RECENTLY restored to its former glories, The Castle Inn, in Hornby, is a delightful place to eat, drink and be merry.

My girlfriend and I had heard good things about it, so we went to find out more.

While we enjoyed a drink in the bar and perused the saliva-inducing menu, I was suitably inspired by the, well, inspirational quotes adorning the walls, such as ‘Never be afraid to try – remember amateurs built the ark professionals built the Titanic’ or ‘Sometimes questions are complicated but the answers are simple’.

After enjoying a glass of wine and ordering our food, we went through to the restaurant, a lovely area with stone floors and a glass ‘wall’.

For starters we decided to share a selection of fresh local vegetables coated in a crispy tempura batter with chilli and coriander mayonnaise (£4.95).

They were tasty and the mayonnaise was delicious, but perhaps we should have pushed the boat out and chosen one each, as this was not a dish intended for sharing, but it still set us up nicely for our mains.

I went for the local farmed chicken breast pan fried with garlic and thyme sat on confit fondant potato with a creamy Madeira and mushroom sauce (£11.95).

It was quite simply as good as it sounds. The flavours combined to ensure every mouthful was simply beautiful.

It was only bettered by the choice of my partner – roasted belly pork layered with Bury black pudding and apricots, with vanilla mashed potato and calvados sauce (£11.95).

Once again, this was a real treat, the belly pork cooked to perfection and the accompanying black pudding like a dream.

It was then time to tuck in to our desserts – mine was chef’s own sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream (£4.95) while my girlfriend chose luxurious white chocolate and raspberry torte with. melt in the mouth rosemary shortbread (£4.50).

Both rounded off the evening nicely and we left intent on telling everyone to pay a visit to The Castle Inn at Hornby.