SITUATED in the centre of Usk, former 17th century coaching inn The Three Salmons Hotel has long enjoyed a good reputation for its solid fare.

My partner and I arrived there for lunch one Saturday last month.

They were doing a steady trade as we were welcomed by charming larger than life Spanish restaurant manager Ramon Fernandez-Gomez who is something of an institution after 30 years’ service.

To start my partner trumped me with the excellent king prawns in a garlic, butter and white wine sauce (£9.95) while I was a tad more conservative going for the smoked salmon with salad (£5.95).

The sauce with the king prawns was delightful ­ the fresh bread came in very handy for mopping up the rich remnants.

There was nothing wrong with the smoked salmon but I’d certainly missed a trick.

For main course my partner chose the sea bream with new potatoes and sauce vierge (£14.95) while I went for the fillet steak (£19.95) served with chips, tomato and mushroom.

Again the sauce ­ made from olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomatoes and chopped basil ­ accompanying the fish was first rate as was the fine cut of steak, perfectly cooked at medium rare.

With two pints of the delicious Stowford Press cider on tap, a Becks Vier and espresso, the bill came to £59.18.

Great, honest fresh food, wonderful and friendly service with a bill that didn¹t break the bank. I’d go back any time.