IT WAS apt that on the first really lovely day of the season we had decided to head down to South Cerney for a meal at Spring Lake.
Booking a table on the veranda at Lakeside Brasserie had been an inspiration and thankfully the weather held for a day of wall-to-wall sunshine.
From our vantage point above the lake we watched as a party of little girls screamed their way through a session being dragged across the lake by a speedboat on a series of inflatables.
Their parents stood alongside us sipping cold drinks and watching their children having the time of their lives.
Part of the Watermark Club, the Lakeside Brasserie runs a ski and wakeboard operation from the site, which is fun to watch while enjoying your meal.
In warm weather it is certainly worth taking the trouble to book ahead for a table on the veranda, where you can soak up the lakeside atmosphere.
Surrounded on both sides by colourful lakeside homes, the restaurant is the perfect place to while away a few hours over a sunny weekend or after a walk along any of the scenic routes around the Cotswold Water Park.
We picked a bank holiday Monday to dine at the brasserie.
The place was buzzing.
Taking a more leisurely approach to the day, our meal started with the antipasti board for two (£5.50), filled with cured meats, sun dried tomatoes and fresh bread. With a glass or two of wine, it's the perfect way to begin an al fresco meal in the sunshine.
Staff brought the children's meals at the same time so they weren't hanging around waiting. One enjoyed a homemade Margherita pizza (£9.95), for which the brasserie is justly famous, while the other picked chicken chunks and chips from the children's menu (£5.95).
Main courses are a mixture of gourmet burgers, fish, chicken or steak dishes, with a couple of salads thrown in.
I chose the Big Texas BBW Burger (£10.95), which came with melted cheese and bacon, while my husband had the Lakeside burger (9.95), with melted Cheddar and spicy chilli jam.
The burgers come from Jesse Smith's award-winning butchers in Cirencester and were accompanied by fries and salad. The helpings were very generous and the flavour of the burgers lived up to their reputation.
Pudding for the children was the large and indulgent chocoholic sundae (£5.95), but you could also choose brownies, lemon meringue sundae and hot sponge puds, among others.
Lakeside Brasserie is an ideal destination but book ahead to get the best tables. Helen Blow