ON a snowy winter’s day, the Paper Mill, tucked away on the riverbank in Lasswade, is a wonderful way to prepare for a long cold walk.
We were seated next to the window with a view over the sizeable beer garden with the burn just beyond.
Starting with a large sparkling water (£3) we turned to food whilst we nibbled on delicious homemade bread with butter and a tomato and caper salsa. My friend couldn’t resist the Peterhead smoked mackerel terrine (£4.95). This was infused with saffron and chives and potato. With the strong smoked fish flavour and coupled with a dollop of sour cream, it was a perfect combination.
My Indian-style salad (£4.95) was a touch less exciting. The spiced chicken was a touch dry, the beautiful flavour of coriander lost in a mountain of leaves. The yoghurt dressing was delicious, however the rest of the dish was a slight disappointment. We teamed the starters with a small carafe of Chenin Blanc (£6.80).
Next an aromatic cassoulet (£7.95) was served opposite me; large chunks of smoky bacon, chipolatas swimming in a sea of lentils and outstanding flavours. With a slice of toasted ciabatta on the side, this was a superb dish. I could not resist the combination of steak and haggis in a Scotch pie (£10.95). Fearing an enormous portion, it was pleasingly petite in size and came mixed and topped with carrots and Swede, a winning combination. Homemade beans finished the dish. With this course we had another small carafe, this time of a smooth and light Pinot Noir (£6.70).
After a prolonged break, we simply couldn’t resist the dark chocolate crème brulée with homemade shortbread (£4.95). Unusually made and served in the bowl, it was caramelly chocolatey goodness. The classic crunchy topping covered a smooth and rich inside. With excellent and courteous service, the staff are happy to help. There is a sense that it is trying too hard, from the falling books angled just so and the copper pots hanging over the service station, but we took this as merely a sign of desire to succeed and attention to detail.
• The Paper Mill, 2-4 Lasswade Road, 0131-663 1412, thepapermill-lasswade.com