A RELAXING night out with good food and a good atmosphere is always high on my wish list and when I dined with my girlfriend at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, we got what we wanted.

From the moment we arrived we knew service would be good, with the hotels valet proving we were in for an enjoyable evening.

There was a high-quality finish at the restaurant and after being greeted by the attentive head waitress we were shown to our luxury armchair-styled seats.

Arriving on a cold March evening it was nice to see soft lighting and candles on every table.

When studying the new menu - the first of five new Scottish Steak Clubs menus across the UK - my eyes were drawn to the steak list, but that had to wait.

As a classic sharing starter, expectations were low but the freshly cooked breads served with roasted garlic, warm tomato sauce and dipping oil with balsamic vinegar was exactly what we needed, with the roasted garlic proving a particular favourite.

Relaxing further into our seats undecided if we could eat any more we decided to go for lighter starters of scallops and tempura battered king prawn lollipops.

I was left intrigued by the lollipops’ unique design, as the £8.00 prawns arrived elevated on sticks buried in a grass mound. Despite the design, the taste could not be argued as I savoured every bite of the succulent and juicy king prawns.

I was allowed one mouthful of my girlfriend’s starter and I soon realised why she kept her guard raised. Each bite of the scallops, which cost £10.95, was taken with delight with thick balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes the perfect accompaniment.

Service was outstanding throughout the meal but the food was the real deal and to our delight the steak was next. Cooked on a special Josper grill our steaks were grilled over charcoal fuel for supreme flavour.

I went for the classic fillet. Examining the cooking chart I settled for rare, not quite ready to request it blue. While my girlfriend went for the special USDA Prime, 10oz New York Strip which we were told was the highest grade of United States Department of Agricultural beef.

My 8oz fillet was plump and juicy packed full of flavour whilst the home-cut chips, flavoursome watercress, flat mushrooms and grilled tomato proved to be a great bonus to the king of dishes, which was well worth its £28.00 price.

Despite proving slightly too fatty, my girlfriend’s steak at £30.00 was also very good, with the peppercorn sauce a flavoursome addition.

Serving desserts in shots we tried six of the best after being advised three each would be enough.

We tried knickerbocker glory, chocolate mousse, cranachan, fruit meringue fool, lemon cheesecake and sticky toffee pudding, and we were not disappointed.

The latter was our favourite and we fought over each spoonful. Its rich taste and sticky texture were balanced with soft vanilla ice cream with one shot plenty to satisfy our sweet cravings.

The evening offered the perfect balance of great food, superb service and a nice atmosphere; we left thinking of another date we could both return.

For more details go to www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/macdonald-windsor-hotel/