THIS stylish venue has established itself as a popular haunt for locals and visitors in the charming town of Kirkby Lonsdale.

Avanti has a relaxed Mediterranean feel to it and as soon as you walk in you start to feel as if you could be in a bar/ restaurant in southern Europe.

There is a relaxed feel in the daytime and a more lively atmosphere in the evening, with an impressive range of drinks and rustic Mediterranean cuisine.

Eyecatching artwork adorns the walls both inside and outside in the walled garden where, weather permitting of course, customers can enjoy dining al fresco during the summer or a beer or two at night under the patio heaters.

One weeknight, a good friend and I visited for tea and a catch-up, having not seen each other in a while.

The a la carte menu had plenty to tempt us, with tapas, or first plates available, including the mouthwatering anti pasto (£5.90), featuring Serrano ham, chorizo and salami, with bread and oils.

The menu also featured home-made ravioli and pasta dishes.

There is a pizza menu and although neither of us chose from this, we both vowed to do so next time because they looked and smelled amazing every time the waiters passed our tables while taking them to fellow diners.

After much deliberation, in the end I plumped for the gambas and chorizo tagliatelle which sounded amazing – tiger prawns and mild Spanish chorizo, cooked in garlic, white wine and herbs, then tossed in pasta (£9.90).

And I can confirm that this was absolutely beautiful.

Each of the flavours involved combined to create a beautiful dish. I chose the rocket and parmesan salad to go with it (£3.50).

My pal went for the mixed seafood pasta, which was served with a selection of seafood with garlic, fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes (£10.90).

We each had a glass of the house pinot grigio (£3.60) and eating food as good as this proves thirsty work so I also had two bottles of Diet Coke (£1.35 each). It always tastes better in a glass bottle, don’t you think?