Donald’s Aberlady, East Lothian Restaurant Recommendation, Dining Review, Location

Donald’s at Aberlady East Lothian

Donald’s at Aberlady Restaurant Review, Scotland Eating Out Guide: Information

Donald’s at Aberlady, Main St, Aberlady, East Lothian, Southeast Scotland

+44 (0)1875 870682

Donald’s Bar/Bistro is located in the peaceful village of Aberlady in East Lothian, 25 mins down the coast from Edinburgh. Donald’s is owned by Malcolm Duck along with Kilspindie House (26 rooms) and Ducks at Aberlady Restaurant.

The charming building dates from 1638 and is located on the south side of the high street roughly in the middle.

Donald’s restaurant review

9 Oct 2010

Lunch at Donald’s in Aberlady

Malcolm Duck’s sprawling whitewashed Inn located on Aberlady High Street is as charming and welcoming as Malcolm himself. Never a dull moment in neither building nor personality, never any doubt about whose guest you are and what floats his boat – original golf memorabilia from floor to ceiling. A great place to either while away the hours on a rainy afternoon or a dark wintery night (too wet and too dark for a round of golf anyway) – either in the well stocked bar or sampling some of the tasty offerings on the menu.

We were here for lunch on an almost rainy afternoon. After a quick hello with Malcolm, who was off to pick up some Swedish golfers in North Berwick, we were led through the bar to a room looking onto the courtyard, and given a table by the closed French doors. Our very friendly waitress brought us the menus and took our drinks orders. Adrian, my partner, was driving so he stuck to sparkling water and I ordered half a pint of lager.

After quite a bit of deliberation I had almost decided on Seafood chowder and warmed bread (small £4.95/ large £6.50) for starters, and Steak & Belhaven best pie, caramelised onion mash and green beans (£9.95) – when the Specials menu blackboard became available it was all thrown in the air. It all looked delicious – I chose Port Seton Langoustines with Sweet Cider + Pernod butter sauce (small £6.99/ large £13.99) for starter (our well-spoken polite waitress reassured me that this was indeed a very popular choice), and Venison burger, caramelised onions, salad, plumb chutney and chips (£9.95) for main.

Although seeing the Specials menu, Adrian stuck to his initial choice of Gosford organic egg Benedict (small £4.40/ large £6.00), though instead of his initial choice of Grilled Ciabatta Sandwich with Mature Buccleuch sirloin steak (£10.50), he chose Venison fillet, chantarelle risotto, kale and red wine jus (£12.50)

After a short wait our starters arrived. Adrian’s starter was a success, though he did not rave as much about it as I did. The local Gosford egg was cooked to perfection, topped by tendrils of sweet pea, beautifully presented. The yoke spilled out at the first prick of the knife, covering the ham and bread below. I was blown away: my starter was three Langoustines served on a large rectangular plate on a bed of thick yellow sweet Cider and Pernod butter sauce. I loved it, pernod and langoustine was an unusual combination, but it really worked for me. After picking and scraping all the meat out of the langoustines, I soaked up the left over sauce up with a lovely (still warm) bread bun.

Our mains arrived – both beautifully presented. Adrian’s Venison fillet arrived on a bed of steamed kale red wine jus and a tower of risotto. It looked great, tasted lovely and had a good variety of textures and flavours. My Venison burger was a hit too, though I think the real saviour for me was the Plum Chutney, it was sharp yet fruity and added a touch of something extra special. It was quite a large portion, and I was glad to have Adrian’s help with finishing off the chips.

Malcolm was back from his drive to pick up the Swedish golfers, who apparently had not been ready to come back just yet, and was doing his rounds greeting his diners, regulars and newcomers alike. This added to the already cheerful yet relaxed atmosphere in the room.

A new waitress arrived to take our pudding orders – the menu had four to choose from including cheeses and biscuits (£7.50). Adrian beat me to the Dark chocolate fondant and Raspberry sorbet (£5.00), so I chose a Trio of homemade ice creams & sorbets (£4.50) – chef’s choice. Although Adrian’s choice both looked and tasted delicious, I am not sure I could have managed it, and I was more than happy with a scoop of Vanilla, Raspberry and Spiced Bread ice cream.

We had a lovely afternoon – we probably ate too much, but it was tough not to when there was such a good variety of fresh local produce.

This is not an off-the-peg place – this is Malcolm’s place.

Ducks at Aberlady, East Lothian – Review
All the tables were clad in white linen and furnished with large candles and one small duck ornament….the atmosphere was cosy and relaxed though not informal or over familiar…..I couldn’t resist ordering the duck, thinking I had to eat duck while at Duck’s.
Ducks at Aberlady restaurant review – 29 Mar 2010

East Lothian Restaurants

East Lothian Restaurants

Selected East Lothian Restaurants


Goblin Ha Hotel, Main Street, Gifford
+44 (0)1620 810244
The food is fairly traditional and service variable but the setting is great – choice of bar or conservatory in a pleasant East Lothian village.
Goblin Ha’ hotel
Goblin Ha

Greywalls Hotel, Duncur Road, Muirfield, Gullane
+44 (0)1620 842144
Seasonal opening : Open 1 May 2010 closes end of December 2010

East Lothian restaurant & hotel open again to non-residents. Greywalls hotel & restaurant has returned to being a hotel & restaurant after a brief change : Grey Walls Hotel

Gullane restaurants


The Waterloo Bistro & Courtyard Bar, Haddington
+44 (0)1620 822100
Waterloo Bistro Haddington

Dining review welcome

Waterloo Bistro

East Lothian Restaurant Review

The Rocks Restaurant, Dunbar, East Lothian – Restaurant Review Jul 2005
“Stumbled across this place whilst watching rugby and needed to get out of the cold in February! Warming, friendly and decent food.”
Rocks Restaurant
+44 (0)1368 862287

The Linton Hotel restaurant review – online 20 Mar 2010

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