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The Crown Inn, Biggar Restaurant Review

Find out whether The Crown Inn in Biggar gets Cat Thomson's royal seal of approval.

Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • Ambience - It's important that a restaurant is inviting. We rate the decor, comfort and atmosphere.
  • Drink - Is the wine or cocktail list as exciting as the food, or does it fall short? Same goes for soft drinks. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.

I’m missing my royal fix on the telly as the next season of Netflix series The Crown isn’t planned to premiere until 2022. 

Imelda Staunton will be taking over as Queen Elizabeth from Olivia Colman. While I’m patiently waiting for the next instalment of my favourite drama, I thought I would investigate The Crown Inn, in Biggar.

This place was founded in 1650, with the date proudly displayed on the welcoming exterior of the traditional coaching inn.

Corgis are welcome

It is the kind of place that allows you bring your corgi to sit obediently at your feet while you sup a pint from its wide selection of ales.

The Crown Inn Biggar
The interior of the Crown Inn Biggar

We spotted three such pooches during our visit but not even the faintest whiff of minor royalty.

Although, it was voted CAMRA (the campaign for real ale) Lanarkshire Pub of the Year 2016 and Glasgow and West of Scotland regional winner in 2017.


But if like the late Queen Mum, gin is your tipple, than you’re in luck because they boast a range of 68 to choose from.

I’m treating the elder daughter to a lazy Sunday lunch, and looking online in advance this place has lots to offer.

They don’t seem content to just stick with the usual pub classics of fish and chips, steaks, burgers, pies, pizzas and pasta; they also offer a Sunday carvery as well as quite a few vegan and vegetarian choices.

I booked an early slot to avoid the lunchtime rush, result. However my elation quickly turned to disappointment as we had to wait 20 minutes for the kitchen staff to actually arrive.

No matter, it gave us plenty of time for a catch up.

The Crown Inn Biggar
Southern fried chicken wrap

Wise words

On the walls there are a couple of quotes, one from JRR Tolkein, “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold it would be a merrier world...”

I’ll raise a glass to that. Whilst the other is by Virginia Wolf, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

It is taken from A Room of One's Own and as we were the only diners in the place, this made me chuckle.

Perusing the extensive menu to see what was on offer, both my daughter and I had the same thought, what would Gordon Ramsay say about this on Kitchen Nightmares? “This menu is so vast I’m dizzy just reading it,” was my dining companion’s comment.

Regal dining

There was everything from Coronation chickpea sandwiches and Chicken Balmoral to king prawn and chicken masala by way of poulet a l’estragon and a kimchi rainbow salad wrap.

And don’t forget the fish finger sandwich. If none of those options take your regal fancy there is also a carvery every Sunday.

The Crown Inn Biggar
Get stuffed

You can select where to sit when booking, so either in the bar, the restaurant or the beer garden.

We went for the restaurant area at the back of the pub and lucked out by sitting underneath the mounted deer head, so we decided to call him Prince Albert for luck.

Neither of us fancied him falling on our heads, which luckily didn’t happen.

Before long the singing chef sauntered to his kitchen station, so we ordered and to our surprise our grub arrived in jig time.

From the vegan section of the main menu I chose a moving mountains burger (£11.99) served with grated vegan cheese, tomato, salad, onion rings and vegan mayo on a toasted bun, with a solitary dinky gherkin impaled by a bamboo skewer.

I rang in the changes with an upgrade on the regular fries that normally accompanies the burger, to a portion of salt and chilli chips.

Roll out the red carpet

A dish fit for any vegan queen or king who might be hungry and passing by. I’d describe it as not too shabby, and good portion size.

Whilst we had been waiting we were entertained by a soundtrack which included: queen of soul, Aretha Franklin: You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman, and Purple Rain by rock royalty, Prince.

The youngster was so confused by the dizzying array on the menu she panic ordered, randomly opting for the Southern fried chicken wrap (£7.99) from the lunch menu, not something she would normally pick.

She paired it with a side order of garlic sourdough (£2.99) which looked like a supermarket panini cut in half lengthways.

The Crown Inn Biggar
Taylor’s of Biggar, Ice cream

Scoops Ahoy!

For dessert it was a straightforward enough choice for me, as I like to champion local produce so I couldn’t see past three scoops of ice cream from Taylor’s of Biggar.

It is sold a few doors along the street at Cones & Candies (129 High Street). The hardest part was selecting just three flavours to be scooped into a wafer waffle basket (£5.99).

I went for raspberry ripple, chocolate and honeycomb smooth and all were equally majestic.

Junior had selected caramel-filled churros, served with an indulgent chocolate dip for her pudding (£5.99). These were tasty but hotter than the latest news from Megan and Harry’s Archewell Productions.

By the time we finished and got the bill the place had filled up with an eager Sunday lunch crowd, so we decided it was time to take our leave.

We had expected good pub grub and that is what we were served.

The Crown Inn Biggar
The interior of The Crown Inn

The Crown Inn
109 High Street,
ML12 6DL

Tel: 01899 220116

•READ MORE Dolly's Tea Room Roslin, Restaurant Review
Catriona is a freelance writer based in the Scottish Borders, and a nominee for Food and Drink writer at this year's Scottish Press Awards.

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