April may be the cruellest month but January wins hands down for the dreariest – dragging itself to February through dark afternoons, denial and drizzle.
So you can imagine that it was with a certain amount of reticence that we prised ourselves from the warmth of the fire and out into the encroaching gloam.
The husband, with unusual decisiveness, had already earmarked our destination – navigating the way with an assured confidence that usually leads to some “scenic detours” until we stumble back upon his intended route.
The Falling Stone in Thwing had come heavily recommended and it was easy to feel why. We were welcomed warmly from the moment we entered the bar; no mean feat when you come with a gaggle of children (we’ve often experienced “family-friendly” pubs that should be reported to trading standards).
The bar area is cosy, yet uncluttered, with squishy leather sofas and armchairs that elicited impressed “Wows” from the kids. As it was only 6pm, we had the bar to ourselves so we settled down with our drinks and ordered.
Some 15 minutes later we were ushered into the restaurant area, which although beautifully decorated felt a bit lonely after the warmth of the open fire and the comfy furniture in the bar.
The meals were delicious and were devoured ravenously! My duck in raspberry sauce was tender and sweet with an edge of tanginess; the husband’s chicken in sauce was so nice that I had to keep pinching a bit when he wasn’t looking.
The eldest boy had the pork steaks with an apple sauce that he loved and seemed to think entitled to him to pilfering the handmade chips and boiled potatoes; I can’t blame him, they were addictive.
Our younger two chose the home-made chicken goujons and the creamy tomato pasta, which at £4.95 were teriffic value and it was good to see them eat something other than the processed food that can often get churned out as kids’ food.
No visit would be complete without dessert and our children grasped the opportunity, ordering ice-cream, cheesecake of the day and sticky toffee pudding.
All were yummy and decadent in the way that desserts should be.
I can particularly attest to the home-made chocolate cheesecake which I could have eaten about four portions of – no mean feat considering how filling the mains were.
As we filtered out, we could see the bar had filled up; ideally we would have liked to have stayed longer to bask in the warmth of the Falling Stone’s hospitality but it was Sunday night and all the getting -ready-for- school activities beckoned, pulling us back home.
The Falling Stone easily lived up to its recommendation: scrumptious food, genuinely friendly service, an open fire – what else could you possibly need?
Just don’t ask the husband for directions.
Menu choice 9