Published: March 2012
Our middle son had been studying hard for his prelims and was in need of sustenance so we decided to take him and his wee brother out to eat.
It had been another unseasonably mild day so an evening drive to Findhorn beckoned, with the prospect of a bite to eat at the Kimberley Inn. Arriving in the village, we pondered over how long it had been since we'd been there – too long, we decided, as young Kyle, now a teenager, had been a tot at the time.
When you step into an establishment and get a big grin from the first member of staff you meet, I think it's fair to describe the welcome as warm.
This is dining bar-meal style, so after ordering our drinks we found a table and had a look at the menu. In addition to the offerings on it, at the end of the bar there is a series of blackboards with daily specials, so the choice is pretty good.
In addition to the main bar area, there's a smaller room beyond. Décor is plain, with assorted wooden tables and chairs – some of which are rickety, as we found out. But it wasn't a problem.
There are tables outside, too, and it must be a lovely place to eat on a nice, warm day, with those views out over the bay.
Food orders are placed at the bar and the receipt has a number on it. All diners have to do is listen out for their number being called by the waiting staff.
Our ever-hungry middle son, Blair, had immediately spotted the scallops wrapped in bacon with chilli sauce on the specials board and didn't need to look any further for his starter.
When they arrived, he was delighted to see that the scallops were huge. He enjoyed all the components of the meal; the scallops wrapped in bacon were perfectly cooked and the chilli sauce was tasty and not too hot. However, he pointed out that the three didn't belong together on the same plate. I have to agree that I thought it was a strange combination.
Having established that the soup of the day was lentil, Martin, who's pretty easily pleased, had no trouble choosing his starter either. A good-sized serving of hearty soup came with some gorgeous bread from the Findhorn Bakery just around the corner. The server was forgiven for slopping it on the table as he put the plate down.
Kyle had gone for a simple starter of garlic bread (again from Findhorn Bakery), which has the option to have added cheese if diners so wish.
My spicy creel prawns were certainly spicy and went very nicely with the garlic mayonnaise dip.
Martin and Blair had both chosen the haddock and chips for their main and they were grinning from ear to ear when it arrived. The piece of fish took up most of the plate! It was in a nice crispy batter, with a portion of tartare sauce on the side and chunky chips (frozen, but in my rules that's okay with pub grub).
I had chosen a veggie main of spicy bean burger, something I'd never had before. It came in a roll from the local bakery which was way too big for the burger, although both were very nice. I just ate half the roll and all the burger, as there was no way I could have eaten such a lot of bread. Again, served with chunky chips, on the whole it was good.
Kyle fancies himself as a bit of a spicy-food lover and had chosen the chicken tikka and chips. But he didn't really like the Kimberley's version of this dish. Perhaps he's spoilt; his dad was a chef in one of Edinburgh's top Indian restaurants when he was younger, so we're always well looked after with home-made curry.
There was a lot of very thin sauce at the bottom of his plate which made his chips soggy. Sorry, Kimberley, this wasn't a success.
Mains cleared away, my poor starving boys had obviously not had enough to eat so desserts were a definite yes.
I'd spotted the Mars Bar cheesecake on the specials board when I'd been ordering our meals earlier and would have loved to have been able to have a piece – it sounded gorgeous. However, there was no way I could manage a pudding.
The men in my life didn't have a problem, though, and both Kyle and Blair ordered the aforementioned cheesecake. They very kindly let their mum have a wee taste, and it was every bit as good as I'd imagined.
Meanwhile, Martin tucked in to his sticky toffee pudding. I scrounged a wee taste of it too – just so he wasn't being treated differently from the boys, you understand. Moist and tasty, it was probably the best sticky toffee pudding I'd tried in a while.
So we ended our meal out on a high and Blair was ready to return to his studying.
Paying our bill (£89.35 including drinks) we left suitably full. We won't leave it so long before going back to Findhorn.
Quality of food: 8
Menu choice: 8
Value for money: 7
Summary: Good, hearty pub grub using local (sometimes from just around the corner) ingredients.
by Forres IV36 3YG
Tel: 01309 690492