A surprisingly great place for steak – one of the best we’ve ever had!
We were given the family room at the very back of the hotel, which is deceptively long! The tastefully-decorated room comprised a double-bed, bunk-bed, 2 flatscreen TVs, a telephone, a wardrobe, tallboy, cabinet, a table & 2 chairs and a kettle with Tetley Tea, Nescafe coffee (and decaf) with 2 bottles of water.
Plenty of space for a family of 4.
The bedroom and bathroom windows look out onto a quiet back street.
The en-suite had a bath with shower unit and glass screen rather than curtain – we tested the shower out and it was hot and worked well.
Fresh carnations and a lit candle adorned each table. The decor is a bit out-dated, but we didn’t come to stare at curtains and tablecloths, we came to eat the lovely grub!
They had a single real ale on tap – Wadsworth’s Swordfish, we had one of those and it was a decent English bitter. Tap water was served with a slice of lemon.
Haggis balls £4.75
Locally sourced haggis in a crunch coating. They were really spicy and peppery, served with a dip and salad garnish.
Served with pan-fried pea puree, Stornoway black pudding and crispy Parma ham.
Mmmmm plump scallops, moist black pudding . The crisp ham was like crisps made of meat!
Game pie £10.95
To be honest this didn’t taste of game, it was more like a regular beef pie. All the veggies were lovely and it was a decent portion but the pastry let it down, which was a bit soggy.
10oz filet steak with king prawns £23.00
A humongous meaty fillet, juicy and tender and easily the rarest steak we’ve ever had in Scotland (though I’m not sure if this photo does it justice):
Served with a bowl of delicious prawns, thick crunchy onion rings, some skewered tomatoes & mushrooms, chips and salad leaves. This was great and surprisingly one of the best steaks we’ve ever had, even better than pretty much every single steak restaurant we’ve ever been to!
Apple strudel £4.50
Light flaky pastry with soft warm apple, raisins and cinnamon interior. Mmm, and served with a scoop of local vanilla ice-cream.
Banoffee sundae £4.95
It’s like a jug of sex! Warm crumble, toffee sauce and ice cream mmmmmm good amount of banana and topped with home whipped double cream.
We were both stuffed and retired to the bedroom for a good night’s sleep before heading back down for breakfast…
There was a choice of four cereals: Alpen muesli, weetabix, sugar puffs and rice crispies.
But we both opted for a full-breakfast comprising locally-sourced meat: links & lorne sausage, bacon, haggis, black pudding, with potato scone, beans, fried tomato and a choice of egg, we went for scrambled.
We also had orange juice, tea and toast (with jams and marmalade) which was kindly topped up by staff.
The Elphinstone, or “Elph” is a warm & welcoming historic coaching inn on Biggar’s main street, and while some of the interiors are a bit old-fashioned it just adds to the quaint charm. The food is great, that’s the main thing! Especially the steak! We had a quick chat with one of the proprietors: Robert, who explained that much of the food is sourced from a number of established local suppliers which is always great to hear.
Our room was clean and spacious, the bed was comfy and we slept soundly – the only concern we had was that the kettle only just about stretched to the power socket.
In the lounge and restaurant the music was pleasant and at a low volume so you can have a conversation. The toilets were clean and well-maintained and the staff were friendly throughout our stay and there is also free WIFI.
For drinking there is both a lounge with roaring fire and bar, which is dog-friendly and shows live SY and ESPN sport on TV, and they sell real ale at a reasonable price.
There’s car parking right outside, of if you don’t have a car you can do what we did and get the train to Lanark and then catch Stuart’s Coaches bus no.191 from the stop right outside the train station. It takes about 30 minutes and both stops are the end of the line so you don’t need to worry about where to get off – the hotel is easily-spotted from the bus stop on the main street. If you’re coming from Edinburgh there is a direct bus from Stagecoach.
If you’ve never been to Biggar before, it’s a lovely wee town full of interesting shops, cafes, pubs and a museum and puppet theatre, it is well-worth a visit. For drinking we recommend the Crown a little further down the High Street as well.