Sunday Lunch at Cringletie House Hotel

Cringletie house hotel is a Scottish Baronial mansion just outside Peebles in the Scottish Borders.

Our visit was on cold November afternoon with mist rising up over the fields and rolling through the nearby mountainside. This really accentuated the warm welcoming feel of the hotel.

As you traverse the woodland enclosed road across a small red bridge the view opens up and you are greeted by a vibrant and lush expanse of beautifully landscaped gardens and a turreted castle with understated splendour.

When we first entered the building we were welcomed by a friendly receptionist who promptly offered to take our coats before directing us upstairs to the first floor where the dining room resides. We were taken to our table overlooking the surround scenery while being embraced by the subtle heat of a open log fire.

After taking our seats we were greeted by the manager who shared some of the history of the building and wished us a pleasant meal. Shortly there after our waiter came and greeted us before taking our drink order and placed crisp white napkins onto our lap.

The Sunday lunch menus is a table d’hote menu, and was very inviting. Including a variety of locally sourced traditional Scottish cuisine, with plenty of options for both vegetarians and meat eaters.

For starters, I had the heirloom tomato salad while Phil settled on the chicken broth, these were both served in an exceptionally timely manner and were beautifully presented.

Sometimes when restaurants step away from traditional plates and bowls it can come across a bit pretentious however the Salad looked perfectly at home placed on a dark piece of slate and the flavours produced were equally as perfect. The combination of feta, olives and balsamic vinegar was refreshing and reminded me this is how salads should be.

The chicken broth contained some of the most buttery, moist chicken Phil had tried, all while enriching the flavour of the broth. The seasoning was rich and flavoursome. You could tell nothing had been left to chance when the dish was being put together… It was the perfect hearty warming dish for a day like today.

For mains, as it was a Sunday we both settled on our respective roasts.

The vegetarian nut roast was so good, as a vegetarian you try a lot of nut roasts, the majority of which taste like cardboard, this however was moist and bursting with flavour. The roast potatoes were light and fluffy on the inside while retaining a crisp outside, the honey roasted seasonal vegetables were delicious and the Yorkshire pudding was perfectly risen. This was finished off with a rich mushroom gravy. I didn’t feel like I was missing out by not eating meat.

Phil opted for the more traditional roast which consisted of a choice of meats (which appear to rotate weekly), on this occasion the choice was Lemon and Thyme roasted chicken and Sirloin of beef, this was wheeled out and carved by the chef tableside which was a lovely touch.

The different accompaniments for the traditional roast were goose fat roasted potatoes, bread sauce, beef gravy and mustard.

Phil usually avoids beef as it can sometimes be chewy or overly fatty however on this occasion the beef was exceptional and literally melted in the mouth. The chicken retained its crisp skin coated with the lemon and thyme while remaining perfectly juicy and soft.

For dessert we both chose the chocolate hazelnut brownie, because it’s chocolate hazelnut brownie! This arrived presented like a work of art adorned with edible flowers and stalagmite like toffee chocolate crisps and a quenelle of lemon yoghurt sorbet. The brownie consisted of 3 layers; a layer of chocolate encasing a gooey chocolate ganache, sat atop a raw brownie laden with crushed hazelnut.

As big chocolate fans we had high hopes and it truly did not disappoint, the chocolate was rich and slightly bitter while being offset but the Citrus sharpness of the sorbet. Each bite offering a slightly different taste or texture depending on the mixture you got but not once ever letting you down on taste. It was a dessert you never wanted to end while at the same time being the perfect portion size to round off a delicious meal.

We finished our visit with drinks in the Maguire Lounge next to the roaring fire, this room again offered breathtaking views of the Scottish countryside.

We had an amazing time visiting Cringletie House Hotel. The staff could not have been more friendly or attentive, and are a real credit to the establishment… even offering to look after the baby on the table next to us so her parents could eat their lunch.

We will definitely be back, its the perfect place for a hearty Sunday lunch after a chilly dog walk. Thank you so much for having us.

www.cringletie.com

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