SOMETIMES on a Friday night all you want to do is let someone else cook the dinner and do the washing up, which means it’s time to head on out and find a friendly pub with good food.

The New Inn fits the bill on both counts, and is also near enough to home to drop in easily and offers a great welcome.

We were surprised to realise how long it was since we’d actually eaten there, but outwardly nothing has changed.

It’s a really traditional village pub, stone built with low ceilings - so watch your head gentlemen - and the interior, although it’s been opened up slightly at the end of the dining area, still has a proper bar for just a drink, with wooden settles and tables for dining, and a more restaurant-y section.

It’s also clearly popular - we hadn’t booked, but they managed to find us a table and all around us were groups of people eagerly tucking into their meals, so we were warned there might be a slight wait.

The menu isn’t extensive, but I think that’s a good sign as it usually means the chefs are concentrating on quality rather than trying to offer a huge range of meals which may have been pre-prepared, or rely over-much on the deep fat fryer. There’s also a specials menu, which shows they use fresh produce and adapt to what’s on offer locally.

There was indeed a short wait, but the pub was warm and cosy and we didn’t mind. The waitress seemed a little surprised to find that the venison pie with red wine gravy ((£12) was my choice and the chicken caesar salad (£9) was for my husband - but it’s one of his favourites and he did indulge in a bowl of chips with it to make it a man-sized meal.

The pie was delicious, a proper pie dish filled with chunks of meat in delicious gravy, and vegetables, topped with a covering of puff pastry. The veg were good too – carrot batons, chunks of courgette cooked al dente just as I like them, and cabbage.

With new potatoes it made a lovely dish - though I did have to tip all the veg on my main plate, as it seemed a bit odd to dip in and out of the individual serving dishes they came in. Still, I wasn’t doing the washing up so why should I worry?

He said the salad was perfect, a generous bowl with enough dressing to be tangy without soaking the leaves, and traditional anchovies alongside the chicken. Sometimes places hold back on anchovies, which I suppose aren’t to everyone’s taste, and substitute bacon instead.

Although both were filling meals, I couldn’t resist a look at the pudding menu and really fancied a hot chocolate brownie with ice cream (£5). It was lovely, soft and chewy and the perfect end to the evening. The waitress kindly brought two forks, but he didn’t get a look-in.

Our meal, with two pints of what I was informed was very well kept IPA and a half of Thatchers, came to £37, excellent value.