Mussels – it had to be mussels. My son had decided well in advance what he was having for dinner.

At seven years old, I would not have gone for the mussels.

But he’s scanned the menu for Rick Stein’s on my phone and he was sure.

We were heading to the Marlborough restaurant and looking forward to it very much after a four-mile Ridgeway walk to build up our appetite.

We were seated by our excellent waitress and the first thing my daughter said was ‘ooh, this is posh’.

And at first we weren’t sure – was it a hushed tones kid of place or was boisterous chat okay?

But it soon became apparent in the buzzy room we were in that despite the formal attire of the staff and the wood and books on the walls, it was pretty relaxed and informal.

While my son had chosen well in advance I had not. But when there’s oysters on the menu, I find it hard to look the other way.

And these were quite the thing – three, served in the shells, tasting of the sea and themselves, alongside spicy sausages. The idea is you get a bit of both then a sip of crisp, dry, white wine.

I followed the instruction to the letter and it was a triumph, marred only by my family looking on aghast saying ‘how can you eat them?’.

My son has the aforementioned mussels in cider sauce with chips, a twist on the classic moules mariniere. As any parent would, I had to try them and they were lovely – plump tasty mussels in a dippable creamy sauce.

The boy started off well, but his appetite for mussels did wane before the bowl was empty.

My daughter loved her steak and chips. It was a classic done well.

For my main, I had the Indonesian seafood curry - sea bass, cod and prawns, served with basmati rice and a green bean and grated coconut salad with crisp fried shallots, garlic and chilli.

A gorgeous bright yellow, this was a treat – plenty of chunky prawns and hunks of fish. And zip – lots of zip. But the star of the dish was the side beans/coconut/shallots. Really refreshing and a perfect foil to the rich curry.

My wife started with the pea and sorrel soup – light, full of flavour, vivid green – then the hake, which was served on a tomato base.

We were full but obviously had pudding – a crème brulee with passion fruit and a walnut tart.

The crème brulee was a little loose but still lovely. It was the walnut tart the surprised – unexpectedly light as a feather and delicious.

So did we enjoy our lunch – absolutely. Does it fall in the once-in-a-while treat category price-wise – probably.

But if you’re looking for a celebration spot or somewhere to treat yourself, put Rick at the top of your list.