THE Bickford Arms at Brandis Corner is five minutes' drive from my home in Halwill Junction, near Holsworthy, writes Ellen Cook. As such, it has been a prime candidate for a review for quite a while now. And I am really glad we finally got around to eating there.
With it being a Friday night, there were friends in there enjoying an after-work drink, alongside young families and couples out for the evening.
The large bar area has a warm, traditionally welcoming feel and the restaurant is sensibly arranged so you aren't inadvertently eavesdropping on other diners. We enjoyed a drink at the bar after ordering and a short wait later we were shown to our table.
Eschewing starters in the hope it would give us extra dessert space, we tucked into a salmon fillet in a white wine and redcurrant sauce with seasonal vegetables and crushed new potatoes (me), and scampi and chips (him).
The fish was sumptuous and deliciously flaky, and the zingy, flavourful sauce made it melt in the mouth. Add to that perfectly cooked assorted veg and the delightful twist on mash, and it was a winner.
The battered scampi got the thumbs-up from the other side of the table, as did the chunky chips.
For sweet I had the chocolate mud pie and my fellow diner chose the chocolate brownie.
Light yet rich, the pie was like a light, whipped up slice of choccy heaven. I didn't have to ask what my fellow foodie thought of the brownie, as along with the ice cream accompaniment, it was devoured in seconds. I took that as a good sign.
This meal for two, with drinks, cost: £41.95.
Where: The Bickford Arms, Brandis Corner, Holsworthy, EX22 7XY.
Bookings: 01409 221318.
More information: www.bick ford arms.co.uk.