East Lothian has over 40 miles of wonderful coastline and snuggled in along the shore are some great historic places to visit including Gullane, famous for it golf courses (Muirfield) but also home to some great places to eat, drink and stay including the Edwardian Country House Hotel, Greywalls which is situated just on the edge of Muirfield.
It’s grand. It’s a golfers paradise with views over the 9th and 18th holes and the beautiful Firth of Forth. It boasts elegant drawing rooms, 23 bedrooms, and delightful walled gardens attributed to Gertrude Jekyll (one of the UK’s greatest horticulturists and garden designers of the 20th century with over 400 gardens in her portfolio) and contains a grass tennis court, croquet lawn and putting green as well as borders filled with herbaceous plants.
It’s like walking into a grand home. The floor boards covered in lush carpets creek slightly and everywhere you look there are corners filled with books and memorabilia. Greywalls does county style with elegance and charm.
Seated at our table in their Chez Roux restaurant we were presented with a tasting menu created by Head Chef Ryan McCutcheon who recently won Inspiration Star Chef of the Year at the 2018 Scottish Food Awards. So we knew we were in good hands.
The restaurant and excellent cuisine is under the direction of Chef Albert Roux OBE, KFO and head of the Roux cooking dynasty. He opened La Gavroche with his brother Michel in 1967 which was the first restaurant in the UK to obtain three Michelin starts.
Canapes were delivered to our table whilst we were scanning the wine menu. In the foreground with have paprika swirls (light and fluffy pastry clouds slightly spiced with a small drop of cream fraiche); middle is candied bacon (oh please give me more of this) and in the background we have smoked salmon on puffed rice (the puffed rice adding a different texture to the softness of the salmon).
First course – Greywalls Garden Beetroot and Goats Cheese Panacotta with homemade Granola.
Such a pretty (as were all the dishes). The white dome was the goats cheese panacotta and when you cut through it, it was layered with beetroot cooked different ways. The wee beetroot cones at the back were pickled and crunchy, the granola was sweet and the jelly was smooth. A very pleasant dish to start on.
Second course – Hay home smoked Haddock Tartare with Granny Smith apples
Oh my I so wanted to like this dish as it was a dish that made me happy to look at. It was clean, colours and presentation very complimentary and pleasing to my eye but unfortunately I didn’t like it. Not any fault of the Chef, just me and my weird palate. I love sushi but just couldn’t enjoy the raw Haddock tartare. My partner finished his and loved it.
These little crisp breads accompanied this dish and they were lovely.
Third course – Warm Chicken Mousse, broadbean and morel, chicken and Madeira sauce.
The chicken mousse disc was topped with the morel mushrooms and the warm Madeira sauce poured into the plate at the table. The mushrooms added the ‘beefy’ ‘meaty’ taste to this dish whilst the whipped chicken mousse was exceptionally light. The whole dish packed individual bold flavours and they worked together to create a really nice dish.
Fourth course – Scottish Lobster poached in vanilla butter, with avocado and Heirloom tomatoes.
This dish on paper ticked every box for me. Lobster – YASS! Avocado – YASS! Tomatoes – YASS! The lobster was nicely cooked and well seasoned. It wasn’t tough but still had enough bite to it that when eaten with the avocado it wasn’t all soft textures. The avocado was warm though and for me the jury is still out on this one. I did finish the lot however!
Fifth course – A taste of East Lothian Venison, homemade venison bacon, parsley puree and Pomme Dauphine.
This was the star dish of the night for me. The venison was so tender that it just fell apart. It was juicy and cooked perfectly – still pink in the middle. The potatoes and vegetables were lovingly cooked and well presented. The bacon cut quite thick but well cooked added another little dimension to the dish playing on the variety of textures on this plate.
Sixth course – Double Chocolate Fondant with textures of rhubarb.
A warm sweet chocolate hit with little pops of soor rhubard. Yummy scoop after scoop; and then it was gone.
Greywalls is most definitely a hidden gem along one of Scotland’s most beautiful coastlines and golf courses. The dining room is luxurious comfort, the staff are attentive and professional, delivering a seamless service. It’s French cuisine using local Scottish ingredients; expensive but worth it!
Greywalls Chez Roux Muirfield, Gullane, East Lothian, EH31 2EG
Tel: 01620 842144 www.greywalls.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Gold 9/10