Are you planning an Easter day out? It’s the perfect excuse for a wee run in the car and a visit to Whitmuir Farm in West Linton. We decided to pop down a few weeks ago for lunch as Eleanor from Edinburgh Larder/Bistro has recently taken over and created a lovely new restaurant with a very local and seasonal menu. We were keen to try out the new menu and sample some of their wonderful cakes that are lovingly made on the premises each day.
Whitmuir Farm is a lot closer than you might think – only 16 miles South of Edinburgh in West Linton. Head out past Ikea and then keep travelling South on the A701 and you will start to pick up signs for the farm. It’s a delightful trip and you really feel like you have escaped the city with beautiful open countryside all around.
Whitmuir farm is a working organic farm and houses a number of other small businesses within the main building. You enter through the Deli where you can stock up on fresh meat, vegetables, bread and general provisions. Next door to the food shop is Dancing Light Gallery with its quirky mix of paintings, ceramics, wood work, glass, jewelry and textiles with prices to suit most budgets. The gallery hosts some beautiful collections and it’s hard to leave empty handed – if you are looking for a special gift you are sure to find it here.
The Larder at Whitmuir is also situated within the same building so the farm is the perfect place to visit even on cold and wet days. The day we visited there was still thick snow on the ground outside but the wood burning stove was going full tilt inside the cafe, providing a very warm and cosy welcome.
We arrived at lunchtime and fancied a hearty plate of soup beside the fire. The larder usually has a couple of soups (£4) on the menu so hopefully something to suit most people’s tastes. One of the soups on offer the day we visited had beetroot in it and the other one was spicy butternut squash. Whilst I love beetroot, I’m never very keen on it in soup so spicy butternut squash was the order of the day.
We decided to have the soup and half sandwich deal (£6.95) with Raymond opting for roast ham, kale pesto and Godminster cheddar. I fancied the pickled beetroot and Clava brie sandwich but was just pipped at the post to the last one, by the lady at the next table (I knew we shouldn’t have spent so long in the Dancing Light Gallery!) Not to worry, a new sandwich option was immediately created by the kitchen and it sounded equally delicious. It was pickled celeriac and blue cheese rarebit, absolutely perfect on such a cold day.
Our soup and sandwiches were delivered to the table by a very cheery and knowledgeable waiter who was obviously very passionate about what the larder stands for and their quest for local, seasonal and high quality produce for all.
The sandwiches were very good and filled with delicious ingredients, the perfect accompaniment to our soup. I feel the soup deserves a special mention though. All too often we have selected the soup where the menu advises “Spicy” only to question each other after a few spoons – “do you think it’s spicy?” The answer is usually “no”. This soup was very tasty and fabulously spicy with a real chilli kick. With the heat from the soup and the fire it wasn’t long before the icy chill from outside was but a memory.
If you are visiting for lunch and fancy something a bit different then there’s a good choice on the menu. The Cullen skink crumble (£6.95) and the venison charcuterie with pickles, chutney and homemade bread (£5.95) both sounded amazing.
All through lunch we had the homemade cakes within our sights and ended up being tempted by our waiter’s cake descriptions. The larder has an excellent range of cakes, some vegan, dairy free and others gluten free so again hopefully something for everyone.
It was the chocolate brownies that eventually tempted us, but being quite substantial (both us and the brownies!) we decided to share half each. They probably rank up there as one of the best brownies we have sampled. They were deliciously chocolatey, slightly crispy on the outside but moist and moreish on the inside. We could easily have eaten a whole one each but felt quite virtuous that we had just had half.
The larder will be serving a special great value set meal with a truly seasonal feel on the evening of Good Friday and also for lunch on Easter Sunday. Special menus will also be available on both May Bank Holidays. You can view the Easter menu here.
The Larder at Whitmuir will also be opening for dinner on the first Friday of each month and the menu offered will change with the seasons. Many of the late Friday openings also coincide with a new exhibition launch at the Dancing Light Gallery so you can make a night of it.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Whitmuir Farm and are looking forward to another visit in the near future. If you’re looking for somewhere to go for lunch or dinner that’s just outside the city but feels like a world away then this is the place to try.
We also had a very enjoyable meal at the Edinburgh Larder in Alva Street in Edinburgh last year. You can read about our visit here.
The Larder at Whitmuir
Tel: 01968 661 147