Melville Castle Hotel, Lasswade near Edinburgh EH18 1AP
RATING: Food 4; Ambience 4; Service 3.5; Drinks 4; Toilets 4; Website 3.5
Driving through the woods towards the hotel you immediately leave the grind of motorway driving behind.
The spacious car park meant a short walk into the hotel and the smell of the log fire in reception continued the cooling down process.
They use logs from their own woods in the roaring fire, just one of the wide range of green ideas in this family-run, 32-bed hotel on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
The staircase leading to the atmospheric first-floor dining room added to the homely feel of the hotel and the winter sun beating through the huge windows made this room a joy to be in.
And the food. Because it was pre-Christmas we were served with organic turkey with cranberry and chestnut stuffing with fondant potato and roasted root vegetables with a pleasing bite topped off by a rich turkey jus. The taste was subtle and satisfying.
Diners were then treated to a vanilla and ginger cheesecake with winter fruits while my allergy was superbly catered for with a tangy sorbet and a mixture of berries.
The only minus was the coffee, heavy in taste and a tad cold, but overall this was a most pleasing experience.