Horseshoe Inn, Eddleston

We're not only recommending The Horseshoe because of its most recent accolade (see news), but because of the number of comments we've had that it's such superb place to eat with rather salubrious rooms to stay in if you fancy making it an extra special evening by staying the night.

Review: We went there for a special occasion being slightly reticent after an email from a friend the previous evening telling us about the tiny portions.

The upshot was that he was right - this was nouvelle cuisine so we were prepared for clean minimalism, but, apart from the dessert, the portions were certainly small.

But the food was truly exceptional, and because many small parts can make a large part we felt surprisingly full after we had eaten.

Taking two retired tattie farmers was an interesting move. When had a life of physical hard work you tend to enjoy substantial fare, and the prospect of oxtail billed as the main course tempted one of them.

The meal commenced in style with an 'amuse bouche' of gazpacho soup with a creative but unlavish garnish.

Starters of smoked salmon with asparagus followed with an alternative prawn and crab cocktail. Both were superb.

The main course of oxtail in a crispy basket was the subject of much mirth - delicious, but not exactly generous. The optional scallops were to absolutely keel over and die for so generous applause where it is deserved from this award winning chef.

Dessert was perfect (and luckily the portions were larger)- orange cheesecake with citrus ice cream or tarte tatin in small copper pans with Granny Smith sorbet - undeniably and most deliciously home made.

We declined coffee in fear of having to ask for four small cups each, but it's definitely worth saying that this meal was a scintillating and unforgettable culinary experience.

This menu was a table d'hote lunch and a tempting more conventional alternative is offered in the bistro.

Tel: 01721 730225
Horseshoe Inn, Eddleston

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