As we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of prosecco and guided through to the dining area. The West Port has a bar area, a dining room area and also a function room upstairs so there's plenty of space whether you're in for a quick drink, lunch or something a little more formal. After some chit chat and catching up, the first course was served as several lovely platters arrived at our table. I was sitting in front of the mixed seafood platter so started off by tucking into some crayfish, smoked salmon, mussels and hot smoked mackerel, all served alongside lime mayonnaise, tartare sauce and a selection of bread. I'm a big fan of mackerel so really enjoyed that, and I loved the crayfish too - nice to have something a little bit different to the usual prawns. I also managed to sneak some tasters from the vegetarian platter which included lots of chargrilled vegetables, hummus, olives, sunblush tomatoes and mozzarella. There was also an antipasti platter with lots of yummy looking Italian meats, but I didn't quite get round to trying that one!
Next up was the tempura chicken with sweet chilli sauce, which tasted every bit as good as it looks. The chicken was nice and juicy in the middle and the batter was perfectly crispy - just what you want from tempura! This dish is from the "Small Plates" section of the West Port Menu, so is only £5.50 and would be great if you fancied something snacky instead of a whole main course. Once we had devoured the chicken (trust me, it didn't take long!) we also got to try some mini versions of some of the main courses from the menu. We had grilled apples topped with BBQ pulled pork (AMAZING! Think I'll definitely be ordering the full-sized version of this dish next time I'm at The West Port), spicy Moroccan lamb stew with herb couscous, and mini beef and teriyaki chicken burgers. I was obviously too busy eating at this point to take any photos, but you might have noticed a little snap of the burgers on my Instagram!
After a few more glasses of wine, we managed to make room for dessert and were treated to a whole selection of delicious puddings. The sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream and the profiteroles with chocolate sauce were so good, but I think my favourite was the vanilla cheesecake with berry compote. Yummmm. I'm usually more of a starters person than a desserts person, but I'd quite happily eat a huge slice of that cheesecake any time!
This was the first time I'd been to Linlithgow (that I can remember, anyway!) but it's only 20 minutes away from Edinburgh by train so I think I'll have to make the effort to have a proper day out there soon. I've been meaning to visit Linlithgow Palace for years, so will definitely need to go there and stop off at The West Port for something to eat afterwards! The newly refurbished bar and hotel looks great - modern and a wee bit trendy, but still cosy, welcoming and with the feel of a country pub. Definitely worth a visit if you're in Linlithgow!
Have you ever been to The West Port Hotel?