BRIAN CLARIDGE dines at The Cross Keys, 40 High Street, Great Missenden, HP16 OUA Telephone 01494 865 373

THE Cross Keys is a traditional 16th century country pub and restaurant in the picturesque village of Great Missenden, close to the Roald Dahl Museum and Missenden Abbey.

Step back in time as you enter this quaint inn with its low, beamed ceilings, rustic furniture and open inglenook fire. The historic inn is renowned for serving an excellent range of real ales, fine wines and good food. Diners can enjoy classic British food and traditional pub favourites in the cosy 40-seat restaurant, popular with locals and showbiz celebrities.

The a la carte menu is impressive. Dishes include smoked duck breast with mango salsa and crispy lettuce (£6.75) and wild mushroom risotto with rocket and shaved parmesan (£6.25 small or £7.50 large). There is a good selection of main courses including rack of lamb with mash, roasted vegetables and red wine (£13.25), as well as an excellent desserts menu. Vegetarian dishes are also available.

There is also a two-course menu for £11.95, with a choice of starter and main or main and dessert. Choose from a delectable range of dishes including pan-fried mackerel served with garlic butter and tomato, or sardines when available and chicken breast stuffed with sunblushed tomato and mozzarella, served with a lemon sauce, seasonal vegetables and sautéed potatoes. If you just fancy a pint and bar snacks, there is plenty of choice, including freshly-made sandwiches, baguettes, ciabatta, wraps, salads, pies and bar meals.

I went along to The Cross Keys with my wife and sons to try the Sunday lunch menu, which is popular with families, especially the traditional Sunday roast. For starters, Denise chose Marie Rose prawn rillette with mixed leaves and crustini (£6.50).

Adam and I ordered hot chorizo and red chilli bean salad (£5.80), while

Scott went for crayfish risotto with rocket and parmesan shavings (£6.95). For main course, Denise ordered roast pork with home-made apple sauce, vegetables, roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings (£9.50). Adam and I went for roast sirloin of beef with roast potatoes, vegetables and

Yorkshire puddings (£9.95), while Scott ordered a ricotta and spinach ravioli (£8.95).

We rounded off our meal with delicious apple crumble with creme Anglaise and vanilla ice cream (£4.75). The food was excellent, and all the dishes are freshly prepared in the kitchen with locally-sourced produce.

The Cross Keys is a real find and thoroughly recommended. It has a patio for al fresco dining and private car park. * Call 01494 865 373 for opening hours or visit .