Recently my wife and I have been dining on the delights of frozen food, microwave meals and even over-sized bowls of Rice Krispies as our culinary skills take a break.
But it was time for a change and some real food and we decided to put our trust in The Countryman on Park Lane in Kirkby.
And, it’s fair to say, we were certainly not disappointed by our break away from cereal and toast for tea.
Plans unveiled for mining memorial in Mansfield park
Take a look inside abandoned Clipstone Headstocks as the site is redeveloped
18 fantastic photos of Mansfield schools in the 1980s
24 fantastic retro photos of Mansfield's school proms
17 fantastic retro school photos of Mansfield and Ashfield in the 80s and 90s
As soon as we stepped inside the delightful venue, it was clear we were in for something special.
From the outside the Countryman may not look the greatest, but once through the door the vibe is very different with it’s modern furniture and decor giving the feel of a top class restaurant.
And it is a feel that is more than lived up to once diners get stuck in to the food on offer from it’s expansive menu of light bites, traditional pub classics and dishes for the more discerning pallet.
The quality of the surroundings and menu was equally matched by the waitresses, who were professional and friendly, and the speed in which the meals were dished up.
My wife and I both picked a melted brie ciabatta with a side salad to kick off our feast, washed down with a pint of Strongbow and a tall glass of refreshing Peroni.
It was a wise choice as our tastebuds were instantly overrun with an array of tantalising flavours.
This was followed by a steak dinner with a side of seasonal veg and mash for my wife, while I opted for the exotically sounding twice deep-fried chips.
Steak, I often find can be a tricky chap, if it is not cooked just to the individual tastes.
Leave it in too long and it becomes too chewsy, not long enough and you think you’ve got dental trouble as blood gently trickles from the corner of your mouth.
On this occasion my medium steak arrived cooked to perfection, providing a juicy and succulent treat.
The chips were also tasty and mightily filling. I’m not sure if they were made more tasty by having the luxury of being fried twice, but they were certainly a lot more crunchy as a result.
A fancy feed can often delight the tastebuds but give the bank account a minor heart attack.
But you get what you pay for as the old saying in life goes and, at a bill of £47, the countryman offered both a meal to remember at a price worth paying.
I shall fondly remember my steak the next time cereal awaits for tea.
Click here to view the menu.