Out with the old and in with the new at Linlithgow’s West Port

The West Port's interior is now one big dining area
The West Port's interior is now one big dining area
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Linlithgow is a historic town, a Royal Burgh even, with a couple of famous landmarks to boast of.

It’s marketed as West Lothian’s “Jewel in the Crown”. For such a small place it has a lot going for it with the likes of the Palace, Linlithgow Loch, a successful football team in “the Rose” and, importantly, a good street for a pub crawl.

I’ve worked in the area in the past for a few years and have enjoyed a few good nights out on the Marches day or with colleagues and the pubs and restaurants are usually busy with good crowds.

The town’s patron saint is Saint Michael and the motto is: “St. Michael is kinde to straingers” and I’ve always found businesses and, in the main, residents take this to heart.

I pass through the town a lot but hadn’t actually stopped in for a while until we booked in for a meal at the West Port. Having spent many a boozy night in the old pub, it was a bit of a shock when I walked to find the place totally refurbished, very tastefully done I must say, and the separate restaurant and bar areas now merged into one big dining area.

It’s still got the traditional feel it always had but the new pastel colours and modern upgrade of the floors, seating and tables has been done to a high standard which is very pleasing on the eye.

The waitresses also take your order on a tablet instead of a writing pad, very 21st century.

As it was a Sunday there was only one thing on my mind and that was steak pie – with chips, not potatoes because I only eat them once a week now due to my new, albeit enforced, eating habits.

The meat was very tender and the sauce was thick and rich with crisp vegetables in a small, old fashioned tin, which was a novel touch. My only gripe is that the chips were a bit too greasy for my liking, but I still ate them.

The burger Karen had was “amazing” she assured me, refusing me a bite, and done in the now classic, modern way – stacked high and garnished with bacon, melted cheese, salad and onion rings with homemade coleslaw which I was allowed a taste of. Very nice indeed.

My daughter had the margherita pizza and would have eaten it all up had I not snatched a piece, much to her mischevous annoyance, but it was worth the slap on the wrist. Maclay Inns have done an excellent job turning the pub into a restaurant and I’d certainly dine there again followed by another stroll round the loch to round off a handsome meal – fit for a Palace resident you might say.