FOR a lovely meal in beautiful surroundings, look no further than the Olway Inn and Hotel, Usk.

On a hot May evening, the meal in the beautiful gardens overlooking the rolling hills of the Monmouthshire countryside could not have been bettered.

To start I had crispy duck salad with spring onions, cucumber and hoi sin sauce (£4.95) which was extremely filling.

My boyfriend had the mini crab cakes with sweet chilli dip (£5.95), which of course I had to try too and which were absolutely delicious.

For the main course I had rack of Welsh lamb marinaded with garlic and honey with dauphinoise potato, purple sprouting broccoli and red wine jus (£14.95).

I have to say I'm very fussy when it comes to lamb - too pink is too raw and well done ruins it. But when my medium lamb arrived I was absolutely delighted.

The Olway prides itself on providing fresh local produce and you could certainly taste that in this main dish.

My boyfriend opted for a 10oz steak from the specials board (£9.95), accompanied by think cut chips and salad and proved as popular with him as it did with the other diners, all of who seemed to be ordering the same.

Olway Inn and Hotel, Usk For dessert we shared a crunchy on the top, creamy in the middle crème brulee (£3.95).

With wine and a soft drink, the bill came to £52.45.

Located in a very peaceful spot at the edge of Usk, the Olway Inn and Hotel on Chepstow Road, proved to be a hidden summer gem - ideal for lazy summer nights.