There can be nothing more decadent than dinner at a country house hotel.

The town of Sherborne is lucky enough to have its very own such venue, just minutes from its bustling high street.

The Eastbury is in the enviably unique position of being in the heart of the town, yet still feeling like it is in the middle of the Dorset countryside.

Friendly staff greeted us warmly as soon as we walked through the door, meaning we instantly felt at home.

We had decided to stay the night at the hotel, rather than make the drive home after dinner, so took the opportunity to explore Sherborne's charming high street before our dinner reservation at the award-winning Seasons restaurant.

The eaterie, which boasts two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence, looks out over the hotel's pretty walled garden, and had been bustling during the afternoon with a private anniversary party, but was calm and relaxed when we sat down at our garden-view table.

The beauty of the Seasons menu, overseen by executive chef, Matthew Street, is that it features a wide range of dishes, catering for all tastes, whether you are after a fine dining experience, or something more relaxed. Perfect for families, such as ourselves. There is even a separate children's menu, but our two daughters were tempted by dishes from the a la carte selection.

To start, I chose the soup of the day (£6), while my husband and daughters shared three of the small plates for £10. They chose the cherry tomato, basil and feta bruschetta, crispy fried squid and venison & Old Winchester cheese arancini.

We enjoyed some delicious flavoured bread before our starters were served, but were cautious not to fill up before the food arrived.

My soup, which was served with focaccia bread and salted butter, was full of flavour, creamy and delicious, while the girls devoured the arancini, which was served with truffle and mayonnaise. The bruschetta was wonderfully fresh, while the freshly fried squid was wonderfully light and accompanied perfectly by aioli and fennel pollen.

Having already eyed up the desserts, I opted for the chicken Caesar salad (£14) for my main course, while my husband chose the salt aged ribeye steak (£28) and both our daughters went for the Durdle Door beer battered fish (£16).

The salad was large, but lovely and light, served with smoked chicken pecorino, gem lettuce and pancetta. The steak was beautifully presented with hand cut chips, rosemary and garlic butter, cherry tomato salsa and a rocket & parmesan salad. The tender meat was fullof flavour, while the chunky chips were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside – perfection.

There were sounds of appreciation from both our girls, as they tucked heartily into the fish, which was served with hand cut chips, crushed peas and a chunky tartare sauce.

Thankfully, there was a suitable break before we were presented with the dessert menu, which allowed time for our meals to digest.

I went for the caramelised banana slice (£9), and my husband chose the sticky toffee pudding (£7). Our daughters were rather too full for a big dessert, so requested a small portion each of salted caramel ice cream.

Again, the dishes were beautifully presented – the banana was complemented perfectly by the accompanying salted caramel ice cream and pecan brittle and the pudding was pleasingly classic, served with vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce.

We enjoyed an after-dinner drink in the adjoining cocktail bar, before retiring to bed, only to be woken by the sound of birdsong the next morning.

Heading down to breakfast, we were greeted by a plentiful buffet table, laden with a wide selection of fresh and dried fruits, muesli and cereals, natural yoghurt, croissants, muffins and farmhouse bread. A cooked breakfast is also available to order. My husband chose The Eastbury Breakfast with poached egg, back bacon, pork sausage, Laverstoke Park black pudding, grilled tomato and field mushroom, while myself and the girls selected just sausage and bacon.

The breakfast buffet and cooked Dorset Breakfast (£20) is available to residents and non residents.

All too soon it was time to check out, and head back to reality, having enjoyed a thoroughly relaxing stay with some top quality food. Highly recommended.

The Eastbury Hotel, Long Street, Sherborne

01935 813131