Focus on Food

A slightly different flavour of reflection.  Food rather than photography.

On a day out, a journey or even a wander, a nice bite to eat, can just make the day complete.  It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant or uptown bistro, as long as the food is delicious and the service is excellent that’s what counts.

Over the last 12 months I have had the good fortune to have eaten in many different restaurants. Inns, cafes, farm shops and hotels whilst on my travels. Whether it has been a day out, meeting up with friends, just somewhere nice to go during or after wandering the shops or for that special occasion, these have all hit the spot and are recommended.

I have to point out that these are listed in no order of preference, each and every place is as good as the other for what they offer. Good food and excellent service.

Bridge of Orchy Hotel, Bridge of Orchy.   An overnight stay here while on a weekend trip north. Dinner and breakfast.  Traditional Scottish food, wholesome and comforting, just what was needed on a blustery night in the highlands.  Breakfast was plentiful, traditional Scottish and Continental, fuel for the day, The hotel is in a beautiful setting, the rooms were comfortable, and quiet, the atmosphere friendly and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful.

Charcoals, Glasgow.  I was introduced to Charcoals by a dear friend and in over 2 years I have never been let down by the exceptional food and great service.

Anstruther Fish Bar, Anstruther.  I have listed 2 fish and chip shops here, both are as good as the other, both give great quality of freshly cooked food and superb service.  I can highly recommend the dressed crab and lobster.  I am glad that my 2 favourite chippies are on opposite sides of the country!

The Oven at Overton Farm, Clyde Valley.  Hidden down off the road in the Clyde Valley the café offers a great range of home cooked simple foods, from soups and sandwiches to  macaroni cheese, ploughman’s and many more homely favourites.  They also do great scones.

Colonel Mustards, Hamilton.  Good food, good service, good cocktails, good range of beer. In my opinion the Colonel is under ranked.  I have to point out that the barman knew about his drinks, beers, ales, whisky and was a dab hand at mixing those cocktails too!

The Grapevine, Bothwell.  Looking forward to going back here for a night out,  good value for money, this has to be the place to eat in Bothwell. Certainly not over priced.  Service and food to a high standard.

The Orchard, Edinburgh.  A gem of a find in Edinburgh, really is a no frills quality place.  Clean, well laid out and friendly with a steak pie and a pile of home made chips to die for!

Mushtaqs, Hamilton.  If its Indian and in Hamilton then it has to be Mushtaqs.  I have been here many a time with family and friends, never been let down by the standard of food or service.

Waterstones, East Kilbride.  One of the only reasons I like to wander around the shopping centre at East Kilbride.  That moment when you hear “let’s go to Waterstones”.  A traditional coffee shop set in the world of books, away from the buzz of the centre.  As much as I like Costas and Starbucks, this wee place always wins hands down.

Crossbasket Castle, Blantyre.  Have to say that Crossbasket has been a part of my life for quite a few years.  I have seen it evolve through time as a family home, sadly not mine. I have used the grounds and the river for location shoots.  I have taken my son there many times for youth group activities. It was also a great place to take my dogs and let them run about.  I watched with great interest as the old place slowly transformed from a sad old house to the magnificent hotel it has now become.

I booked Crossbasket for high tea during the summer as a treat for a special lady in my life.  The quality and the attention to detail were second to none.  The tea menu was a treat, so many different teas to select.  The high tea itself was a delight, a struggle to finish but we made it!  Definitely The Place for that special occasion.

Taals, Strathaven.  I have been here a few times and have always enjoyed my meal.   Good quality Indian food, good service, friendly staff, what more do you want?

Scrib Tree, Douglas.  A bit off the beaten track but well worth the 2 miles’ drive from the M74.  Always a nice friendly atmosphere in the place when I have been in.  The menu is limited but excellent quality.

Route74, Lesmahagow.  It is what it says on the tin, a truckstop.  It is not a greasy spoon. It is a lovely café serving hot food and drinks, the breakfasts are great, the meals are fantastic, truckers of many nationalities mixing with locals of all ages. Route 74 has something for everyone.

Coyleton Arms, Coyleton.  Another gem of a find.  After spending the day in Ayr,  we went looking for somewhere on the way home to have a meal.  The Coyleton Arms popped up on a review site, it had great reviews so off we headed.  You can always tell how good a place is when its busy!  We were lucky to get a table, and after eating there I can understand why.  Generous portions of well cooked tasty food.

Torphichen Inn, Torphichen.  My first visit here was approx. 20 years ago. The most recent about 2 months ago. Over the years I have never once been disappointed in the food, the service or the atmosphere.  Located in the historic village of Torphichen, we are surrounded by the presence of the past.   Kings, Queens, Monks, Knights Templar have all passed through this village and its Preceptory.

Pollok House, Glasgow.  Nestled in the grounds of Pollok Park, Pollok House is one of the hidden gems of Glasgow.  The Edwardian kitchen serves a nice selection of sandwiches, soups, baking and drinks.  It’s a lovely place to end a day after exploring the house and gardens of Pollok House.

Maisha, St Andrews.  A nice wee treat of a place to find on a recent stay in St Andrews.  An authentic Indian seafood dining experience and I will return here next time I am in St Andrews! Nice portion size and freshly cooked.

Rollo’s Fish and Chips, Lesmahagow.  The 2nd of my fish and chip shops and by no means 2nd in preference.  Both fish bars do tasty fish and chips. Anstruther had its crab and lobster, Rollo’s has its black pudding and onion rings, as well as fresh fish.  Worth the trip to Lesmahagow.

The Elphinstone Hotel, Biggar.  We have been here a few times, even taking my mum down for her birthday lunch!  Every time we go the food is of a high standard. The staff have been welcoming and there have been no complaints about the service. Old style atmospheric pub grub!  Good value too. Recommended.