SINCE opening its doors in August 2011, McBrides@The White Hart in Caldicot has served almost 10,000 customers - quite an achievement at a time when restaurants are struggling up and down the country.

But the secret to the business'

success, say welcoming owners Ian McBride and Debbie Watkins, is that they have designed their restaurant to cater for diners in tough economic times.

McBrides is an all-you-can eat buffet restaurant, providing dinner for £10.95 or lunch for £8.95 (£8.50 for senior citizens).

But it is a buffet restaurant at the top of its game, offering a wide range of well prepared food that doesn't feel like its been standing there for hours.

For starters, my partner and I tried the two soups on offer - a French onion and a vegetable.

For the second course my other half piled his plate high with garlic bread, lamb madras, and shepherds pie, while I went for potato skins, garlic mushrooms, and spicy chicken wings - a slightly random selection, but all very tasty.

The main course was a carvery, with beef, turkey, and pork plus all the expected trimmings.

The meats were tender, juicy, and tasted freshly cooked.

Dessert was slightly disappointing.

My strawberry gateaux and my boyfriend's chocolate gateux were decent enough, but tasted shop bought.

However, the fantastically attentive Ms Watkins had urged us to try the chef's home made rice pudding, so perhaps we should have opted for that.

And at £10.95 for four courses - and more if we'd wanted it - it was a great deal, with great service throughout the evening.

Wine ranged from £10.95 to £16 a bottle, and there was a good selection of soft drinks, and a couple of beers on offer.

An evening meal for two adults, with a bottle of house wine came to £32.85.

For more details visit or dial 01291 424030.