CHRIS Herring has done a fine job since taking over the management of The Plough pub. Interestingly, he has instituted monthly specialist dining evenings at the pub. These have helped to bring people in and they have also widened peoples' culinary appreciation.

Mr Herring has brought in talented managers Wayne Taylor and his wife Linda, who does the cooking. It's a dream team.

Along with colleagues and friends, Suzy Talbot and Ben Steele, I attended an Italian Evening at the pub. It was great value for money, three courses for £18.50 per person, with two glasses of wine thrown in for good measure.

I chose Minestrone Soup, Beef Stuffed Meat Rolls, with vegetables, and fresh fruit salad. Suzy plumped for Tricolore Salad, the beef, and Zabaglione.

Mr Steele's choice was sardines, mixed shellfish (Linguini) and Tiramisu.

The soup was excellent, the main course proved a trifle too much for me, but I have to say that day I had also I also enjoyed roast lamb at the same venue over lunchtime. The dessert was beautifully served and very tasty.

Mr Steele said: "They were very ample portions and there was a good variety of seafood."

Miss Talbot said: "It was very luxuriant. The food was rich and full of flavour. It was good to be able to sample such a wide variety of food from different countries in the same restaurant."

The three of us will now pitch up at next month's Indian Evening at The Plough. Once again, I predict it will be an evening to savour, full of fine eats, and excellent company.

Chris Herring and his team made us feel very welcome. As ever, he was a genial host, and manager Wayne Taylor busied himself, commendably.

The Minstrel Gallery at the pub is a nice intimate dining room. On this occasion, due to a lack of space, and the popularity of the evenings, though, we were sat in the compact bar.

What a great place The Plough is,

but I feel the best of times at this venue really must be the summer months when cricket is being played on the Common, the windows are open, and the warmth of a balmy summer evening is much in evidence.