DINING OUT: The Horseshoe, Sywell

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Sometimes the impromptu decisions are the best ones.

With lunchtime rapidly approaching and a hard morning’s work in the garden under our belts, nobody needed much persuading to head out for something to eat.

We’ve driven past The Horseshoe in Sywell a number of times and always said we liked the look of the place, so now seemed as good a time as any to give it a try.

So with the children in tow and the sun shining (despite it being a bank holiday weekend), off we went.

Just about the first person we saw on arrival was a familiar face from our local, the Trading Post in Kettering, now assistant manager at The Horseshoe - a good omen, surely.

We headed straight to one of the tables outside where the kids were quick to take advantage of the play equipment while we grabbed a table in the shade.

Being a Sunday the menu was more limited than usual, but it still offered plenty of choice including a selection of roast dinners, three different types of curry and some pub staples such as ham, egg and chips and steak.

There is also a range of burgers to choose from, and it was the Mighty Horseshoe Burger which caught my wife’s eye - well, it was just about the most expensive thing on the menu...

It has to be said though that it is great value for money, consisting of two burgers, two rashers of bacon and cheese in a roll, plus chips, onion rings and a side salad.

I went for the lamb roast, which was equally generous in its portions and equally tasty.

Our eldest, feeling adventurous, chose the scampi from the children’s menu while the youngest played it safe with chicken nuggets (at least, that’s what we told him they were - life’s too short to try to explain what goujons are to a fussy five-year-old).

It took a while, but the four of us eventually managed to clear our plates and were in no rush to move on to desserts.

But a quick game of hide and seek later and appetites were ready for some more.

Children get a choice of flavours of ice-cream while grown-ups can decide between the likes of cheesecake and bread and butter pudding.

While we were tucking in to ours we were treated to a close-up view of an aircraft from the neighbouring aerodrome - not something you get in every pub garden!

Service at The Horseshoe was excellent, with the main courses arriving in almost no time at all, and there really was very little to complain about from start to finish.

A friendly and welcoming family pub with lots to recommend it - we’re already planning our next ‘impromptu’ visit!