Lothian Bridge, DALKEITH, EH22 4TR
Opposite a fine Victorian railway viaduct by the Lothianbridge over the River South Esk, this family-run former coaching inn is an expert blend of old and new. The fireplace, oak beams and exposed stone walls are original, while the fine wooden floor owes much to the 21st century. Quite reasonably, Scottish cask ales monopolise the beer pumps, and there is also an extensive wine list. Food in the more formal, AA-Rosette restaurant is modern British and pub classics with a strong Scottish accent. Noteworthy dishes include pan-seared Borders lamb's liver with creamy mash, crispy bacon and onion gravy; turbot fillets, Eyemouth crab and spring onion risotto with chilli and ginger king prawn and red pepper dressing; and free-range hen's egg omelette with Applewood smoked cheddar and spring onion, hand-cut chips, chive cream and dressed leaves. Haggis is one of the optional side dishes. You may take high tea any weekday afternoon.