Situated in the centre of Biggar, thirty miles outside of Edinburgh, The Elphinstone Hotel is a traditional and charming Coaching Inn. Owners, Robert and Janette Allen, along with their son, Michael, have been at the heart of the business for over twenty five years and offer a warm and friendly welcome to visitors and locals alike. In March 2016 The Elphinstone was awarded The John Brinkins Award for Excellence in Tourism at the 2016 Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards.
We found all the staff at The Elphinstone very welcoming and friendly and we were allowed to make the choice of sitting in the restaurant for food or settling in the cosy lounge. We chose the lounge since the kids wanted to sit by the fire and it was a great little atmosphere. It looks like a traditional old inn so full of character. You can quite happily sit in front of the roaring fire and enjoy a glass of wine, a rusty nail or even a hot toddy - perfect for keeping away the cold.
The menu is very varied here with something to suit all tastes with a focus very much on sourcing and utilising the best fresh, local produce and from further afield utilising Scotland’s wonderful larder. You have some traditional Scottish dishes such as Cullen Skink, Morag Dhu and haggis in a crisp panko breadcrumb for starters and Haggis with a wholegrain mustard sauce, Fisherman's Pie and Pork and Black Pudding Stack for mains. Also on the menu are a range of dishes from around the world so you have no shortage of choice.
The Elphinstone Hotel is very family friendly so they also have some lovely children's menus. Both of my children chose from this menu and everything looked and tasted homemade which I was very impressed with. Logan decided to go with the pizza and chips and Harlow chose the macaroni which comes with garlic bread. She didn't want the garlic bread though and the staff were more than happy to swap this for chips instead. Other options on the children's menu included a burger, hot dog and chicken strips plus a few more.
For us adults the main menu had so much choice that we took our time reading and selecting our dishes. Everything sounded so tasty and there's even daily specials which change regularly in case you want to go off menu. We stuck with the menu though and went for prawn cocktail and deep fried brie to start. The succulent cold water prawns were covered in a lovely homemade marie rose sauce served on a bed of salad leaves and the two massive wedges of melting brie inside a crisp crumb coating were served with dressed leaves and cranberry sauce. Honestly both so tasty.
For mains the husband went for an 8oz sirloin steak (which is locally sourced and hung for a minimum of 21 days) plus the king prawns in garlic butter as a topping, and I went for the haddock and prawn mornay. I was impressed with the portion sizes when the dishes arrived. The steak was accompanied with salad, chips, onion rings, fried tomato and mushrooms as well as those delicious prawns. The husband asked for the steak to be rare and the chef did an amazing job. I haven't tasted such a juicy rare steak like that in a long time. It was perfect and the seasoning was just right. I'll be getting this dish the next time we visit.
My haddock and prawn mornay was a delight. The fresh fillet of haddock with succulent Atlantic prawns dressed in a creamy cheese sauce was mouth watering. Everything was cooked perfectly, even my side dish of boiled veg (potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower cheese) was spot on. Honestly couldn't fault anything, even the service was timely and the staff were always on hand if we needed anything. We were all so full after our scrummy dinner that none of us could manage a dessert. Maybe next time. We retired for the night and couldn't wait for breakfast in the morning.
Breakfast came around fast after a great nights sleep and it didn't disappoint. Our table was set and ready for us in the restaurant and the waiter showed us were the cereal, juice, yogurts, fruit were etc before pouring us tea and coffee and retrieving some freshly toasted bread. Harlow was more than happy tucking into her cereal and toast and Logan ate so much toast I've no idea how he did it! Us adults went for a hot breakfast with the hubby selecting black pudding, haggis, poached eggs, tattie scone and fried tomatoes. I went for bacon, tattie scone, black pudding and poached eggs. All super delicious and cooked just right, again we couldn't fault anything.
So if you're ever near Biggar (only 40 minutes from Edinburgh) I'd highly recommend you pop in past The Elphinstone Hotel for a bite to eat and a wee drink. Food is served in all areas of the hotel with the lounge and restaurant being the most popular but staff are very accommodating and happy to be of service. A great family friendly hotel serving the tastiest of food to its customers.
This food was gifted in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.