The Sun always shines on Lothian Bridge
We had passed by the Sun Inn a few times before and the quaint former coaching inn had always caught our eye, it sits on the A7 just outside Dalkeith in the shadow of Newbattle railway viaduct on the soon(ish) to be re-opened Waverley line from Edinburgh to Tweedbank.
It's a historic building but is modern inside. Check-in was via the main entrance to the restaurant which is actually at the rear of the building where there is also a medium-sized car park and beer garden - it turned out that the original entrance, as can be seen in the picture above is now used to store wine!
We were greeted in the restaurant and taken up to our room...
Wow! A large room with huge bed and copper bath (big enough for 2!) at the foot.
With bath-towels and soap all ready.
There was also en-suite shower and toilet and toiletries.
And some nice bedside lighting.
We headed downstairs for dinner...
We noticed that there was a great wine selection and almost all were available by the glass, prices ranged from a mere £15 a bottle all the way up to £220 and we decided to go for something a bit different, an Umbrele merlot from Romania. According to the label "Umbrele" is the Romanian word for shadow - we didn't know that. Described as "Soft, fleshy and velvety with suave red berry fruit and a dash of spice, this is merlot with attitude" it was a lovely colour and was fruity and easy to drink.
To begin with we had bread with the "best olives in the world" a mix of green and black, not quite the best in the world but still pretty tasty, the bread on the other hand was out of this world! We had 3 slices each of (I believe) spelt, sage & truffle and garlic and herb.
Braised pig cheek
Served with crisp bacon on top and pleasant jus. The pork was lovely & tender and pulled away nicely. The black pudding which rested underneath was quite mild and not spicy or heavy-going. A good quality starter but it could've been a bit warmer.
Fruity, moist meat! Nice jus, flavoursome and had body - the crisp rosti soaked up the juices well.
So the starters were great but the mains were even better...
Our waitress asked if we liked our meat pink. "Oh yes" we said.
Crusty and caramelised on the outside but moist, rare and lovely & pink inside.
Carrots and purée mmmmmm. Mash smooth, peas minty and another good jus. Beautiful, even the fat was lovely!
Like a little herb encrusted cake of pink meat with a pie as well! Perfectly-cooked meat which was soft & tender.
Delicious creamy mash, tender baby carrots in a jus. Mmm, delicious!
Both of our mains were well-presented. We had a look at some of the other diners' dishes as well and the fish dishes looked great too.
Hard to get right, but this was a wonderfully perfect and delicate soufflé and you could taste a light bitterness from the grapefruit. Served with some cream and berries.
Dreamy chocolate heaven, White choc ganache and mint choc chip ice cream all combined nicely in a smooth & sweet combo.
To finish we also had a couple of dessert wines:-
The pink muscat was quite light, delicate and floral, not too sweet, basically a good introductory dessert wine, like a rose wine for non-wine drinkers.
The Argentinian Mendonza was thicker and sweeter than the muscat with plum notes.
After all that we were stuffed and so headed up to bed and following a good night's sleep we headed back downstairs again for breakfast...
Cosy breakfast area with a selection of newspapers
Cereals, juices and Activia yogurts
The cups provided with breakfast were cute - it would be nice if these were on sale!
Salmon and scrambled egg
Lovely salmon and nicely done egg, though it was a bit runnier than we prefer
Lovely porridge, nicely presented and a huge bowl of it!
A rather fine breakfast. All nicely cooked and non-greasy, though the lorne sausage was a bit over-cooked and a potato scone was absent.
Quite simply the food was great, the Sun Inn is a former AA Pub of the Year and Scottish Gastropub of the Year and currently holds an AA rosette which is certainly well-deserved, in fact we think they deserve 2 so further accolades should be on the way! It was good to see that the goods are supplied by many local producers; meat and especially game seemed to be the specialties. The wine selection was also great, considering how many they do by the glass and they also stock real ales. There were plenty of staff on the premises and everyone we dealt with were friendly and helpful.
Room-wise they have a 4 star rating - we had a pleasant stay in the signature suite which is a good size, has a large TV and comfy bed and has the added decadent touch of a bath at the end of the bed! There were no bedside sockets in the room which was a bit odd, but then it is an old building. There are 4 other rooms, each unique and tastefully decorated so no matter which one you end up in it'll be worthwhile (bath or no bath!)
We always like to do a pub/restaurant toilet check and they were clean and had hot water and hand towels in both. The men's also has a homage to "Oor Willie" on the wall and there are pails for peeing into!
Located on the A7 just outside Edinburgh and the city bypass, it's easy to get there by car (around 20 minutes in good traffic from Edinburgh centre) and there is on-site parking but we actually made use of Lothian Buses no. 29 to get here, it stops just a 5 minute walk away and our driver let us know when to get off. Journey times vary from 25 - 40 minutes from North Bridge/Waverley station.
The Sun Inn is open for lunch Mon - Sat: 12 noon - 2pm and dinner from 6pm - 9pm, roasts are available on Sundays when food is available from 12 noon - 7pm.
To make a food or room booking call 0131 663 2456 or visit http://thesuninnedinburgh.co.uk/