Before the De Simone family bought it a few years back, the Wheatsheaf had been an undistinguished Greene King roadhouse on the A603, though a 17th century coaching inn lurked beneath the tat. The De Simones spruced up the main bar, which retains a properly pubby feel, and added the La Pergola restaurant at the side and back. It was here that we found ourselves early on a Tuesday evening. It’s a large, high-roofed building, somewhat barn-like when not well-filled – the atmosphere improved greatly as the evening went on and more people arrived. There’s a tiled floor and tasteful wall decorations and you can see through to the kitchen with its impressive pizza oven.

Tuesday night is indeed Pizza Night with a choice of pizza or pasta plus a dessert for a bargain price of £10.95. We both fancied pizza, of which there were 11 toppings to choose from. I had Pescatore, with prawns, anchovies and mussels on a classically light and crispy pizza base. The anchovies made it pretty salty, which is fine by me, but might not be to everyone’s taste. I loved it. Jane’s choice was more unusual, Calzone being a folded pizza, looking like a giant pasty. Stuffed inside was a lush combination of ham, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms. Good job the lass has a hearty appetite as it barely fitted on the plate – and truly delicious it was pronounced to be.

And what drinks were accompanying this feast, I hear you ask? The Wheatsheaf has two handpumps, one devoted to Woodforde’s Wherry and the other to a changing guest, currently Wychwood Hobgoblin. We both went for our old favourite, Wherry, and as always it was an excellent drop. Tony, who looks after the bar, is really keen on his real ales.

We still had room for sweets and a good job too. I admit that I’m somewhat prone to hyperbole, but when I say my Tiramisu was the best I’ve ever had, I truly mean it. Handcrafted by Tony’s sister, Rosa, it came presented in a Lavazza coffee cup and was sublimely succulent but with none of the over-sweetness you often get. Jane’s Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding was also rapturously received; the Italian fruit cake gave it an unusual twist and stodginess there was none – nice ice cream to accompany it too.

La Pergola also offers a wide range of pastas plus chargrilled meats and a variety of fish dishes; the Sunday lunches are also very popular.

By the time we left, the place was starting to buzz and we agreed we needed to return before long. The one thing we did disagree on was the background piano music which I found rather pleasant but Jane considered irritating. Chacun a son gout, as they don’t say in Italy.

Paul Ainsworth