THIS week, I plucked up a little courage for the pub review. I took the liberty of straying over the border, into the White Rose county.

The Staff of Life Inn, formerly the Peeping Tom, is situated in a steep valley, and on the meandering main road into Todmorden.

It looks a modest and humble hostelry from the outside. However, once inside, your impression of the pub improves remarkably.

It has to be one of the most restful and homely watering holes I have visited. A four roomed, quirky establishment, with original stone flagged floors, coal-fired stove, oak beamed ceilings and snug, comfy seating in and around the bar area.

The pub has recently been bought by Tim and Kate Fritchley. They had already been at the pub for the last four years. It was their second tenure, having previously been here in the 1980s.

Locals will no doubt remember Tim having his Robinwood Brewery, close to the pub, that closed in 1992. There are lots of historical and interesting features at the pub. The stone that constructed the impressive horseshoe bar, came from the former gents’ outside toilet.

The pub also boasts a superb original stone-arched alcove, which was the original cellar — very popular with diners. A further spacious dining area was part of the former house next door.

Tim knocked the wall through, and now you have stone steps (mind your head; there’s a low hanging lintel) leading to a beautiful, wood-floored room, with old fashioned furnishings and work by local artists, that adorne the bare stone walls.

Back in the relaxing tranquility of the bar, I was met by barman, John. He had been working here for 12 years. John was a most informative, chatty and amusing host — and had five cask ales to tempt my taste buds.

I felt obliged to sample the present 'Champion Beer of Britain' — Timmy Taylor's Boltmaker, was the tipple on offer.

One of two permanent Taylor's ales, along with three rotating guest beers. Boltmaker was in good nick (£3.20). A malty, well hopped slurp. A nice, balanced brew — but not a champion quaff — in my opinion. The pub also has an excellent reputation for home cooked food. John said: "There are four menus at lunchtime and three in the evening. We have 40 customers booked in tonight — and there's just one table left. Weekends are very busy and we advise diners to book in advance."

It felt very much at ease and welcoming at the bar. One regular, Keith, commented: "You never feel like you are on your own at 'The Staff'. A friendly atmosphere guaranteed."

Keith had brought along his border collie, Misty. She was most content in front of the coal fired burner. It typified the relaxed mood of the place.

The Staff of Life Inn is a fine example of a homely and cosy hostelry. You will feel most relaxed and snug, whether you are partaking in a beverage, or coming specifically to dine out — and if it's for the latter, John the barman, would likely say: "Book early, to avoid disappointment ."