SINCE the grand opening of Stanbrook Abbey’s new restaurant ‘The Refectory’ I had been dying to try it.

This week, I finally got the chance, and I was not at all disappointed.

Set in the picturesque countryside of Callow End, just outside Worcester, Stanbrook Abbey’s new restaurant is the result of a multi-million pound makeover of what was, until 2009, a functioning convent.

Walking in, my companion and I were immediately impressed by the light, open setting of the dining room, the design of which stays true to the historic nature of the building.

We were among the first diners to arrive at the restaurant, which had only just opened, but could see a large number of tables that had been reserved.

For starters, we both went for seared scallops with sweetcorn puree from the menu, compiled by award-winning head chef David Humphreys.

The scallops were delicious, and the sweetcorn puree was a simple but ideal accompaniment with the coriander crisps that they came with.

When it came to the main course, there was a lot on the menu that caught my eye, but in the end, I couldn’t resist the rib eye steak.

The steak came with an arrangement of small mushrooms inside a larger one, some salad, and chips.

It was a simple meal, but as steaks go, it was one of the best I have eaten in a long time.

The chips came as God intended chips to be: thick, and beautifully cooked, being crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle.

My companion had Welsh lamb, which came with an array of vegetables and looked endlessly tempting.

For dessert, we both decided to order treacle tart with clotted cream.

This was easily the highlight of the meal, being subtly flavoured with a hint of lemon, and was a great way to round off a meal which left us both well fed and satisfied with what we had eaten.

The meals at the refectory are not cheap, my steak alone cost £26.50, but for the quality of meal we had, in addition to the friendly and quick service, and beautiful surroundings, it was well worth it, and I would absolutely recommend The Refectory to anyone looking for a truly special setting for a high quality meal.