I was a very proud dad last weekend when my daughter achieved her 10-metre badge for swimming so, being late on a Sunday evening, the first thing I thought of was to treat her to a nice dinner.
I’m sure she would probably have preferred a new toy but she’s got too many and Christmas is coming up when she’ll gets loads more.
One place I knew I’d get a good family meal is The Fairway in Bathgate, an old haunt of mine in my younger days when I worked there as a struggling student.
It was nice to see there’s still a few old faces – on both sides of the bar – but The Fairway is one of those places that people will always go back to because they know what they’re getting.
The word Ronseal springs to mind.
It’s called The Fairway due to its close proximity to Bathgate Golf Club, famous for being where the future Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher – father of glamorous TV presenter Kirsty – learned the sport as a boy. His nephew Stephen, also a famous Scottish golfer, was a member there too.
Like much of the menu, the restaurant has a very traditional decor with warm colours and a fire and mantlepiece to give it that homely feel.
As we were rather hungry we skipped starters and feasted our bulging eyes straight on to the main meals section of the menu, which hasn’t changed that much over the past 10 years.
The chef Tom, who has a reputation for sometimes being a little grumpy, has been there forever but he is also known for delivering a top notch menu full of traditional favourites and a mixture of modern dishes.
The fact that many of the meals are mainstays on the menu speaks for itself.
I chose the steak pie with chips , Karen had lasagne and Louisa a bowl of chilli with rice and garlic bread.
All the dishes were simple and delicious, nothing fancy, but tasty as hell with quality ingredients. The thing I like most about the steak pie is that it comes with a separate puff pastry planted on top, just like my dear old mum makes it.
In The Fairway, you’ll know exactly where to find some of the desserts as there is usually a crowd of kids gathered round the refrigerated cake stand with excited faces pointing at the one they’re going to have.
We shared some of the chocolate cake you can view in the stand from your table which brought a perfect meal to a perfect end.
For me, The Fairway is a hole in one every time.