W ONDERFUL and ‘like Heaven’ is the verdict myself and a friend came to when we visited the County Hotel in Carnforth on a freezing cold Tuesday night in January.

Located on the cross-roads slap-bang in the middle of Carnforth, the County Hotel serves some of the finest fare I have eaten in my near-three years of living in the area.

There was a cracking little atmosphere bubbling away as the regulars turned the television on to a documentary about steam trains, and the banter between staff and customers was brilliant.

Number one item on the specials menu was county potted shrimps on warm buttered wholemeal toast (£5.25), which my pal and I ordered.

We both agreed that it tasted great but what struck me most was the salad that went with it. I wolfed this down because the balsamic vinegar added a beautiful, rich flavour to it.

After a wait which was nowhere near lengthy, the mains arrived. I went for a roasted pork loin steak on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, with a brandy and peppercorn sauce, cauliflowers, carrots and broccoli.

The £10.25 meal was superb, with the peppercorns adding a great little kick.

The sauce was so good that I was sorely tempted to dip my finger in when the meal was finished because I didn’t want to waste any.

Despite how good my food was, my friend’s slow roast belly pork (£9.95) was stupendous. It was so tender that it fell away from the bone.

Black pudding and sage mashed potato was something I didn’t realise you could mix together. It was majestic, and coupled with the rich cider and apple sauce, made for one of the best put-together dishes I have ever seen.

But what capped it all was the price. Two starters, two mains and two drinks cost £36.95, which I thought was excellent value.