Heading into Perth with our dog, I did a wee bit of online searching for pooch- friendly eateries.
Coming up top of the list was the Cherrybank Inn – a further look at its reviews and the decision was made. I phoned to book for three humans and one canine and was assured they are very dog-friendly and taking her wasn’t a problem.
As it turned out, three became two and we arrived early – the rain was lashing down and we didn’t want to hang around outdoors – but we still received a warm welcome.
From the car park, you go up metal stairs to a large patio-type area and the door there takes you in through the restaurant. I presume there is a front way in too but we didn’t go exploring.
Though we could see what we thought was our table, we went through to the bar area to confirm and get drinks. It turns out all food and drinks orders have to be placed at the bar.
There were several beers on draught but my other half went for a pint of Peroni while I reverted to type and had a Bacardi and diet cola.
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We took a menu to the table and our dog was brought her own bowl of water, closely followed by one of the staff asking to give her a biscuit. I love it when people are nice to my dog so big thumbs up there.
I’m glad we booked as the tables were all quite full – not everyone with dogs – and the food I could see coming from the kitchen all looked good.
The menu is quite large – all the usual suspects are there, with one or two less regular dishes.
We decided to share starters, narrowing it down to three – haggis bon bons (£5.95), crayfish cocktail (£5.95) and ham hock terrine (£5.80) – eventually deciding on the haggis and the terrine. There is also a selection of sharing plates that looked good.
For mains, there are 10 dishes – steak pie (£9.95), chicken goujons (£8.95) and homemade pasta meatballs (£10.95), being some. There is also from the grill – various burgers and steaks; a salad section; wraps/paninis/baked potatoes and a wee gluten free bit, too.
Faced with so much choice, we plumped for our favourites – fresh breaded haddock (£10.95) and an 8oz ribeye (£13.95).
My husband went to the bar to order, bringing me back another rum. Good man.
There’s a warm and friendly atmosphere here, which is only added to by the polite, engaging staff, one of whom approached our table to say the ham hock terrine was sold out and asking if she could bring us a menu. We, of course, had dish number three up our sleeves and so ordered the crayfish.
The food was served in a reasonable time and, as I’d said we were going to share the starters, we were given extra plates to make this easier. There were four haggis balls, served on turnip puree and with a peppercorn sauce. They were a little spicy for me.
The crayfish cocktail came with a tomato and paprika mayonnaise and brown bread. It was almost like a nest of seafood with the lettuce on the inside. I really liked it, finding the crayfish meatier than the more usual prawns would be.
Mains followed quickly and were delicious. My fish was obviously fresh, a very good size and served with salad and homemade tartare sauce. The ribeye was cooked medium rare as requested and was juicy and tasty, the four onion rings, mushroom and corn on the cob – not something he’d normally have – were good too. And the chips were perfect. It was like they went to my favourite chipper for the dry, crispy and fluffy in the middle creations.
Sitting where we were, I could see the specials board advertising mint Aero cheesecake – I couldn’t resist, so off my other half went to the bar to order one with two spoons. When he was away I saw banoffee pie being delivered to a table and it looked lush.
The cheesecake wasn’t a disappointment in any way, though I think I might have to go back for that banoffee pie.
Cherrybank Inn, Glasgow Road, Perth.
£52.85 (including drinks)
Dog-Friendly, fun and full of locals who know a good place when they find one. It’s worth a visit – with or without a pooch.