On Saturday night we went through to Linlithgow to have dinner with Michelle and Robin. They had told us about a restaurant called Champanys - a chop and ale house out near their house. They told us about the amazing burgers and steaks and we were only too happy to test their recommendation.
There is a restaurant which we hear is excellent but was a bit pricey for a Saturday night meal that wasn't for a special occasion - so we went to the chop and ale house.
It doesn't take reservations so we got there early to get a table. The place was very busy and Michelle and Robin said that they had never seen it quiet - it is always busy and has people waiting for tables. We had a half hour wait - just enough time for a quick G&T and some chat - and then got a table.
Robin and Michelle advised skipping the starters and saving room for pudding - and they were right. The main meals were very generous and the puddings were excellent - we would not have wanted to have missed out on them. Robin, Andy and I had burgers - mine with cheese and the boys had the mexican. Michelle had the scampi - my second option - and she let me have a taste. The scampi was excellent and I would give it a go next time - because there will definitely be a next time!! The burgers were thick and juicy and the meat amazing. The side salad was actually worth eating and the coleslaw was good - I prefer coleslaw to having sauces and this one wasn't too creamy and had enough bite from the cabbage for it to stand up against the doorstop of a burger.
The puddings were also good - it is not often you get a restaurant that is excellent at both main and pudding courses. Andy had the cheesecake and it was bliss - it tasted like no cheesecake I have had before - it was very light and yet didn't stray into mousse-y territory. It avoided being claggy and the texture was smooth and silky. I had the profiteroles which were also very good - light pastry and sligtly bitter chocolate to cut through the cream. But I think next time I would go for the cheesecake.
The service was also top notch. It was very busy but the staff were all polite, the courses were served in good time and the staff had time to make a comment or quip while serving. A bit of banter is always a good thing.
The bill was good too - around £30 a head - which for the standard of food and service was a good deal. We also took a peak around the wine shop next door and spotted a few bottles that looked pretty tasty. Champanys is definitely on the list for a repeat visit.