After a light session in the gym in an attempt to prolong a New Year's resolution, a friend and I decided we wanted a hearty meal to fill us up.
We decided to act on a recommendation and head to the Royal Oak in Aubourn, instructed to try out their rack of ribs combo.
Set in a tiny village that would not be amiss in Midsomer Murders, the Royal Oak looked like a proper country pub.
The last time Food Monster visited the Royal Oak, it was clearly having a bad day.
But as we walked in to the bar with a roaring open fire in the corner and a small group of locals stood at the bar, it definitely had a promising feel, although the initial welcome left a little to be desired.
The lady behind the bar seemed too deep in conversation with her regulars to welcome us.
But once we had been noticed and the ice broken, the service soon picked up.
We were invited to pick a table and have a look at the extensive menu before placing our order at the bar.
The menu had a varied choice of starters and then three pages of what sounded good quality 'pub grub'.
My dining partner and I decided to share a starter of garlic bread with cheese while we waited for our mains.
I chose the 10oz sirloin steak, served with new potatoes, onion rings, mushrooms and a tomato.
My friend decided to take on the rack of ribs combo we had been encouraged to try.
It consisted of three ribs, a 4oz steak, onion rings, chips, mushrooms, tomato and coleslaw.
I was driving so ordered a diet coke while my friend had a pint of Black Sheep ale.
Having placed our order, we sat back and enjoyed the warm surroundings of the pub.
The fire was crackling and the walls were decorated with lots of aviation pictures.
Our starter arrived, delivered to our table with a friendly smile.
There were three small pieces of bread coated in cheese, which were devoured rather quickly.
The bread was a little soggy, as if it had been warmed up as opposed to toasted.
However, the flavour was great. Neither the garlic or cheese was overpowering and it was a pleasant enough starter.
As the main meals were brought to our table, we noticed that the bar area was filling up, creating an audible but pleasant atmosphere.
My medium steak was cooked to perfection, pink and juicy with lots of flavour. The new potatoes were firm but not hard, just how I like them and the onion rings were in a lovely light batter.
The rack of ribs combo came on one of the biggest plates I have ever seen.
There were three ribs, each with copious amounts of meat on them, covered in a barbecue sauce.
My dining partner said the sauce was perfect, tangy but not too sickly.
He too had asked for his steak to be cooked medium, but it was probably verging on medium rare.
Again, it was flavoursome and juicy, everything a good steak should be.
The vegetables that we had ordered failed to arrive at our table, but because of the sheer amount of food on our plates, we didn't miss them.
Once finished, our plates were cleared by an attentive member of staff and offered the desserts menu.
We were too full, however, and declined, instead choosing to pay the bill and make our way home.
The final bill of just over £37 was good value for the amount of food that was on our plates.
We left content having enjoyed the hearty meal we had set out for, although it may require a few more sessions in the gym to work off.
THE FOOD: Garlic Bread with cheese £2.20; 10oz sirloin steak £15.95; ribs combo £14.50; diet coke £2; Black Sheep ale £3
FINAL VERDICT: Pleasant enough pub offering wide range of ‘pub grub’. Nicely cooked food and not too expensive.