WHEN you fancy a nice, quiet meal out, the last thing you want is a pub packed with quiz teams with an hour’s wait for food.

So we abandoned our first choice and instead ended up at The Owl’s Nest – somewhere we’d been meaning to try for ages but never quite got round to.

The family-run pub is very traditional, even slightly old-fashioned in its décor, but the relaxed, welcoming atmosphere was evident as soon as we walked through the door, and after a quick glance at the menu we anticipated a nice evening of home-cooked grub.

As well as a selection of salads, jacket potatoes and sandwiches, there is a good range of meals on offer. Starters include prawn cocktail, egg mayonnaise and Florida cocktail – grapefruit and mandarins – and mains include roast of the day, home-made pie of the day, ham, egg and chips, steaks and a range of fish and pasta dishes.

There are also a couple of rice dishes and a whole additional selection of specials to choose from.

I selected soup of the day – broccoli and Stilton – followed by homemade lasagne, while my husband chose prawn cocktail to start and a rib-eye steak. We didn’t have long to wait for our starters. My soup arrived absolutely piping hot and was delicious with a strong Stilton flavour, while the prawn cocktail was a generous-sized portion with plenty of accompanying bread.

Our main courses quickly followed and, while the lasagne appeared at first glance to be a rather small portion, it was very filling and I was actually unable to finish it, despite my best efforts. Again, it was fresh from the oven and very meaty with a tasty cheese sauce topping.

My husband’s steak was cooked to perfection and the accompanying chips were deliciously crispy without being too greasy. The meal was also served with mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and two vegetables, although the latter were slightly soggy.

A large selection of desserts was on offer, but we both opted for a portion of vanilla ice cream, one with strawberry sauce and one with chocolate. The portion sizes were generous and I had to let my husband finish mine.

Overall, a delicious, home-cooked meal in a nice relaxed atmosphere – it may have been our first visit to The Owl’s Nest, but it certainly won’t be our last. Highly recommended.

Our bill was around £37, including two pints of lager and an orange juice.