Lunch at The Archerfield Walled Garden
What: A café-restaurant in East Lothian
Price range: Sandwiches from £6, mains from £10
Being a father and a foodie can be tough, finding decent dining options when out with the offspring often leads to uninspired supermarket picnics or less than healthy options. Is it too much to ask for somewhere with child-friendly dining, tasty fresh seasonal produce grown on the grounds, a wealth of family activities and (important) an on-site brewery?
Hyperbole aside, a glance at the menu for the café at the Walled Garden was a sight for sore eyes, an unexpected dining experience where you’d generally expect the same old nationwide photocopied list of fish and chips, sausage and mash et al. And wait, what’s this I see? Pairings? There’s wine pairings? Don’t mind if I do.
The café at the Walled Garden sits between the deli, shop and glass front to the distillery, it’s bright and bustling; the ideal fuel stop for a family day out. I opted for the Cullen Skink, £6, a quality interpretation that eschewed heavy cream to let the ingredients do the heavy lifting, while Sophie’s earthy roast beetroot salad, £6.50, came with some oozing mounds of grilled Morangie brie and pickled carrot, a strong start.
Mains then and I’m a sucker for a good burger. The Walled Garden’s John Gilmour beaut, £13.50, was surely that. The welltopped, well-seared patty tested the demibrioche ‘artisan bun’ which didn’t do a great job of holding it all together but was cracking nonetheless. Sophie chose the pumpkin tortellini, £10, which was the height of winter comfort food. The pasta parcels with chestnut, Auld Lochnagar cheddar, roasted onion and garden sage butter were rich without being too heavy. Junior had the houmous, veggie sticks and oatcakes. He wore it well.
Archerfield Walled Garden, Dirleton, Archerfield Estate, North Berwick, EH39 5HQ,
Tel: 01620 388588, www.archerfieldwalledgarden.com.
Words: Dean Newton