The bar at The Murrayfield Hotel is a popular hangout for locals and visitors – especially when there’s a rugby international on at the neighbouring stadium, only a couple of minutes’ walk from the hotel.
Of course, when there is a game on, you would not want to visit for a quiet bar supper, as the place is always packed with fans before and after a game. It gets so busy during match days that the hotel puts up a temporary marquee in the drive to cater for extra demand!
I’ve eaten here a few times over the years. The food used to be great – hearty portions, a varied menu and quality that edged above the level of usual pub grub fare. The previous time I came, about a year ago, the food had taken a huge dip. I don’t know if the hotel had changed chef or supplier, but it was extremely disappointing.
On the basis of this visit, sadly, things have not improved. The menu is still relatively varied, and the food sounds good on paper, but our experience left a little to be desired. The bar was quiet; it was relatively early on a Friday evening. We still had a fairly long wait for our food, and we had begun to glance at our watches.
When it arrived, the food looked a little uninspiring. My partner had ordered a mushroom omelette, which sat looking a bit forlorn and lonely on the large plate with only a few salad leaves and some fries for company. It was tasty enough, but nothing special.
I’d ordered the beef and ale pie, made using meat from the Buccleuch estate. There was plenty beef here, and it was lean; although a bit on the tough side. The biggest disappointment was the gravy however: it tasted burned and was slightly greasy, leaving me with a rather unpleasant taste which lingered into the rest of the evening.
The Murrayfield Hotel is a great place to come for a drink and soak up the atmosphere during rugby match days. However, as a place to have a pub meal, it leaves quite a lot to be desired and there are far better options available nearby (the neighbouring Hampton Hotel, for example). This visit saw me giving it one last chance to impress, based on the previous good experiences I’d had here: sadly, however, I’ll not be back.
Disabled access: yes, the bar and toilet area are on one level, easily accessible from the street and car park to the rear.