WITH the new year blues really kicking in for everyone, we felt it was time to treat ourselves, so ventured out on a cold Tuesday night to one of our favourite eateries, the Nightingale.
It turned out to be a very good decision indeed. We soon forgot about the plummeting temperatures as we stepped inside this welcoming pubrestaurant.
The cosy ambience soon warmed us up and the cheerful bar staff made us feel very welcome as they talked us through the various choices of wine and beer.
Having made our choices – a very nice sauvignon blanc and a pint of bitter – we chose a table and looked at the extensive menu.
There is plenty to choose from and the only let-down for me was that they had run out of venison, which I quite fancied trying.
Nevertheless, there was still lots to tempt us and we chose prawn cocktail (£4.95) and crispy chicken fillets (4.75) to start us off. They turned out to be good choices.
The fillets were succulent and juicy, cooked in an Italian cheese crumb, and the sunblaze tomato and basil mayonnaise was very tasty.
The prawn cocktail was nicely presented and my partner assured me that the prawns were nice and plump, with plenty of sauce, and the bread served with it was fresh.
Onto the mains, and we chose the beer battered haddock and chips (£7.95) and beef, mushroom and ale pie with mash and seasonal greens.
The fish was cooked in Pedigree bitter batter – which was a nice touch – and was very tasty, although my partner said it could have been a little warmer.
The chips were cooked well and we asked for salad instead of mushy peas, which was a nice accompaniment.
The beef and ale pie looked very impressive – topped with puff pastry and served with a nice portion of beautiful mash and fresh veg cooked superbly.
The gravy in the pie was rich and tasty and although the beef was a little on the fatty side for my liking, the overall dish was really nice.
We both agreed the portions were very generous – leaving us feeling nicely full, but not too full to tackle the delicious dessert menu.
I chose the cheese board (£6.95) – delicious Cornish brie, a perfect stilton and a sharp cheddar served with Bath Oliver biscuits, celery sticks and an onion chutney.
My partner chose the giant profiteroles (£3.95) – and they were truly dessert heaven. In fact, we agreed they were possibly the best pudding we’ve tasted for a long time and would have quite happily tucked into more!
But the stand-out aspect of our trip to the Nightingale was, as always, the service we received.
From the bar staff to the waiters, it was faultless. Friendly, without being intrusive, it was nice that they could have a chat and a laugh with their customers – and that is why we will keep going back. With two drinks, the bill came to £44.20, which we thought was brilliant value.
HOW IT RATED
Value for money: 4