WHEN I was a little girl on holiday in the Isles of Scilly with my family I became obsessed with crab sandwiches. Since then I've sometimes wondered why- as the crab I have tried can be of varying quality.

But the starter at the Cross Keys in Great Missenden reminded me once again of my love for the fresh, white crab meat which had made me so happy in the sunshine when I was little.

And the rest of the meal at this delightful pub also brought a smile to my face with lovely fresh fish and fantastic pizza.

I arrived on a Friday night- the bar was packed with a vibrant crowd- and the restaurant was also busy. But here the tables are nicely spaced apart with helpful, friendly staff and homely décor.

The wooden beams and classic furniture create a relaxed feel.

The menu has a lot of fish dishes, which is a pleasant surprise, and has a good choice.

For starters my friend Rachel went for the bruschetta of Mediterranean vegetables for one (£4.95) or two for £7.95.

She was hoping for a light starter but this was not it- the ciabatta bread was thick and chunky and there was piles of courgette, tomato and red onion on top.

This was served with a big salad of lettuce, chunky cucumber, tomato and red onion. It was a bit heavy for a starter.

Although the roast vegetables were very tasty- just one slice would have been sufficient with thinner bread.

My starter could not have been more different. I had the crab with mango and chilli micro salad (£6.95).

The white crab meat was delicious- fresh and in a white creamy dressing. It was served with delicate pieces of mango and chilli, which went with the crab very well, and a beautiful little micro salad which was bursting with flavour and which I could have done with slightly more of.

There were three discs of grilled bread, which I didn't really need with the dish as the other flavours worked so well together.

Other starters include soup, prawn cocktail, ham hock terrine and baked camembert.

Then onto the mains, which is where Rachel found her perfect pizza. She is a big pizza fan and I knew she would be able to tell if this was good or not. There is a choice of 11 pizzas.

She went for the Four Seasons (£8.95) and it was amazing. The home made dough base was medium- and evenly cooked. The mozzarella cheese was well distributed and then it was bursting with the freshest, tastiest toppings- the best olives, the plumpest capers and thinly sliced prosciutto and pepperoni.

There was also slivers of mushroom, chunks of artichokes and a sprinkling of oregano.

There was so much topping it was falling over itself to get on the pizza and the flavours were fantastic- she said it was one of the best pizzas she had in the UK, which is praise indeed.

I went for the Panko crumbed fish cake, French fries, hollandaise and watercress (£10.95). There were two large fish cakes, which consisted of haddock, salmon and crayfish- the consistency was just right- firm and not too soft.

The crumb coating finished the cakes off well.

The hollandaise sauce was a delight- creamy and smooth- and just how it should be.

The fries were not home made, but were still good, and there was a fresh salad- again the cucumber was a bit chunky for my liking. But otherwise a great dish.

Other mains include fish pie, sea bass, fried fish platter, pork belly, steak and baked aubergine ratatouille.

Puddings were absolutely fabulous. I had the salted chocolate tart (£5.95), served with vanilla ice cream.

The shortcrust pastry was the perfect texture and the chocolate filling was rich- but you could tell it was made with good chocolate as it was not too sweet and the dash of salt also made sure it wasn't too rich.

Rachel has the fruit Creme Brulee- which had stewed jammy fruit in the bottom of the ramekin with a nice topping of brulee. It was just the right size.

I left feeling full- but not too full- which I think shows the quality of the ingredients. And I hoped my next experience of eating crab meat would be just as good.

Go to www.thecross-keys.com