We had been invited to a pre-Christmas networking lunch and turned off the A1. Minutes later we drove round a roundabout and up a hill. Carberry Tower Mansion House and Estate was signposted left and we signalled. The impressive, tree-lined drive with well-manicured lawn set the tone.
We parked in the spacious car park and entered. We were immediately struck by the attention to detail. The Christmas tree was immaculately dressed and it stood in a wood-panelled hall in front of a large, stone fire with real logs waiting to be placed.
The receptionist led us past a man in armour and through an elegant hall towards the dining-room, past an intimate bar and comfortable, adjoining lounge overlooking the estate.
Once again, we noted the attention to detail in the dining-room. The tables were decorated appropriately, crackers yes but no other Christmas clutter, and the menu presented in an inviting italic type face in a tasteful but deliberately understated grey, suiting the occasion.
And the food? My slow cooked beef shin, tomato and mushroom casserole was a triumph with rich flavours bursting through. The roasted beetroot and horseradish mashed potatoes were perfect for the dish.
The alternative was butternut squash, sage and mushroom risotto, toasted ciabatta and parmesan salad. I am informed it tasted as good as it looked.
Dessert was Baileys and cookies panna cotta with almond shortbread and Chantilly cream. A no-no for me because an intolerance, but I was presented with an eye-catching and mouth-watering sorbet – raspberry in colour – with fruit, a perfect end to a delightful meal.
Carberry may be tucked away near the picture-postcard village of Inveresk, but it is worth a visit. You quickly chill in the tranquil atmosphere. This is undoubtedly comfort and style.