ON a miserable December night in Usk, The Star Inn was a welcome sight for two hungry travellers.

After a dash through the torrential rain, we were greeted warmly by the friendly staff and roaring fire in the bar area, where we had the chance to peruse the menu over a drink.

I chose a starter of halloumi cheese, deep-fried in rosemary tempura, served with chilli-jam, my partner opted for clams in a white wine and garlic sauce, from the specials board.

For our mains, another of the specials, monkfish wrapped in parma ham on crushed new potatoes with a saffron and clam sauce and stuffed pheasant breast, with mushroom risotto and braised red cabbage.

We were soon seated in the bright, homely restaurant area, the starters quickly followed.

The halloumi was delicious and, I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said, the sauce accompanying the clams was the best white wine and garlic sauce I have ever tasted.

The monkfish was perfectly cooked and beautifully presented, the pheasant equally delicious and full of flavour.

The portions were generous and it was almost a challenge to squeeze in our desserts, sticky toffee pudding and a chocolate brownie, they did defeat us, but thankfully the waitress was kind enough to wrap them up so we could take them home.

The meal cost £55.50 and worth every penny, a restaurant quality meal served in the cosy surroundings of a local pub.