Category Archives: Food – 2 stars

The George Hotel, Chollerford, Northumberland

The George is a nice enough hotel for staying in, but it is let down by barely competent serving staff in the restaurant and a chef lacking in both imagination and (apparently) tastebuds. (Top tip: if you don’t think there’s enough room on the table for something, don’t put it down there.) The chicken liver paté I had as a starter looked like it had been dropped from a great height onto a pile of indifferent salad. Not only that, but the two meagre wafers of melba toast were barely enough to contain a single scraping. Not only that, but the salad was swimming in a horribly pungent mustard dressing; the underside of the paté was coated with the stuff, and I had to scrape about half of it off to get rid of its flavour. The leg of lamb that followed was better, but not much above the level of pub food. At breakfast the next morning I had scrambled eggs, and they were dry, rubbery, and flavourless. Conclusion: stay at the hotel by all means, just don’t eat there.

The Mussel Inn, Rose St., Edinburgh

Close, cramped atmosphere, and relatively slow service–at least when we were there. (It was a busy Saturday afternoon.) The chowder was no more than competent, and the shellfish linguine was floury and bland. It makes a change from the standard pub grub elsewhere on Rose St., but there is much better seafood to be had elsewhere in Edinburgh, and without even going to a dedicated seafood restaurant.

Drouthy Neebors (Baker St., Stirling)

When I saw that the “Big Boy” burger was “12 oz of prime ground beef” on a toasted bun, topped with cheddar cheese and bacon, I thought that this was just the ticket for me. Unfortunately the bun was more stale than toasted, and the 12 oz actually came in the form of two burger-shaped things, which made the whole too big to assemble and put in one’s mouth. The burgers themselves were pre-packaged, dense, and flavourless. They’d been cooked to the point where they had a thin, crispy crust. And to top it all, the table was so wobbly that it was hard to eat it with a knife and fork. I won’t be coming back here in a hurry (or at all).