworth Dairy’s Royal Bassett Blue and Farleigh Wallop produced by Whitelake and Alex James from Blur.

But in the end after some debate, we settled on orange posset tart and rhubarb crunch with a side order of honeycombe ice cream from Marshfield Farm.

It proved to be an excellent choice. The tart, which was gluten and dairy free, was very orangey – like a Terry’s chocolate orange but nicer. The rhubarb crunch was delightfully sharp, tangy and fresh-tasting. Both went well with the icecream.

The bill came to around £90 and included four glasses of a very nice Sauvignon Blanc, a brandy digestif and a pint of shandy for the driver.

As we left we decided we would definitely be going back in the near future to give some of the other dishes on the menu a try.