ON A journey back to Ingleton from Chester my partner and I found ourselves passing through Hornby in the Lune Valley.

We decided to stop off for food at the Castle Inn, which is a bar and bistro as well as a hotel.

I was instantly struck by the decor in the lounge area, which was lovely and homely.

We ordered drinks at the bar then chose a table in that area rather than going through to the more formal dining section.

The menu was fairly extensive, covering traditional starters and main courses, as well as pizzas, sandwiches and paninis.

Aaron plumped for the locally farmed oven roasted chicken breast, served with blue cheese and rosemary fondant potato and a rich port sauce. It also came with a bowl of vegetables.

The chicken was tender and the sauce delicious. Aaron said the potato didn’t quite match up, but overall it was tasty.

Not usually one for picking pizza in a restaurant, I went for the margherita topped with buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil oil and rocket leaves. It had a thin and crispy base and was enjoyable.

We shared a bowl of hand-cut chips. These were lovely and chunky with crispy skins and fluffy on the inside.

Between the two meals and chips, we were pretty well filled. However, we couldn’t resist pudding and followed advice from the woman in charge to share a lemon and lime posset.

Unfortunately it didn’t come with the minted shortbread promised on the menu, but it was tangy and refreshing. For citrus-loving Aaron it was the perfect dessert.

We washed our meals down with pints of the guest ale.

The only criticism I had was that the service was rather drawn out. Had we not had plans for after the meal we could have sat there for hours – but I got up a couple of times to seek a sweets menu and to pay.

Overall, though, it was a pleasant dining experience and we would return to try some of the other tempting dishes.

* The cost of the meal – two mains, a side and a dessert – excluding drinks, was £29.35.