EATING a bacon, brie and cranberry panini in a beer garden under a big umbrella as the sun beat down was the ideal Friday lunch.

It would have been better if I had a pint of Peroni or something similar too, though I was driving back to work so stuck to Diet Coke with ice.

And it would’ve been better still if I had someone to accompany me, but it wouldn’t be Pub Spy if it wasn’t lonely and in the middle of the day when no other customers are about.

This week it was the turn of the Old Bush Inn at Callow End, a beautiful little pub off the Upton Road and near the village hall.

Matt and Karen Williams reopened it in January 2015 as tenants after a campaign by village residents to stop it being turned into a home. They then bought it two years later.

It’s quite easy to miss as you come down the main road, having already passed the Blue Bell Inn a few hundred yards back, and it’s nestled amongst lots of houses.

That said, it has a sizeable car park and the patio area is huge considering how small the pub itself is.

There’s guitars and foreign currency up on the walls, giving it the feel of a student’s room or a middle-aged rocker’s man cave.

But the sleek and crisp decor and homely tidiness of everything (all the bits of decoration don’t feel cluttered) means it also feels like the sitting room of a family who live right out in the sticks, but love to make an impression whenever anyone comes to visit.

I asked the young barmaid if they were serving food yet, I’d arrived just after noon and she said they were, before pointing me in the direction of the menus and specials board. Seabass fillets in a creamy leek and wholegrain mustard sauce for £13, sitting top of the specials board, sounded appetising, but for another time, I wanted something a little simpler for a weekday lunch.

I selected the panini, which comes with a creamy homemade coleslaw and salad, and was only £5, so I ordered a small plate of chips too for £3.

Then I went to sit outside on the patio, spotting a felt tip pen warning on the door saying: “DO NOT PLAY WITH THE CAT FLAP!”

There were two other guests out there, and we were later joined by another pair and another man. All before 1pm on a Friday, in little Callow End. Must be good.

The staff that I encountered were very pleasant and helpful, the young barmaid helped a woman who was accompanying another with partial sight put up an umbrella at their table at one point.

Perhaps an obvious thing for a waiting staff member to do, but I’ve been to plenty of pubs where they turn a blind eye to helping in that manner.

On my way out, I looped round to take a photo of the pub and found one of the other customers also doing the same. A rival?

As I neared my car, with all the photos I needed, a man came out of nowhere and asked what I was doing. It was like the East-West German border all over again.

“I was taking a photo. I’ve just eaten lunch,” I said. “Oh, fine,” he said. I’d made it. Just. Maybe it’s time I came in from the cold.