When the barn that now houses the Granary Restaurant was built in the 17th century, travellers would have had to rely on their wits to find it.
I, on the other hand, was relying on my sat nav, a kind of wit-vaporiser that deprives me of basic thinking skills when turned on.
It was for this reason that, having followed the device’s brusque instructions with the blind obedience of a hypnotised lemming, I was stumped when it took me up a rutted farm track to a dead end.
I may well have sat there, inert, hungry and confused, for several hours had my dining partner not come up with a sensible way around the problem.
What we discovered, when we found the Granary, was great food in a setting to match.
With sweeping views across rolling fields, the restaurant’s base, at Crag House Farm, feels a good deal more remote than its location on the edge of Cookridge.
The barn itself has been beautifully converted, and extended with the addition of a small conservatory into which we were led.
The service is a little rough around the edges -– the table next to us was served before us despite arriving after we’d sat down; we had to ask a couple of times for drinks before they arrived. The food, however, is far more polished.
The lunch menu is homely rather than complicated, in a manner which befits the setting; lasagne is about as exotic as the dishes get on a list that otherwise comprises the likes of rump steak and chips and gammon and egg.
Neither is it particularly cheap – salads start at £8.50, the sirloin steak and chips is £15.
The fact that the profits go to Caring For Life – the associated Christian charity that was set up to help the homeless and vulnerable – makes the prices easy to stomach, however.
As does the obvious quality of the ingredients.
I had the pie of the day (£8.95)– braised steak in a rich gravy with a puff pastry topping.
If the tenderness of the meat was anything to go by , the animal it came from was a lovingly cared for beast. Both the selection of roasted vegetables and the chips on the side were excellent too.
The meat in my dining partner’s cheeseburger (£9.50) was equally pleasing. An entirely unfussy plate of food, it was evidence of the benefit of keeping things simple.
With a couple of soft drinks and the piece of oaty date cake I bought from the farm shop on the way out – a dense, chewy treat – our bill came to about £23.
The Granary might take a bit of finding, but it’s worth the effort. Just don’t rely on your sat nav.