The Mayflower is already one of my favourite places on earth – and this year it’s got even better.

The addition of Ovation restaurant at the top of the building means you can now dine in style as well as see some of the country’s most spectacular touring shows.

A friend and I visited the stylish restaurant packed with tasteful prints from some of the theatre’s top musical treats and were spoilt rotten by our friendly hosts!

If you choose to take the stairs, there’s plenty of climbing, but it’s worth it for the view alone – not to mention the incredible menu.

The deliciously tasty mushroom and Parmesan risotto (£5.75) was the pick of a selection of starters we sampled. The creamy and thick leek and potato soup (£3.25) and ham hock terrine (£3.50) were also superb.

To follow, I opted for a pan roasted 28 day aged 7oz fillet steak (£24.95). Topped with mushrooms and a knob of butter which melted into the steak like a dream and served with hand cut chips and green beans, my medium rare beef was cooked to absolute perfection and was one of the best I’ve eaten anywhere in the world.

My companion’s braised shoulder of lamb, served with creamed potato, caponata and rosemary jus (£16.00), was mouth-watering.

We also sampled a selection of desserts – the warm sticky toffee pudding (£3.50) was the perfect winter warmer and the vanilla spiced panna cotta (£5.25) was the best way to an end a fantastic dinner.

The a la carte menu changes seasonally and there’s also a set package menu for each show, which, for Chess, included a delicious looking steak and Stilton pie as well as Hampshire sea bass and free range pork.

Returning to the restaurant at the interval for cheese, dessert, coffee or a glass of wine is the ultimate in decadence.

But Ovation is not just for theatre-goers, it makes a wonderful setting for any special occasion and is a real culinary treat.

The food, wine, setting and service deserve dozens of their own curtain calls.

Ovation, The Mayflower, Commercial Road, Southampton.

Tel: 023 8071 1833.