Garleton Lodge nestled in a countryside setting between Haddington and Gullane has been awarded a four-star gold accolade from VisitScotland. I went along to discover just what this delightful small hotel offers.

Having worked in the property and catering industries in the Middle East, Angela and David Cockerton, decided to return to the UK and set up a hotel offering a careful blend of understated luxury in a homely environment. The result is Garleton Lodge – a small hotel with spectacular 360-degree panoramic views across Edinburgh, the Forth and the East Lothian countryside.  Just one year after opening, Garleton Lodge achieved a prestigious Quality Assurance award from VisitScotland and a Taste Our Best Award which recognises businesses committed to serving and promoting high quality food and drink connecting the places people visit with first-class local produce. 

On Saturday nights Garleton Lodge is open to non-residents and hosts a mix of regular diners alongside those staying in the hotel. We were welcomed by both Angela and David, as if being welcomed into their own home and shown into the cosy bar for pre-dinner drinks. Over some seriously sublime amuse bouches, we surveyed the extensive wine list, with David on hand to offer advice, all the while, mouth-watering cooking aromas were tempting us from the kitchen.

As we take our seats in the dining room, we’re drawn to the stunning views – you can see right down the Forth to the three Bridges, along the East Lothian coast and over to Fife. On a good day, David told us, you can even see part of the Cairngorms. As the home-made bread arrived it is clearly evident that passion and quality are the hallmarks of Angela’s kitchen. From preparation to presentation, every dish is lavished with care and attention and local produce is a key feature of the small but impeccably put together daily changing menu. 

Our first plate of food was one of my favourite local dishes, Belhaven Smoked Trout Pâté, beautifully presented and equally delicious. Followed by venison which looked just as tempting as its predecessor, and smelt and tasted fantastic. The accompanying Potato Dauphinoise was so divinely creamy, it was tempting to lick the dish! We opted for cheese and a superb selection of Scottish cheese arrived with a glass of fortified Malbec – this port-styled wine, recommended by David, is rich and ripe and works exceedingly well with cheese.

Our evening ended back in the cosy bar with coffee, petits fours and handmade chocolates. Chocolate is also a passion of Angela’s which saw them recently launch a handmade chocolate business – The Chocolate Stag. Looking around at the fellow diners, it was evident that David and Angela’s many strengths not only lie in their passion for all things food and drink, but in creating an environment in which everyone feels at home. Don’t take my word for it, you really should go and find out for yourself. After all the location is outstanding, the atmosphere relaxed, each dish is wonderfully delicious and they won’t judge you for licking the plate.

3 West Garleton Holdings, Haddington EH41 3SL | t: 01620 826256