LIVING in Newport, the trip up to the White Hart, just outside Crickhowell took us 45 minutes or so, but easy parking and a quaint roadside pub should always be worth the journey and, to our relief, tonight was no exception.

We had been advised to book a table, but we needn't have bothered, the restaurant was quiet - even if the bar was busy.

To start I had traditional Welsh Rarebit made with herbs and wholegrain mustard, Welsh cheese and Brains beer on toasted granary bread. Made on the premises and for £3.95 a good start to the meal.

My wife forgot the diet and had battered Brie wedges with minted gooseberry conserve for £3.95, which, she said, was gorgeous because it was served warm.

The main course came along after 15 minutes or so, just enough time to get ready for Carw Wen - escalopes of local venison with a rich brandy and blackcurrant sauce (£10.95) and for my wife home-made spinach and potato cakes with a creamy leek sauce (£7.50).

As I tried both I can say they were both very good! A good selection of vegetables came with the meal so we didn't need any extras.

Good old Granny's apple pie and Powys pudding - vanilla sponge with a whiskey and marmalade sauce served with custard for dessert. We shared our desserts and enjoyed both but the slightly more unusual Powys pudding was the best.

A pleasant atmosphere if a little quiet on a Tuesday night and friendly service helped us appreciate good food just that little bit more. Mark Lewis