This recent wintry weather is a bit of a downer– I’ve never felt it so freezing before. It’s supposed to be Spring, but the cold bites right through to your bones.
It was such a night last Saturday when I visited The Restaurant at Beecraigs with all my winter woollies on, desperate for some hot food and sanctuary from the bitterness coursing through my body, despite my many layers.
If you’ve ever seen the episode of ‘Friends’ when Joey wears absolutely every piece of clothing Chandler owns, you’ll get a good mental picture of how I looked, although I didn’t wear sports shorts on top of my trousers like Joey.
It wasn’t long before I was roasting though, as the warmth from the log fire quickly put some colour back in my cheeks.
My dinner date, a dashing West Lothian filly named Karen, asked if I had been working out, so I didn’t say anything to dispel her assumption given the ‘cred’ it afforded me, if only for a short time until the truth cuttingly revealed itself.
Being a former West Lothian man myself, I have visited Beecraigs Country Park many a time, but it’s mostly when the weather is good, because it’s an outdoors kind of place as you’d imagine.
It’s a great park with a massive picnic and play area, loads of walks through the woods, a fishery, deer farm and plenty more I’m sure. The place is swarming with families and sun worshippers on a hot summer’s day, much like Callendar Park.
The restaurant was quite famous for its venison dish – sourced from the deer farm – at one time, but the delicacy is no longer on the menu as the owners have trimmed it down.
While there’s less on the a la carte menu now, it’s definitely a case of quality over quantity, as our meal from starter to dessert was superb.
The location is also quite stunning and wherever you sit in the hexagonal (or is it pentagonal) shaped room you have a sweeping panoramic view spanning as far as Edinburgh and the Forth bridges to the east, and even the Ochils to the north.
It’s a fine view in the summer, but it’s just as breathtaking coated in a sheet of snow.
Anyone who has read a previous food review of mine will note my penchant for bruschetta – and the Beecraigs offering was ideal, made exactly how I like it.
Nice bread with some garlic and herbs, tomatoes (obviously), and red onion topped with melted buffalo mozarella cheese with drizzles of balsamic glaze over it.
Karen had the haggis with a whisky sauce which was nice, soft and tasty. Very simple but effective cooking.
Both of us opted for the medallions of fillet steak for our mains. They were perfectly cooked, medium, and came with a lovely gravy and roasted vegetables and a choice of chips or potatoes.
Our plates were empty apart from Karen’s mushrooms, but only because she doesn’t eat them.
The portions were nicely sized, and priced I might add. It’s £11.45 for the fillet medallions, which is a phenomenal price in this day and age. However, once the mains were polished off with aplomb we decided to share a dessert – a ‘double trouble’ of caramel chocolate fudge cake with cream and ice cream.
For location, price and quality, Beecraigs ticks all the boxes, even in bad weather.