Excellence ... and not just on the plate

The elegant decor at Livingston's
The elegant decor at Livingston's
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Dining at Livingston’s Restaurant is quite a lovely experience.

You’d think the main draw of this Michelin-listed eatery would of course be its food.

But while what’s on the plate is nothing short of excellent, there are other factors too.

The truth is that, in my view, this Linlithgow gem offers everything a splendid restaurant should – a place to relax and simply enjoy a memorable meal with family and friends.

Despite being situated on the high street of a thriving, historic town, the intimate Livingston’s gives its diners an opportunity to escape the noise and bustle.

Priced at £41.75 for a three-courser, dinner is served in one of three areas which boast views over the wildlife-welcoming gardens, elegant tableware and soft lighting.

Our amuse bouche was small chunks of beetroot served with goat’s cheese and dressing and a pleasant appetiser for what was to come.

My starter was a single hand-dived scallop served with pork belly and glazed carrots.

I can’t remember the last time I ate scallop, but I doubt I’ll forget this one which was perfectly cooked, meaty and melt in the mouth.

For our mains, we sampled the Aberdeen Angus fillet, the lamb rack and the loin of venison.

Plates were placed with the correct people without the inevitable ‘who’s-having-the...’ question, and dishes were washed down with a super smooth pinot noir.

My venison, cooked medium rare, was served with artichoke, charred baby gem, mash and fig jus.

The meat was wonderful – rich, tender and not too gamey.

Compliments were sent to the chef for the delicious lamb which had been completely devoured when the plate returned to the kitchen.

For dessert, we were treated to delightful Scottish strawberry delice, strawberry and elderflower sorbet and a warm mini strawberry doughnut.

The hazelnut pannacotta also raised smiles, serves with treacle ice cream and crushed candied hazelnuts.

I enjoyed a cheese board with hearty homemade biscuits.

A winner of two rosettes and a Macallan Out of Town Restaurant Award, it’s clear Livingston’s has many more accolades to come.

Celebrations have already started as this fine restaurant is now in its 20th year.

So, Happy Birthday Livingston’s from happy patrons, and here’s to the next 20.