Everyone who follows us may or may not know that we have a mini-burger on the way. So when the opportunity to take a trip down the East Coast and stay at the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa presented itself, we jumped at the chance. This would probably be our last night away as a two so our bags were packed well in advance of us going.
Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa is situated in North Berwick and certainly makes the most of the spectacular views out over the Firth of Forth. The hotel is easily accessible whether you have a car or are using public transport. It’s a short walk from North Berwick train station or is about a 30 minute drive from Edinburgh if travelling by car.
We were lucky enough to check into one of the newly refurbished rooms in the hotel. The room was beautifully decorated and made the most of the huge windows and fantastic views out over the golf course and further afield to Fife. The room came with all the usual things you would expect nice fluffy dressing gowns, slippers, bottled water and nice toiletries in the bathroom.
I’m pleased to say that the bed definitely passed the pregnant lady test. It was very comfortable and probably one of the best nights sleep I had had in a good few weeks. Mr E also found the bed comfy and also slept really well. Even although the room was on the ground floor there was no noise from the bar and restaurant further along the other direction or from any passing residents staying up near us. The bedroom really was very nice and we spent a good part of the afternoon when we arrived just sitting in the comfy chairs and looking out at the sea views. There’s something very relaxing about looking out over water.
Part of our overnight stay also included dining in The Craigleith Restaurant. £25 per person is included for food if you book a dinner, bed and breakfast package. The restaurant also makes good use of the lovely views and offers a fine dining experience in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We were booked in for dinner at 7.30pm so we headed down a little early to have a pre-dinner drink in the relaxed Links Bar. I have to say the sofas in there are far to comfy and it’s very tempting to stay there all evening! Dinner was a lovely affair. We were greeted and promptly shown to our table. Luckily we bagged one of the tables by the window, but unfortunately with the evenings drawing in the views didn’t last long but we enjoyed them while they lasted.
The menu makes good use of the finest local ingredients. The fish on offer is fresh-caught and locally cured, the pork along with the chicken and eggs, is free-range. Only the highest quality produce is used to guarantee quality.
It was a tough decision deciding what to order but eventually we got there with Mr E choosing the Charred Fillet & Tartare of Mackerel with Fennel, Wasabi Yoghurt & Pink Grapefruit and I the Salad of Heirloom Tomatoes with Bocaccini, Olive Oil & Baby Basil for starters. Service was quick and drinks served promptly. Before we knew it our starters were in front of us and we tucked in.
Our plates were cleared and there was a nice little break between finishing and the arrival of our main courses. This time we swapped Mr E ordered the fish and I the steak. Usually it’s the other way around when we’re out but I fancied trying out the steak and who can’t say no to handcut chips? The main dishes we picked were Pan Fried Pave Of Cod with Parsley & Cockle Veloute, Braised Leeks & Baby Potatoes and Seared 21 Day Aged Sirloin Steak with a Caesar salad, handcut chips and peppercorn sauce.
Usually we struggled to eat 3 courses these days but we gave it our best shot on this occasion. Dessert was easy for Mr he opted for the Scottish cheese board, selecting 4 cheeses which came with Waldorf Salad, homemade grape chutney, walnut bread wafers & Scottish oatcakes and I the carrot cake.
The food overall was delicious. Each dish was well presented and tasted great. There was the right amount of seasoning on each dish and the meats cooked perfectly. Mr E even commented on the size of the mussels in his cod dish. My steak was well cooked and is excellent value considering it comes with a salad of your choice, chips and sauce all included in the price. We really couldn’t fault dinner and it very much lived up to expectations. Service was also good. Checking in with us to ensure we were enjoying it and also making sure we had sufficient drinks. We wouldn’t hesitate in coming back to eat in the restaurant if we stay again.
Included in our stay was breakfast. This again was a lovely treat. Taking the lazy option we ordered it to the room, my excuse is it takes me a little bit longer these mornings to get going and by time we got down to the restaurant breakfast would have been over, plus I also wanted to make the most of our lovely room. If you have prepaid for breakfast it is an additional £5 per person to have it in the room. We thought it was definitely worth the small extra charge. Shortly after 8.30am there was a knock to the door and breakfast was served.
Overall it was a lovely little overnight stay. We both thoroughly enjoyed our night away and felt like we were much further away from Edinburgh than we actually were. The room and food was excellent at the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa and it’s definitely on the list of somewhere we will consider in the future for an overnight away without having to travel too far. The staff are also excellent, from check in to check out nothing is too much for them.