Last Friday was one of those days when nothing went right.
I got soaked to the skin in the horrendous downpours and an interview and subsequent feature fell through because of the rain, but not before I wasted a couple of hours on it which made for a very unproductive day at the office for me.
I trudged out of work crabbit and narky and sank into the seat of my car feeling sorry for myself. Then I remembered I was going to The Stables for dinner and things started to look at a bit brighter through the incessant raindrops. The thought of not cooking instantly perked me up.
I love cooking, but sometimes it can be a chore and last Friday it would definitely have been a chore.
Then when I picked my daughter up from her mum’s she greeted me with a huge cuddle and the widest smile any dad could hope for. My bad day was quickly fading into obscurity.
A nice, long soak in the tub followed which mellowed me out even more before the short drive to Stenhousemuir with my daughter and mum.
The place is relaxed with plenty of friendly faces and even though it was pretty empty by its own standards, it still felt like a lively place.
The rain had also stopped helping to wash away any remnants of the stinker of a day I’d had. Cheery had overtaken glum.
At the table my daughter was instantly supplied with felt pens and a colouring-in book, much to her pleasing, so she set about her colours with gusto as we scanned the menus for food.
I was ravenous as I hadn’t eaten much, which would have added to the earlier crabbit-ness.
The regular menu was massive and there was also the 1-2-3 menu to consider.
This gave you the option of one, two or three courses for a cheaper price, but it took me ages to order something because I couldn’t make my mind up.
I eventually picked the haggis fritter and Cajun chicken while my mum opted for a bruschetta that wasn’t even on the menu and cottage pie. Louisa got her favourite chicken nuggets from the kids’ menu.
I have to say the meal was probably the best pub grub I’ve had since I was old enough to enter licensed premises and I ate a bit off everyone’s plate, leading to my mum reprimanding me for being a “gannet”.
Desserts were also a tasty treat, especially my cheesecake. I loved it.
I had to loosen the belt a notch afterwards, thoroughly satisfied with what forced this adjustment.
The young waitresses, Sam and Lisa, were charming and friendly, fussing over Louisa who loved the attention and was beaming all the way home.
I can genuinely say The Stables was a ray of sunshine on a very rainy day.
The Stables is Mount Gerald, off Corrie Avenue, Stenhousemuir FK5 4XA. Telephone (01324) 558805
or log on to www.stables.uk.com.