I was so impressed with my experience at the Dun Cow (between Knutsford and Ollerton, Cheshire, WA16 8RH, tel. 01565 633093) yesterday, I feel I need to share the experience.

Firstly some background: Tim and I popped in one day for lunch, but it must have been a few years ago. We remember it being a very cosy pub with excellent food. Thereafter, we heard that it had been re-developed. For some reason Tim thought it was now a Robinson pub, which made us think it would probably be a clone of the Griffin in Bowdon, or at least something similar. So when I arrived yesterday, it exceeded all expectations.

It has been given a make-over … a very good one! I think it is beautiful – probably because it reminds me of my own lounge! The colours are warm and muted. It is cosy without being stuffy and stylish rather than pretentious. It’s certainly somewhere where you would want to spend time. I have a feeling it is going to see us far more often!

Lisa and I arrived around lunch time, and asked whether we could sit and eat at the sofas next to the fire. They were quite happy for us to do that ‘if we thought we would be comfortable enough’. They brought the menus, and we struggled to choose. Eventually we decided to have the pot roasted chicken and the venison. And both were delicious. Portions are small, but adequate. It certainly enables you to have more than one course. But the piece de resistance was yet to come.

We each ordered a pudding which we decided to share. Lisa’s warm chocolate pudding served with spiced cream was out of this world. I took a bite of my pannacotta. Once the first mouthful had been taken, it felt like there was something magical happening in the back of my mouth. It was a very weird, fascinating, yet enjoyable sensation. But I couldn’t figure out what it was. I took another bite, and it happened again. It almost felt as if someone lit a delicate sparkler (as in firecracker!) in my mouth. Then I worked it out – there were small crystals of popping candy on the plate, or space poppers as we called it as children. Fantastic! The highlight of my meal, my day, my weekend!

Lisa and I stayed for the whole afternoon. We almost had to be dragged out of there. It was very quiet inbetween meal times. I know people generally prefer a ‘buzzy’ pub, but I honestly prefer being able to spread out, make myself at home, and feel like I can stay as long as I want to, without feeling that someone is eyeing out my seat and hoping for me to leave. The staff were friendly, kind, helpful and quite happy for us to stay – especially if we helped keep the fire alive.

We’ll be back …