The Caddy Mann has long been favored for its great, honest cooking and homely atmosphere. Given that it is only a 20 minute drive from home, it is surprising I had never been! Featured in the Good Food Guide 2013, the small restaurant is situated in a quaint cottage near Jedburgh, in the heart of the Scottish Borders.
Surrounded by antiques and local art work, sitting next to a roaring wood fired stove – you can’t help but feel at home. The informal service matches the surroundings perfectly and puts you instantly at ease.
Chef Ross Horrocks showcases the best of local produce in a menu which changes daily. The food is hearty, with a strong emphasis on game and meat. A choice of 10 starters and 10 main courses (all of which sounded delicious) left us stuck for choice.
Well cooked pigeon was sliced expertly thin and served atop a Hare Ragù. The hare packed a big punch – poached in red wine with a hint of rosemary. The pigeon still held its own, tasting wonderfully rich. Little dices of swede added to the autumnal feel!
Roe Deer Liver was delightful. The liver was perfectly cooked, blackened on the outside, rare in the middle. The homemade sausage had the taste of a great traditional chipolata and when paired with the accompanying black pudding mash, made for a very comforting dish.
The Lamb Loin was perhaps the most tender I have eaten in a very long time. Well cooked and clearly rested for a suitably long time, the lamb had been treated with respect. The slow cooked shoulder still retained its cannon like shape but fell apart at the merest sight of a fork. The roasted baby onions added great sweetness, balancing the savory sauce. Perhaps the sauce could have been a little richer to help it stand up against the lamb. A simple but delicious dish.
Pork Four Ways was inventive and well executed. All four pieces of pig were cooked to perfection – the fillet blushing pink, the cheek beautifully gelatinous, the belly meltingly tender and the crackling incredibly moreish! Apple and cinnamon purée was perfectly sweet yet acidic. The jus was a little cold but tasted great.
The sight of Sticky Toffee Pudding on any menu takes me straight back to my childhood – where I would order it everywhere I went. When the pudding was dubbed as ‘Our Famous’ and served with homemade ice cream, I got a little over-excited! The pudding was perfect. Beautifully light and fluffy yet deep and rich. The toffee sauce was on the cusp of bitterness – just as it should be, balancing the sweetness of the ice cream and pudding perfectly. This was a big portion – but I had no problem in polishing off the lot! Only a strong sense of self-restraint stopped me asking for seconds.
Lemon Posset with meringue and lemon mousse/set custard and ice cream was also delectable. The meringue was delicious, if a little too chewy and the posset sweet and suitably rich!
The Caddy Mann is a charming little place. Great, honest, traditional food served in homely surroundings. Everything was delicious and comforting. I am ashamed that it has taken me this long to visit this gem – but rest assured it will not take me as long to return.
The Caddy Mann Restaurant
Food (For Two): £60
Dress Code: Casual
Reservations: Recommended for end of week