North Berwick THE Macdonald Marine Hotel and Spa in North Berwick is renowned for its beautiful coastal location and glorious 19th century Victorian architecture.
The hotel is also the perfect choice for golfers, who can choose from 20 championship courses in the surrounding area. Macdonald Marine Hotel and Spa has been chosen by The R&A as its headquarters for The Open Championship in 2013.
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to review the food at the hotel last week and it certainly did not disappoint.
The award-winning John Paul at the Marine offers you a fine dining experience in a very much relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The award-winning restaurant serves only the finest local produce, offering you prime pickings of a modern and organic menu within an elegant, richly decorated dining room.
It’s fashionable for hotels to boast about the quality of food they serve, but delve into the detail of food sourcing practices that are common throughout the hotel industry, and such claims often turn out to be over-egged, sometimes little more than marketing spin.
But when Macdonald Hotels promises to serve you “good honest, simple food from great ingredients” it really does take this mission to heart.
You will be served food that genuinely represents the highest benchmark standard for ethics, taste and food quality set by any hotel group in the UK.
My fiancée Hazel and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the Marine – to put it simply it was classic food executed to perfection.
My starter of lobster and salmon ravioli in a lobster bisque set an immediate high standard. Hazel opted for chicken liver parfait, caramelised beetroot and toasted brioche, and she was equally complimentary.
Next we decided to check out the claims that Macdonald Hotels stipulate that their meat must be from one of three breeds – Charolais, Hereford and Angus – and be dry matured on the bone, in the time-honoured way, for 7-14 days.
I had the rib eye while Hazel went for the sirloin. Both were served with hand-cut chips, green salad, tomatoes and mushrooms.
We were not disappointed – the steaks were simply superb, full of taste and cooked perfectly to suit our particular tastes.
All this was helped along with an excellent bottle of Bourgogne Pinot Noir from the Marine’s extensive wine list.
And things only got better! My dessert of hot chocolate fondant with Grenache cherries and milk sorbet was sublime and Hazel’s selection of cheeses seemed to go over a treat.
It is certainly obvious that John Paul’s keen interest in food is much more than professional, it’s personal.
Head waiter Vikram and his team were very attentive and pleasant which made our experience at the Marine all the more relaxing and enjoyable.
I would highly recommend a visit to the Marine, and the John Paul restaurant – it certainly gets top marks from Hazel and I and we can promise you a culinary experience you won’t forget for a long time.