It’s eight years since my wife and I moved from the Peak District to live in the North East, a part of the world I did not know well, and we have had a great time investigating recommended dining-out venues in various parts of the region. It’s been quite an eye-opener – which is rather surprising, you may feel, coming from a reviewer of 300plus establishments of various kinds subsequently published in newspapers and magazines from Orkney to the tip of the South Coast. Special delight this week was a meal with friends at The Talbot in Bishopton and I have no hesitation in saying that it’s a real winner. I don’t believe in singling out individual dishes for comment because there is a great deal of subjectivity involved in this arena and we all know that dishes are only as good as the chef on the night. Suffice it to say that the restaurant is roomy, cosy and elegant, as the family-owners claim. The menu is varied and occasionally even adventurous, the presentation on our visit was professional, the quality of the food excellent (the opinion of all four members of the party) and the staff helpful without being intrusive. All in all, it was a great evening experience. We shall be back! Just make sure that there’s plenty of merlot in stock. It’s not French or a great fine wine but very acceptable nevertheless and it doesn’t come with a fancy price tag. One final comment: let me stress that no incentive of any kind was offered to me to write a complimentary review of The Talbot.
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