You'd be forgiven for not knowing about the Wagon Wheel. The black and white 15th-century pub/restaurant is a little off the beaten track, but this is a gem of a place and worth a detour.

Rather ambitiously, the venue offers a choice of three menus - table d'hote, a la carte and bar meals - as well as a traditional Sunday lunch. There is an old-fashioned feel to the restaurant with its crystal glass tableware, doillies on the side plates, and dishes such as melon and parma ham, chicken supreme and steaks flamed in brandy and cream. But this gives it a definite charm and the enthusiasm and passion of owner Giuseppe makes you feel instantly at home.

The evening we visited, we fancied some good old pub food and opted for a bar meal. We were seated in a comfortable lounge area and shown the options on a chalk board. All the favourites werethere such as steak and kidney pie, plaice and chips and lasagne, all reasonably priced between £8 and £13. Our party of six decided against starters (of which, disappointingly there only seemed to be just soup or garlic mushrooms) and went straight for main courses, ordering two Wagon Wheel sirloin steaks, mousakka, gammon, liver and bacon and a prawn sandwich and chips.

The steaks were served with what we decided was a red wine and mushroom sauce which was delicious - but it would have been nice served on the side rather than already on the steak. Both steaks were cooked to perfection and there were empty plates.

The homemade moussaka was very moreish and full of lamb and tender aubergines in a rich sauce - everyone wanted to dip in a chip and looked on enviously as I polished it off. There were also no complaints about the gammon, liver and bacon or prawn sandwich - which came stuffed with large, juicy prawns in fresh brown bread.

For desserts we chose a warm pear frangipan with custard, cheese and biscuits, an apple sponge and custard, profiteroles, amaretto caramel and sherry trifle. More plaudits, but the profiteroles ought to have been bite size.

We finished with two steaming cafetieres of coffee with mints and left promising to return. There are no pretentions at the Wagon Wheel - what you see is what you get, but that is hearty food, lovingly prepared with fresh ingredients. The service was friendly and faultless, with the staff making us feel like old friends.

The bill for six, including drinks, came to £94. It's definitely worth giving the Wagon Wheel a try.

HOW IT RATEDWagon Wheel Inn, Grimley, near Worcester.

Telephone: 01905 640340

Food **** Value for money **** Ambience **** Service *****