Christmas Dinner at Prestonfield House Hotel

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On Friday we went along to Prestonfield House Hotel for the Sunday Brunch Club Christmas Dinner.

Prestonfield has a reputation for luxury, opulence, decadence and indulgence. I’ve twice before, some years ago, and on both occasions food and service were exceptionally good. The Hotel looks simple from the outside but inside is grand, sumptuous and elegant.

Prestonfield House hotel logo

At Christmas it looks particularly wonderful. We entered along the main hall past 2 huge Christmas trees sparkling with twinkly red lights and made our way to our private dining room. There we were greeted by Robin who looked after us all evening. Robin was super, service was efficient, friendly and flirty. OK maybe the last was wishful-thinking!

The 3 course Christmas menu was stunning . There were 4 choices for each course and the it was priced at £39.50 including tea or coffee with petit fours.

We started with bread rolls, they were small and delicious. We were each offered two and further rolls were offered just before the starter was served.

I had the roast pheasant and ham hough terrine with cider apple jelly and pomegranate vinaigrette. It was wonderful. I simply loved it! An imaginative dish in which the flavours worked beautifully. The apple jelly and pomegranate vinaigrette were both firsts for me. I’d like to do them again. A sweet (but not too sweet) complement to the pheasant and ham hough terrine. Oooh salivating at the thought of this magnificent starter.

Roast pheasant and ham hough terrine starter at Prestonfield House Hotel
Roast pheasant and ham hough terrine with cider apple jelly and pomegranate vinaigrette. Superb!

The salmon has to be the most beautiful salmon dish I’ve yet seen presented. And from comments from fellow diners it tasted as good as it looked.

Home-smoked salmon starter at Prestonfield House Hotel
Home-smoked salmon: bavois, hot-smoked, tartar with beetroot and wasabi - Beautifully presented

None of our party ordered either of the other two starter options both of which sounded heavenly: creamed Jerusalem artichoke velouté with truffle cream and; roast cerleriac tortellini with Dunsyre blue cheese, sultanas and walnut brittle.

The mains offered were beef, sea bass, goose and mushroom pie. Many of us were beyond excited at the prospect of goose. I can’t recall ever having eaten goose at a restaurant so I was looking forward to slow-cooked goose breast with gingerbread stuffing, stir-fried sprouts, Medjool dates and quince chutney. It was SO disappointing when, after we’d ordered, a very apologetic Robin came back to explain that the geese had flown and that it was to be duck instead.

 The duck was among the best I’ve tasted.

Duck with gingerbread stuffing at Prestonfield House Hotel - Not a goose but still excellent
Duck with gingerbread stuffing, stir-fried sprouts, Medjool dates and quince chutney
Others had the seabass and the beef. When I asked for comments people declared the dishes: ‘excellent’, ‘delicious’ and ‘heavenly’.
Pan-fried sea bass at Prestonfield House Hotel
Pan-fried sea bass, lobster risotto with coconut and coriander dressing
Roast rump of beef at Prestonfield House Hotel
Roast rump of beef with roast roots and savoy cabbage with hazlenuts and bacon

The other main option (which none of us went for, so not pictured) was wild mushroom pie with honey-roast pumpkin and roast onion and parmesan gnochhi.

And for sweet I went savoury. Again delicious. And Robin was generous with further bread which was obviously required to do justice to the melt-in-the-mouth, malty and beautifully sweaty brie. It had obviously been allowed to warm to room temerature – it doesn’t taste nearly as good straight out of the fridge.

Howgate brie with bread and pear compote at Prestonfield House Hotel
Balvenie malt-washed Howgate Brie with golden raisin and caper bread and pear compote. The cheese was just calling out 'eat me, eat me!'

And the other options were chocolate marquise, carrot cake and Christmas pudding (not pictured)

Valhrona Manjari chocolate marquise, candied chestnuts and prunes with Armagnac
Valhrona Manjari chocolate marquise, candied chestnuts and prunes with Armagnac
Spiced carrot cake at Prestonfield House Hotel
Spiced carrot cake usually served with iced mascarpone lemon sherbert but here shown with mulled wine ripple ice cream served by special request

The evening ended with coffee and petit fours.

Petit fours at Prestonfield House Hotel
Petit fours

You are perhaps wondering about wine. I thought it was well priced for such a superb venue. The wine list for the Christmas Menu included wines ranging between £22 and £38, a sparkling wine at £30, two champagnes at £50/£55 and two dessert wines at £11. We started with the South African sparkling wine Kaapse Vonkel Méthode Cap Classique  Simonsig and then for our white the French Picpoul-De-Pinet, Coteaux du Languedoc 2008; and for our red the French Côtes du Ventoux, Perrin et Fils 2008. All were very good.

I really take my hat off to The Prestonfield for delivering such a superb experience with its Christmas menu. As I’ve found over the years even the best restaurants can fall down over Christmas.

None of our party had any negative comment at all about the food we were served. (Though of course we did have the disappointment that there was no goose.)

Prestonfield House, Priestfield Road, Edinburgh  EH16 5UT
0131 225 7800
The Sunday Brunch Club rating is an average of the scores given by people who attended

Rhubarb at Prestonfield on Urbanspoon

I’d love to hear your comments in the box below, tell me your thoughts

5 thoughts on “Christmas Dinner at Prestonfield House Hotel

    Amabel Thornton said:
    24 December 2010 at 11.28 am

    Glad you had such an enjoyable experience at Prestonfield. I’ve only been there once and that day the service, and quality of food, was so bad I never wanted to go back. Based on this review I’m willing to give them a second chance.

    Fenella said:
    4 January 2011 at 2.19 pm

    I’ve only been for afternoon teas. Several times. I’ve taken my mother there when she’s visited. It’s a lovely, cozy, restful atmosphere in winters, with roaring wood fires in the fireplaces. It’s a luxury for me and I was very sorry not to go to the dinner. I spent that evening packing and doing last minute errands before leaving the country for 2 weeks. Glad it lived up to the reputation I’d accorded it.

    Lesley said:
    6 January 2011 at 12.45 pm

    It sounds and looks wonderful. I’ve only ever been there twice – both occasions were summer weddings and I recall walking around the grounds with a glass of champagne, admiring the peacocks which were strolling around the lawn. It was a grand setting, but alas so long ago I don’t remember the food.

    […] This is my third visit to Prestonfield House Hotel in four weeks! You can read about my previous visits for champagne afternoon tea with the girls and the Sunday Brunch Club Christmas Dinner. […]

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