I may have retained my youthful good looks, but don't let that fool you.

I remember the days when you could get a drink on a Sunday you had to go outwith your village.

Can you imagine people doing that now?

If you were a bona fide traveller you could get a drink at the Howwood Inn, and we flocked to it.

Although I will say the little lady in question at the time, was not Toots.

But through time everything changes and the Howwood Inn is no more. It has been replaced with the Boarding House and a brand new glass fronted extension to boot.

We had heard good things about what was happening at this joint so decided to give it a go for ourselves.

Let's hope I didn't bump into the date from my previous encounters there many moons ago.

On approach, it still looked familiar, but the new extension brought it bang up to do date.

When we arrived there was plenty of parking for the old Buick.

We walked into the original bar area and were given a warm welcome. We had booked for 3pm as I had heard it could get busy on a Saturday.

One of the bar staff Lorna greeted us with a beaming smile and explained the restaurant team would show us to our table. She did look familiar, but was far too young - maybe I had dated her mother!

Toots did her best goldilocks impersonation and tried a couple of tables, before deciding on a cosy bench seat.

It was a dreich, miserable and we were glad to get in the cosy setting. Part of the original inn is retained with exposed stone walls adding to the atmosphere. The area then leads into a new extension which is bright and welcoming.

We were given some time to look through the menu and after a quick scran scan it all sounded mighty fine to me.

Toots spotted a pinot grigio blush and decided we would have a couple of those to be going on with.

They do a set menu on a Saturday or there was the a la cart option.

For me it had to be my usual. Steak and chips - well done ofcourse and sauce on the side.

Toots however was making a right meal of going through the menu. They would be serving dinner by the time she had decided.

Our server was soon over to see if we were ready to order and this time we finally were.

It took me seconds to order up.

"Well done steak and chips, sauce on the side and throw in a couple of onion rings as I'm pushing the boat out," I reeled off.

Toots had finally decided to go for the chargrilled pork loin which came with mustard mash and black pudding.

There was a brisk lunchtime trade and as we were not having starters my tummy was doing somersaults, but the scran soon arrived.

My plate looked fit for a king. A lovely looking juicy steak and all the trimmings - mushroom, tomatoes and great thick cut chips. They were ideal for dipping in the peppercorn sauce.

It was certainly a meal and a half for me and would set me up for the day.

The Moll's chargrilled pork certainly looked like a more refined dish - a little bit like the little lady herself.

She gave the whole flavour combo the thumbs up.

"Who new pork tenderloin would go so well with the black pudding," she enthused.

It wasn't just any black pudding it was Stornoway and was rolled in breadcrumbs. With some tasty looking vegetables on the side Toots was one happy lady.

We had no room for desert but Toots ordered up another pinot grigio blush - she claims its one of her five a day.

The Boarding House might be the new kid on the block, but it is certainly making a name for itself in all the right ways.

The Boarding House

Main Street, Howwood PA9 1BQ

Tel 01505 703119


Sirloin steak £20

Onion rings £1

Sauce £2.50

Chargrilled pork loin £13


Pinot grigio blush x 3 £12.75

Flat white £2.40

Americano £2.20

Total £53.85

Atmosphere 3

Service 3

Food 3