The delights of The Chequers at Burcot are such – good thing succeeded by good thing – that you start to wonder if they aren’t being celebrated as they arrive, acceptably sotto voce, in the songs supplied by the sound system.

[Feels Like] Heaven, from Scottish one-hit wonders Fiction Factory, comes coincident with the delivery of a magnificent shared starter board, largely fishy.

And if heaven is like eating pâté de foie gras to the sound of trumpets – as the 19th-century wit the Rev Sydney Smith famously observed – it could also be conceived as enjoying, to the sound of Fiction Factory, tempura soft-shell crab with sweet chilli dip, juicy prawns in bloody mary sauce, sweet and succulent rollmop herrings, and crisply battered chunks of haddock with perfect tartare sauce.

Thriller, from Michael Jackson, adequately describes Rosemarie’s burger – its magnificent meat served pink in a manner to confound a gourmet friend who said he despaired of finding such a thing ever again.

Rosemarie is soon on the iPhone, firing off a picture of this commendable item – with parmesan and truffle triple-cooked chips – to pal Joe as encouragement for a soon-to-be-enjoyed (we hope) collective return visit.

The team, we trust, will include ‘best girl’ Labrador Bella, for here is a fully Fido-friendly feasterie (alliterative necessity trumps elegance here, I fear).

Sniffy myself (a bit) about burgers, I nod approvingly as Tina Turner storms in with Simply The Best just as my 8oz fillet steak arrives.

Nothing better deserves the superlative (save Tina’s legs) – a pink and tender chunk of perfection with Steve’s – that’s chef/proprietor Steven Sanderson’s – Magic Mushroom Ketchup, mushroom and truffle sauce, rocket and shaved parmesan salad, and dauphinoise potatoes.

The New Zealand pinot noir (cherry-laden Awatere Pass) assists hugely in my enjoyment of the dish, just as the citrussy South African chenin blanc (Granite Ridge) had with the starters.

To complete this fine dinner – the feast in my case more minimalist as it progresses – comes for me a slice of waxy-coated Black Bomber – moist and tasty – with celery, crispy crackers, and a lovely sweet onion chutney.

This delectable cheese was a firm favourite of a foodie pal who sadly died earlier this year – indeed it had a table of its own among provisions at the wake. I raise a glass of 20-year-old port (Sandeman’s Old Tawny) to Paul as I nibble.

Rosemarie meanwhile is addressing herself to a challenging pudding, wherein hot doughnuts and chocolate mousse vie for attention with ice cream and strawberries. An Australian muscat, this one chocolatey in tone, hits the spot very nicely.

And as the meal reaches a triumphant conclusion, the voices of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes soar sensationally from the sound system to say, for each of us, (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.

A spot of Dirty Dancing, then? Not tonight, Jennifer. We’ve a taxi heading for home.

We felt able to fork out on one, having economised on the outward journey, using our bus passes on the Thames Travel X40 service to Reading. You get off at Berinsfield lay-by, with a 15-minute stroll round the corner to Burcot. Easy-peasy, and an ideal way to stimulate the appetite.

If you don’t want to drive and don’t want to take a bus, you will soon be able to stay overnight in one of the cluster of new guest rooms nearing completion beside the 400-year-old pub.

We have just time tonight, before the cab arrives, for a refreshing Italian lager at the bar with boss Steve (mine host for 13 years) and his Romanian fiancée Madalina, who has led a team supplying cheery, efficient service to a packed pub on this busy Saturday night.

My experience has been that there is always a buzz and evidence of general satisfaction here. Steve is an award-winning chef who has done lots of high-end stuff in his time but now aims for flavour and fun which, as he says, seems to suit his customers just fine.