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WE had been planning to visit Bindles for some time on the recommendation of friends. The office had been planning to review the restaurant for some time.

A happy synchronicity for us then that we unwittingly killed two birds with one stone as we arrived with those very friends at a restaurant obviously proud of its standard of service, which never slackened once during the three hours we were there.

We were led through the busy and chatty bar/seating area, which also has tables dotted about, to the cosier back of the restaurant.

We decided against separate starters, opting instead to share a fish board (£12.95), bread basket (£4) and marinated olives (£2.50). There was plenty to go around, with cured and smoked fish, potted shrimps and mussels to take the edge off our hunger before the arrival of the mains.

The girls chose luxury fish pie with monkfish and scallops (£13.95) and slow-cooked Longdon Marsh lamb stew with kidneys topped with creamy mash (£16.95). Both were served with vegetables which came in delightful mini-colanders.

The old men opted for seafood linguine with mussels and prawns and fish cream foam (£11.50) and a pheasant special (£14.95).

Nothing adventurous – but each dish was tasty and put away with gusto. If I was going to quibble, I would say the linguine was more like angel pasta, but it’s a minor point.

A round of desserts brought two portions of spiced apple cake, a chocolate mousse and an orange and Cointreau sorbet to the table.

It’s worth saving a space if you can for the puddings – these are concocted for the adult palate and well-portioned.

Our waiter had clearly been on a course which specialised in teaching how to leave the optimum time between stages before returning to cater for our every whim – he was faultless.

The cost, including two rounds of beers and a bottle of Chilean sauvignon blanc, a liqueur and coffees, came in at £152, which is probably a smidgeon pricey for the provinces. But if you are looking for somewhere special every once in a while, Bindles fits the bill.

As we emerged from the restaurant straight into the arms of a waiting taxi, our friends said: “You know, you should review this place”.

Well, we have.

Food 4
Service 5
Ambience 4
Value for money 3