IF such a thing as a restaurant owner’s bible existed, I’m sure there would be a long list of ‘dos and don’ts’.

I’m equally positive that among those golden rules to ensure customers’ comforts and satisfaction would be make sure your establishment is cosy and warm and make sure service is friendly and attentive.

Another for serving staff would be: inform diners what is and is not available when they order — and smile.

Sadly, The Boars Head failed on all those counts, when our party of six ate there to celebrate a milestone birthday.

It was a freezing night and though our table was close to a radiator, the temperature was chilly.

Our varied starters, which included Lancashire black pudding, served with crushed new potatoes, poached egg and wholegrain mustard sauce, at £5.75 and the soup of the day at £3.95, were all well cooked and received.

On to the mains.

Chicken Caesar salad, at £9.50, was the choice for two of our party, as they love anchovies — which were conspicuous by their absence when the dishes arrived. The question asked, the reply was that they were unavailable and we should have been informed on ordering. I chose slow-cooked lamb shoulder, at £11.95, but was underwhelmed when it didn’t arrive served as a piece of meat, but shredded in a mould shape.

The crispy confit of belly pork, at £9.75 served with a celeriac and apple puree, was pronounced delicious.

Then the staff disappeared and I had to seek them out to ask for dessert — a lovely gooey, sticky toffee pudding — but we didn’t bother looking for them again when it came to coffees. We had those at home instead.

All-in-all, a disappointing night.