Ate from my first official festive menu this week - so Christmas must really be on its way.
I’ve been an occasional visitor to the Claremont Inn in Polmont in all its guises and identities over the years. In fact I’ve even been a visitor when there wasn’t a Claremont and its predecesor was the Polmontbank,a long-gone Tudor-styled white and black establishment at the opposite end of what is now the Co-op car park.
I’ve liked some of those entities more than others, but it was always its handiness to home that proved the major attraction.
That’s changed with the return to Polmont of owners Gregor McIntosh and his wife Audra.
From a family with a huge reputation in the dining trade, and involved with The Whyteside in the village in its heyday, they clearly know what people want from a place like the Claremont. The undoubted popularity of their other restaurants, The Dutch Inn in Skinflats and Hollybank in Stirling, are testament to that.
They’ve been running the Claremont Inn since February, and they’ve been steadily working their magic over the months. It’s now the type of place I’ll happily go back to again and again.
The normal menu has everything you could ask for, covering all the favourites and a few more besides. Enough to keep anyone happy.
But something strange came over me last Thursday, and I got all Christmassy.
It was a good choice. Myra raved about her two choices. And if she’s happy, I’m happy ... we’ll not go into what it’s like when she’s none-too-pleased.
She started with the wild boar terrine, oatcakes and red onion chutney, which she was still talking about the next morning. I chose the sweet herring, with salad leaves and a dill and mustard dressing - delicious.
My medallions of beef fillet in a dijon mustard sauce and Myra’s turkey came served with a mix of sprouts and carrot along with both roast and boiled potatoes.
The slices of fillet I had were tender enhanced by the mild sauce, the vegetables well-cooked and still with a bit of bite. I’m a man who likes his tatties, and these were perfectly done.
Myra’s turkey was another hit - moist and easily cut and a helping so big she had to ask me to help out!
Rounded off with a slice of white chocolate cheesecake served with raspberries and a small jug of fresh cream, this was a great meal from people who obviously know what they’re doing.
The Claremont Inn, Main Street, Polmont FK2 0QP, (01324) 719205