An overnight stay at The Bull at Burford, courtesy of its hospitable hosts Jean-Marie and Clare Lauzier, seemed like a mini-holiday for Rosemarie and me. We experienced this beautiful Cotswold town just as a tourist might, and found everything about it exactly to our taste (yes, even the Elvis Presley impersonator in action at one of the pubs!). Unlike tourists, though, we had no tedious travelling — instead a short trip by car, roof down in the sunshine, on a route avoiding the A40, taking in Eynsham, South Leigh, Witney, Minster Lovell and the incomparable beauty of the Windrush valley past Swinbrook.

After a stroll around the town — principal stops were the lovely church and a splendid record stall where I bought a Motown vinyl LP for £1 — we sat briefly in the sunshine outside The Bull, before heading in with thoughts of a drink and dinner. A citrussy New Zealand sauvignon blanc hit the spot where the former was concerned, setting us up for the fine fare we knew would follow.

The speciality here from chef Paul Scott’s kitchen is food that is seasonal, where possible local and in all cases appealingly presented. Dishes are also offered in robust quantity. Back in the coaching days, when The Retaliator, The Veteran and The Champion rattled into town, passengers could hardly have asked for more.

I began my dinner with crayfish tail mousse parcelled up in smoked salmon and served with lemon crème fraîche and cucumber salad. It looked good (see right) and tasted even better. For Rosemarie there was a tian of crab, tomato, mango and coriander with avocado mousse and tomato crisps. Another thumbs up. Other tempting-sounding starters included honey-roast Kelmscott pork belly with black pudding sauce, roast guinea fowl terrine and a warm salad of roasted spring vegetables.

Foxbury Farm rib-eye steak and the trio of Moroccan-spiced pork tenderloin, sweet roasted belly and black pudding moussaka were both guaranteed to appeal to the carnivore. So, too, was my choice — roast rump of lamb (not quite as tender as I might have hoped), with basil potato purée and a ratatouille featuring courgettes, celery and peppers with the heady scent of caraway. Chateau de Lugagnac 2008, a fruity blend of (principally) merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes, was an ideal accompaniment, as it was for the cheese that ended my meal. This was Black Bomber cheddar, Tuxford and Tebbutt stilton and Buche de Chevre from the Loire valley, offered with apple slices, celery sticks and grapes, homemade oatcakes and (especially good) toasted fruity bread.

Rosemarie stayed with the sea, enjoying the pan-seared fillet of wild stone bass with crushed peas and peeled broad beans, a poached egg and anchovy and potato pressé.

Her pudding was sharp lemon tart with strawberry compote and strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Superb!

We spent a comfortable night in the Trafalgar Room, where Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton once slept. (“He must have felt he was back at sea,” joked Rosemarie, eying the hugely irregular contours of the floor.) Then it was up for a breakfast of smoked haddock with spinach and poached egg (me) and a full English fry-up (my companion). With cereals, juice, coffee and everything else, this can be ordered by non-residents for £14.75. An excellent bargain.