THE Lord Bute has long had a reputation as an elegant dining experience. And its regular Jazz Nights are the perfect midweek tonic to our busy lifestyles.

The soothing sounds of the Colin Bryant Trio could be heard as we parked up outside, and the instant we walked through the door we found ourselves beginning to relax.

After a friendly greeting we were shown to seats in the orangery, where we were given a drink and a menu to peruse. The open plan layout meant we could still enjoy the music, but were able to unwind away from the busier main restaurant area before we sat down to eat - a really lovely touch.

Both the orangery area and the main restaurant are tastefully decorated in muted grey, black and white tones, with complementary, more indulgent touches in the mirrors and lighting accessories, making for an understated, yet decadent effect.

A set menu is offered on Wednesday's jazz evenings (£27.95 for three courses), but there was still a wide range of dishes to choose from.

I opted for the chilled, fresh melon to start, while my husband chose the pressed pork rillette. We were left to relax in the orangery before being shown through to the dining room shortly before our starters were served - but still with enough time to enjoy a slice of the more-ish home-made cheese and onion bread.

My melon was extremely attractively presented, and served with fresh berries, a Greek yoghurt and fruit coulis and a scoop of palate-cleansing, fresh fruit sorbet. The colourful dish was deliciously light and refreshing.

The pork rillette - a way of preparing meat similar to pâté - was accompanied by a sweet chilli sauce and leaf salad. A generous portion, and full of flavour.

For our main courses, I settled on the rosemary and garlic roasted rump of Romsey lamb, while my husband went for the slow roasted belly of pork. Both meals were served with a selection of fresh vegetables including Dauphinoise and new potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and green beans.

The ample slices of lamb were deliciously tender, while the accompanying creamed herb mash was light and flavoursome. The dish was finished perfectly with an extremely tasty redcurrant glaze.

My husband's pork belly was served with slices of pork tenderloin wrapped in Parma ham, with a portion of black pudding and crackling with apple puree and a cider jus. Again, attractively presented, the meat cooked to perfection and worked well with the accompaniments, which resulted in a satisfying flavour combination.

Thankfully, we had just enough room for dessert. It was a tough decision, but I eventually chose the raspberry crème brulée, and my husband opted for the almond Bakewell tart.

With its sharp, berry taste, the crème brulée was a perfectly smooth and light finish to the meal, while the tart had a pleasingly strong almond taste and was washed down well with the accompanying vanilla sauce and soft berries.

After finishing our meals, the band was still going strong, so we stayed on for a couple more tunes. Eventually, it was time to head home, but I'm certain we'll be back before too long.

To find out more about the Lord Bute's regular Wednesday jazz evenings, and is Friday evening tribute shows, visit or call 01425 278884.