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Hidden gem with service par excellence
6:00am Friday 27th July 2012 in Eating Out
DINING out at pubs and restaurants that you know little about when you arrive can often be all about luck, writes DANI WEBB.
Some serve delicious food but are let down by the service, while others might provide a friendly welcome but the place looks a bit rundown.
So you can imagine our hesitation when we stumbled across the Three Horse Shoes, in Running Waters.
Confession time - neither Andy or myself had ever heard of the place before, but as we were starving and it appeared to be the only place around we thought we would chance our luck and, dodging the heavy rain, headed inside.
We soon discovered we were not going to be disappointed. We had stumbled across a hidden gem.
Despite the weather and it being a midweek trip out, there were quite a few tables taken but still room for us to find a nice spot.
Andy ordered the drinks at the bar - a pint of lager for him and, as I was designated driver, a diet coke for me.
The menu was packed with all the tempting old favourites and there was an extensive selection on the specials board.
To be honest for indecisive folk like Andy and I there was too much choice because we had to ask the friendly waitress to come back as we needed more time.
I think the main reason was that Andy was already eyeing up a piece of the Dime bar cheesecake for dessert so he forgot to decide on his main course.
However, when the waitress did return and she broke the news to him he could not have his first choice main - the drunken beef - he took his opportunity to ask for a piece of the aforementioned dessert to be put aside for him so they didn’t sell out and the waitress was only too happy to oblige.
With that peace of mind in place, Andy ordered the peppered beef with roast potatoes and vegetables and I ordered the beef lasagne with chips and vegetables.
We had little time to watch the heavy rain fall on the beautiful countryside, which surround the pub, before our meals arrived.
My lasagne was delicious. It was lovely and cheesy and it came with chunky chips.
Andy had no complaints either. He said it was nice and peppery and although he automatically put extra pepper on it he said it was not needed.
He said the meat was tender, the was sauce creamy, the roast potatoes and vegetables were nicely cooked.
Then came the dessert, I settled on the Eton Mess, although I waited until I had finished my lasagne before deciding.
Andy thoroughly enjoyed his Dime bar cheesecake and said the biscuit base was one of the thickest he’d tasted for a while and the Dime bar topping was a nice twist on a favourite dessert.
My Eton Mess was top notch too. The strawberries were fresh and there was plenty of cream and meringue pieces to keep me happy.
With another round of drinks included, the bill came to a very satisfactory £33.15.
Having eaten this lovely meal, we would have gone home happy but I have to save a special mention for the service.
It was ten out of ten and I have never said that about anywhere before. They were friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. The fact that the landlord reminded us of a favourite old acquaintance, in more ways than one, made the evening more charming than it already was.
We might not have known about this place before this visit but we certainly do now and there is no doubt we will be going back there soon and everyone else should too.
Ratings (out of ten): Food quality 9 Service 10 Surroundings 8 Value 9