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Ten miles doesn't seem much - but in Edinburgh terms it takes you from the city centre to a patch of Midlothian utterly disconnected from urban life. The low-slung premises of the Howgate (in a
tiny eponymous village outside Penicuik) were once stables, a dairy, & had other incarnations. Now they house this established bistro/bar with crackling open fire as well as a more formal
dining space, all done up with obvious taste & care: what a modern restaurant in the country should look like. They pride themselves on the quality of the beef for the charcoal-grilled steaks,
but it's certainly not all high class sirloin'n'chips. You could start with a soft Scottish artisan cheese (Howgate Brie naturally) in filo with light plum sauce; move on to sea bass with asparagus
& wilted spinach; then finish with a crowd-pleaser like sticky toffee pudding. Decent range of affordable wines although someone will have to stay sober to drive home.
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