A couple of weeks ago the newly refurbished Auldgirth Inn opened its doors to the excited population of Dumfries and Galloway. Steve continued to visit the bar he and his friends enjoy there and met the new staff and manager. Menus were speculated over, decor was discussed, opening hours, staffing and wine lists all hotly debated . . . I became more and more intrigued by the snippets of information I was hearing about award-winning chefs, triple-cooked chips, wild mushrooms and bottles of vintage champagne and so, when an excuse came up in the form of a visit by my daughter, we grabbed the chance to treat ourselves.
And – wow – what a treat it was! We each had a starter and main course and shared a couple of desserts between the three of us. I made sure I got a taste of what the others ordered, which meant I got to experience a dazzling array of flavours, but was careful to leave room to enjoy every mouthful of what I’d chosen for myself. I had the wild mushrooms with hollandaise sauce, which was somehow earthy and creamy and sharp and crisp all in one mouthful, followed by venison served with creamed parsnips and a beautiful rustic stew of barley. We chose a silly number of side dishes (well it was our aim to try and taste everything) which really weren’t strictly necessary given the amount on each plate but were all superb, including the legendary triple-cooked chips, which turned out to be just one of many culinary successes those heroes in the kitchen are producing.
It was a superb meal in comfortable and very friendly surroundings. Chilled water was on the table when we arrived with savoury pop-corn provided as a nibble and we were so full by the end of the feast that we had to give away our choc-nut fudge which came with the very reasonable bill.
The genuinely exciting thing for us here at McMurdoston is that this wonderful new establishment is only two miles away. On long Summer days we’ll be able to walk there and back in daylight, on quiet roads. Even at this time of year a lunch-time trip just requires a back-up torch and a rain-coat. Local cabs are easy to book up in advance and there’s plenty of parking beside the pub itself. I can’t wait to find another excuse to try some of the other delights on the menu…