The Weighbridge Brewhouse restaurant, overlooking the railway line on Penzance Drive, is packed with history in more than one sense.

Taken on by the Upham Group last year, after the previous husband-and-wife team Anthony and Allyson Windle decided to move on, its move into fine dining proved controversial with some of its fans loyal to the old ways.

But this is a place which celebrates the real history of the building; from its former use as a brewery, back to when it weighed the cargo of trains leaving GWR since it was built in 1906.

The first impression you get is the sheer amount of space inside. The restaurant seats 210 people, and the high ceiling, which is a little bit intimidating for me and my plus one, would serve larger groups wanting more of an occasion.

The bare-brick walls, lined with black-and-white photos of train carriages, complete with iron struts connecting thick timber frames, hark back to the building’s former use weighing cargo-loaded trains.

The other standout feature is the micro-brewery, visibly fermenting away next to the bar.

Sticking to its roots, the old brew master Mark Archer-Wallington comes in twice a week to look after the batches. On tap they have a GWR 175 Special Mild to celebrate the anniversary of the railways, a Brinkworth Village ale, and a stouty Weighbridge Porter.

The menu, devised by new head chef Russell Hunt, is classic-meets-modern pub food, with enough interesting flourishes to distinguish it from your usual evening down the local.

The Gressingham duck breast (£19.95) comes with a star anise potato fondant, and pickled plum, and the chalk stream trout (£23.50) is served with steamed clams, samphire and textures of cauliflower.

For those looking for something without the gastro element, there’s a build-a-burger menu (£13.50), beer-battered market fish and chips (£14.50) as well as a mighty selection of steaks to choose from.

Connoisseurs looking for the next challenge can have a go at the £65 18oz Cote Du Beouf to share between two.

I’m tempted by the smoked game bird scotch egg (£8) for starters but decide on the halloumi and pumpkin skewers (£4) instead, and my guest has the devilled whitebait and tartar sauce (£5.95).

Minutes after ordering, two mini ham and bubble and squeak bonbons arrive with compliments from the chef, which disappear as soon as they’re put down.

Both starters shortly follow, brought in by one of our friendly waiters; the pumpkin has a nice seasoning and heat to it and the tartar sauce a good kick from the capers.

The absolute star of the evening was the coffee-crusted saddle of venison; delicately sliced parcels of meat were silky smooth and so tender they hardly needed cutting, and the portion size was spot on.

The bitterness from the coffee was subtle but just enough to bounce off the flavour of chocolate from the jus and the sourness from tiny dollops of cranberry sauce. Any doubts about whether £23 was worth it quickly evaporated.

I order a half pint of the Weighbridge Porter (£1.95); it is darkly bitter and almost smokey, but nicely rounded and smooth and pairs up brilliantly with the venison.

As well as the in-house brews the drinks and spirits menu seems to go on forever, with every kind of gin and vodka available and a small selection of cocktails.

My dining partner for the night had the mussels and found them all steamed to perfection in a white wine sauce that was heavy on the parsley and generous with the cream, so no complaints at all.

Half way through the night the stereo music is replaced with a live harp player who plucks away from the upper mezzanine floor on the other half of the restaurant.

Customers begin to fill up the huge hall and take their seats in the colourful blue and orange booths, the chatter mixing in with a harp version of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.

The generous mains are more than enough but to finish the night we share the lemon posset (£7.50), a kind of extra thick citrus clotted cream, served in a Kilner jar with a wedge of shortbread. The bill is on the higher side than normal but I’m more than happy to part with it for the quality of food and the stunning surroundings.