It is an ethos which runs through every facet of this acclaimed pub restaurant. Led by Aga, the service is well-drilled but not to the point of being humourless, while the restaurant's phone line even offers an extension straight to the chef himself.
The design and layout of the pub/restaurant is equally humble. With hand-crafted wooden tables, exposed beams and low celings, it has all the cosy, textural appeal of a classic country inn.
All in all, dining at Freemasons is an immensely pleasurable experience, and as such has won accolades such as best pub in the Good Food Guide 2015 and 2016.
But it's the food that truly sets this restaurant-set-in-a-pub apart from an abundance of local competition. Like a Pixar film or a Saturday night talent show, Freemasons’ menus manage to please and delight every kind of demographic – accessible but with plenty of twists and intricacy.
Lancashire’s lush Ribble Valley plays host to the food and supplies much of it, too. But Smith refuses to play the 'local produce' card for the sake of it, and instead picks his ingredients according to quality and quality alone. Expect savoury courses which pair luxurious proteins with eclectic accompaniments - like Native lobster with Tandoori roast, crispy claw ravioli, broccoli, yoghurt and Amaretti - and desserts that are wonderful to look at and even better to eat.
The restaurant is open from Wednesday - Sunday.