We drove our son and heir out to attend a birthday party and then were left, at lunchtime, sitting outside the birthday house wondering what to do next.
So we decided to go somewhere for lunch and by "somewhere", I mean "somewhere other than Macdonalds or Burger King".
We drove vaguely towards home whilst debating where we should go and what we fancied by way of lunch and hadn't come to any conclusion when we found ourselves headed towards Bear Cross. I remembered seeing that the Bear Cross pub was always very well attended every time we passed it on the way to the Magna Road Bootfair, so we had a venue, at last!
From the outside, it looks a very neat and well-presented place to eat. It gives the impression of a pub trying to be a restaurant, rather than a restaurant trying to be a pub. The smells wafting around outside were encouraging, even if it did smell rather like a bacon butty - but I'd have been happy with a really good bacon butty!
Upon entering, it all looks very welcoming, clean and tidy. We were greeted with a warm smile and even though we hadn't booked a table, were shown to a very nice table in the dining room. The waitress who took our drinks order of two lemonades was pleasant, with a ready smile.
We decided to go for the main course/dessert option, rather than have starters. I wanted to be able to drive home, as opposed to being rolled home. I went for the "Chicken Princess", which proved to be a butterflied chicken fillet, pan fried with a handful of prawns and finished in a cream and tarragon sauce, with seasonal vegetables and new potatoes. My first bite of chicken had me checking to ensure that it was cooked sufficiently, (which it indeed was) as the degree of juiciness was surprising. The sauce went beautifully with all the vegetables and I was pleased to see that along with the carrots, broccoli and sugar snap peas, were nestled several rounds of poached leek.
Hubby had the Beer-Battered Fillet of Cod with mushy peas, tartare sauce and chips. The piece of fish was a gorgeously chunky fillet with the skin still attached and the batter was simply yummy. Although not an enormous portion, it was certainly enough for a lunch.
When it came to dessert, we opted for the Caribbean Meringue - and two spoons. This was the highlight of the meal, for me. I think I can safely say that I haven't had such a truly memorable dessert at any restaurant. The coffee flavoured meringue sat aboard a layer of whipped cream and sliced bananas, with butterscotch sauce drizzled over the top of the entire ensemble and across the plate.
The whole thing was topped off with a little crushed mixed nuts. It was as simple as could be - but ate amazingly.
The service was swift and friendly, the atmosphere was convivial and light. We were somewhat taken aback to note that the drinks had cost around £2.50 for one tall glass of lemonade, however it was a very acceptable lunch experience - and somewhere that I would be happy to take my parents to, as the average age of the diner was around the 40-50 mark.
We came out £33 lighter in the pocket, but immeasurably happier than when we went in. Can't ask for more than that!