The Boxing Hare in Swerford, near Chipping Norton, has become a destination venue for foodies. Michael Purton visited for dinner on a Saturday evening.

'Homely', 'charming', 'quintessential country pub' – these words and phrases have almost lost their meaning because they are used so frequently when describing one of the many superb inns and restaurants that we're blessed with in the Cotswolds; they've become trite terms to illustrate places which are remarkable, and thus fail to convey the exceptional quality.

Which leaves me thinking, How do I do The Boxing Hare justice in this review?

Well, I'll keep it simple and just say: You should eat there.

Don't let the informal atmosphere or child and dog-friendly policy fool you – this is fine dining of a standard for which you'd pay through the nose in London, set in the warmth of a country inn with a stunning scenic backdrop of the rolling hills of the Cotswolds.

That upmarket feel of Mayfair and Kensington is because The Boxing Hare is run by Antony Griffith Harris, a successful London restaurateur of 30 years, and his partner Stacey C Elder, a former actress who brings a touch of glamour and humour to the establishment.

Antony opened his first venue, The Canal Brasserie, a destination restaurant in West London in 1987, which became a finalist in The Timeout ‘Best Modern British Restaurant’ awards, and it's clear he knows exactly how to make the most out of The Boxing Hare, as the place was packed on the Saturday night that my partner and I visited.

Husband and wife duo Nick and Kate Anderson head up the kitchen and their menu features seasonal produce sourced from British farmers, with so much choice that making your selection is a real challenge.

I'd heard that the twice baked cave aged cheddar soufflé, spinach & parmesan (£8.50) was renowned, and so opted for that, while my better half chose the goats cheese truffles, beetroot, roquito peppers & toasted pine nuts (£8), for our starters.

For main, I went for the 10oz rib-eye steak served with house butter, with truffled chips and tempura onion rings on the side (£30 total), while my companion decided on the Fowey Estuary mussels with white wine, shallots, parsley & cream, and fries (£7.50 as an appetiser/£14 as a main).

We were both thoroughly satiated after that but, of course, still found room for a dessert each. For me, that was the warm chocolate fondant with salted caramel sauce, chocolate & almond crumb and vanilla ice cream (£7.50), while her choice was the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream (£6.50).

To drink, she enjoyed a Sauvignon Blanc (Ribbonwood, Marlborough, New Zealand; £28 per bottle or £8 a glass), while I had a pint of the Aspall cider.

The whole meal was absolutely superb: delicious flavours, beautiful presentation and spot-on portions, and as the prices above show, the cost of eating such exquisite food in such delightful surroundings is more than reasonable.

If you're looking for first class food in a relaxed yet classy venue, The Boxing Hare cannot be beaten.

See for opening times and to book.