Tuesday December 20th 2022
Roast dinner at the Juniperlea Inn, Pathhead, Midlothian.
Is there anything more comforting and traditional than a good Sunday Roast? It’s a tradition dating back to the 15th century during the reign of King Henry the VII when the royal guard would eat fresh roast beef every Sunday after church hence them being referred to as “beefeaters”. I do enjoy a historical food fact.
It’s a tradition that has endured ever since and a good roast dinner is an absolute joy. It’s a meal that takes time and care to prepare and that should be lingered over with friends and family. Even better is having it prepared for you in one of our fabulous Midlothian restaurants who are well and truly knocking the Sunday roast game out of the park! I have eaten a lot of Sunday roasts in recent weeks (purely for research purposes of course) and here are my absolute winners!!
The Laird and Dog, Lasswade This has to be one of the best roast dinners I have ever had. So good in fact, that I visited twice so that I could try both the roast chicken and roast beef options. It is beautifully presented on a wooden platter groaning with succulent roast beef or a half roast chicken, crisp and golden roast potatoes and homemade Yorkshire puddings (surely the crown on any roast dinner). The vegetables also really shine here, not a dull under seasoned carrot baton in sight. The carrots cooked in honey and marmalade were just perfect as was the beautifully cooked red cabbage and tenderstem broccoli. It was a feast for the eyes and packed full of colour and flavour. There was also plenty of rich gravy which is an absolute must for the perfect roast and I genuinely think that this is, for me, the perfect roast. You are guaranteed the warmest of welcomes here from Adam and the team and you can expect to enjoy a fabulous Sunday lunch in a traditional setting.
The Paper Mill, Lasswade Another strong Lasswade contender, the Paper Mill is located in a beautiful setting overlooking the river Esk. It is a modern, airy and contemporary venue and a firm Midlothian favourite. There is very much an emphasis on supporting local suppliers and using the best locally sourced produce here. Indeed many of the vegetables and herbs featured in their menus are from their sister venue, The Secret Garden. Although there is just one roast option, roast beef, it is an excellent one. My plate was piled high with slices of beautifully tender roast beef, perfectly cooked golden roasties all topped with a huge Yorkshire pudding. The vegetable options are also very strong, with well-cooked and seasoned cauliflower, parsnips, red cabbage and broccoli. With an extensive and imaginative cocktail menu and an excellent selection of wines at very reasonable price points, the Paper Mill is definitely one to add to your Sunday roast lists.
The Juniperlea Inn, Pathhead This was a first time visit for me but it certainly won’t be my last. It’s only a 30 minute drive from Edinburgh and has a lovely rural feel. The décor is stylish and modern but still manages to be warm, welcoming and cosy. There are a good selection of roast options to choose from, all at very reasonable prices. I opted for the roast chicken and was served a beautifully presented, mouth-watering dish. The chicken was perfectly cooked with crispy, well-seasoned skin, just as it should be. The vegetables were excellent and the roast potatoes were amongst the best I’ve had. Bonus points were given too, as it was the only one to feature cauliflower cheese, which is a firm favourite of mine and always a welcome addition to any roast. The quality of their locally sourced ingredients is very clear to see as is their passion for the highest levels of customer service. I plan to be a regular visitor from now on.
The Craigie Hotel, Penicuick – I have written about the Craigie hotel before in previous articles and once again, they do not fail to impress. Located at the foot of the Pentland Hills and only 20 minutes south of Edinburgh, the Craigie is a beautiful, stylish and family friendly destination, perfect for a fabulous Sunday lunch. Their roast offering is very strong with locally sourced roast sirloin of Scottish beef, crispy roast potatoes, velvety mash and honey roast vegetables. Topped with a substantial home-made Yorkshire pudding and lashings of rich, real gravy, I can verify that it’s one of Midlothian’s finest!
Sunday lunch is such a wonderful tradition of ours. It’s a time to connect with friends and family at the end of a week, to talk and to relax over a delicious meal and a glass of wine. We are so lucky in Midlothian to have such a fabulous choice of locations and venues to choose from, and with no washing up to do afterwards, it’s a winner all round.
I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and I’m looking forward to discovering and sharing more of Midlothian’s culinary delights in 2023
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