Swanston Golf Club has recently undergone, and still is undergoing, a significant revamp. This includes the eating facilities at the club, since the owning McClung family have chosen to make the facilities open to all.
Swanston now has a fantastic new clubhouse. Up a flight of stairs is a spacious lounge bar with wide screen televisions featuring sky and setanta at either end. Donâ€™t worry however, the volume on both is switched off. There is an area where you can enjoy coffees and light snacks â€“ everything from bacon rolls to generous bowls of soup. One can also use the balcony for snacks or just a drink. The views from the balcony are absolutely stunning, across the Pentland hills and the golf holes of Swanston which lie across the lower slopes.
The dining area itself lies within the body of the main lounge. The main drawback I shall mention first, to get that out of the way. You can only dine within that area, not in the lounge bar, or indeed on the balcony. I was most disheartened to discover this on one of the sunniest days of the year. Indeed, there is no table service whatsoever on the balcony; for health and safety reasons (the heavy double doors Iâ€™m about to mention). One other slight drawback is that the closely situated double doors one needs to maneuver through to reach the balcony are pretty hefty, not easy for older members of society, or indeed kids of around 10 years old, as I witnessed with much sympathy when I was there â€“ donâ€™t worry I got off my chair and helped the poor lad! That said, I am assured there ae plans to address this issue.
Two other things to mention â€“ smoking on the main balcony is not permitted â€“ fantastic for all us non smokers! There is a separate balcony for smokers but there are in fact plans to make both balconies non smoking, once seats and shelter are in place for the grassy area to the south west. This area will then become the smoking zone.
Colin McClung, the Director at Swanston Golf, has advised me that there are plans to accommodate dog walkers by providing facilities for tying up their dogs. Also, there are plans to provide cyclists with somewhere to lock up their bikes.
Service both at the bar and in the dining area was superb (although one did have to get up and fetch oneâ€™s own sauces, which I found somewhat poor). The food was fairly priced, the menu strong, and its quality very good. Where possible, local suppliers are used to reduce food miles. I enjoyed an excellent scampi and chips and Head Chef Michelle Potts plans to put on special dishes on a weekly basis soon. She stressed that these dishes would be a notch above haggis and tatties one week, and pie and chips another!
As with all popular restaurants, booking in advance is strongly recommended. Would I go back? Yes, most definitely. Overall rating? 7/10.
Swanston Golf Club, 111 Swanston Road, Edinburgh EH10 7DS.
Tel 0131 445 2239
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