The Inn at Lathones is justifiable famous for the quality of its food. The inn has held 2 AA Rosettes since 1997, when current owners Nick & Jocelyn White took over; and Nick White has been running establishments awarded 2 AA Rosettes since 1985. Add in the Les Routiers award for the best wine list in Scotland in 2005/6 and membership of the Scotch Beef Club and you can see this is somewhere that takes the food and drink it serves its guests very seriously indeed. You can read our hotel review for the Inn at Lathones here.
The Inn at Lathones serves lunches throughout the afternoon in either the lounge or restaurant from a bar menu which when we visited featured five starters, six mains and three sweets: or you can simply go for one of the sandwiches on offer. Afternoon teas are served from mid afternoon, as are "The Inn's Ultimate Afternoon Teas", which adds champagne or a smoothie and sandwiches to the selection of scones and cakes that are the "standard" afternoon tea offering.
Dinner is served daily from a seasonally changing menu. When we visited this included five starters and two soups, and eight mains. For starters we chose a "tian of local potted crab with lobster butter, crayfish tails, and fresh herb salad"; and "goat's cheese and shallot tart tatin with a caramelised red onion tart and dressed leaves". What we got was the perfect explanation of just why the inn's food is so highly rated. Great ingredients had been prepared with flair and attention to detail and presented superbly. Art on a plate, but not art for art's own sake: rather it was the perfect, almost loving, presentation of food served in good sized helpings and most definitely intended to be eaten and enjoyed.
The mains were just as good. The "roasted breast of wild duck and confit of duck leg with a preserved plum jus" was almost certainly the best duck dish we have ever eaten. Meanwhile "Richard's luxury fish pie with salmon, prawns, haddock, turbot, cod and a hint of smokie" was outstanding. When the head chef puts his name on a dish it shows a lot of confidence: and in this case the confidence was more than fully justified.
You can judge the attractiveness of a menu by the difficulty you have making a choice. The sweet menu when we visited was a real triumph. One member of the team had little difficulty going for the excellent Scottish cheese platter, but the other, with a sweeter tooth, found the competing claims for attention of the four other sweets on the menu to be very difficult to resolve. The final choice, of "crumble of the day (plum and rhubarb) with ginger and Drambuie ice cream", was highly successful: but the vanilla crème brulée or the rich chocolate fondant would probably have been equally good.
Breakfast is served in the restaurant. The menu when we visited talked of a starter course from a buffet table that was apparently not in operation, so we ordered our fruit juice, tea, coffee and toast and then launched into the main course. Here the choices available on the menu included porridge; a European breakfast including ham, cheese and egg; a Great Scottish breakfast including all the elements you would expect and which turned out to be very good; and an East Neuk breakfast including locally smoked salmon with scrambled eggs or a smokie with poached eggs. You can read our hotel review for the Inn at Lathones here.