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MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

This friendly, family-run restaurant is a perfect match for this lovely Borders town. The chef – a local – spent time in London before returning home, ...
Read more on MICHELIN Guide
Bib Gourmand: good quality, good value cooking
About
/ˈprɒvɪndə/ noun: provender Meaning: food/fodder "From the field or the plate, provender requires care and attention; love and passion." Provender offers high quality food & drink at affordable prices.
PRICE RANGE
£5 - £28
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Drinks
CUISINES
British, Contemporary, Scottish
FEATURES
Reservations, Seating, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Table Service
Reviews (457)
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351
67
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All reviews lemon sole steak haddock service was excellent first class lovely restaurant set menu third visit quality of food an excellent meal wine list great lunch scottish borders an evening meal waiting staff sunday lunch booth
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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Lovely service and delicious food wished I lived closer. The lamb was melt in the mouth and my cheese selection just perfect

Date of visit: May 2024
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 3 April 2024

Well, we had hoped for something special, indeed that’s what we got. Each course from the A La Carte menu was well prepared, balanced and tasted special. The service was attentive but not obtrusive and it was obvious that the table was ours for the...evening. It’s difficult to fault what they do. We fully intend to return ….More

Date of visit: April 2024
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 23 March 2024 via mobile

Down in Melrose for weekend and my gf booked this place for dinner What a find……one of the best meals I’ve had in a very long time Starters I had 1/2 dozen oysters…..fiery fresh, plump and juicy My gf had the broccoli and goats cheese...which was tasty too Star of the show was the mains, I have the steak bavette with garlic butter prawns, steak was cooked to perfection and the prawns was fresh, not frozen as I can tell difference between fresh and frozen My partner had lamb rump, literally melt in your mouth the meat and the salsa verde was dynamite Wasn’t cheap but 100% worth it though, Would def come back againMore

Date of visit: March 2024
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 10 March 2024 via mobile

Superb. I had the hot shell fish platter which was amazing. My son said the dark chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream was the best he’d ever tasted. Lovely staff too.

Date of visit: March 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 3 March 2024

Spoilt for choice in Melrose for restaurants and after going over all the menus displayed outside the different restaurant's we decided on this one. Staff very friendly and obliging and one staff member persevered calling taxi companies to secure us a taxi home. Menu seemed...good and decided on the winter vegetable curry with rice and poppadoms. The menu did say pickles but we could not find them and when I questioned the waiter he came back to say they were on the top of the curry? We did not notice them? The curry was very nice as was the pilau rice. Drinks expensive, and they put on a discretionary tip which annoys me but as the staff were so nice and helpful we did not mind paying it, but for what we got food and drink wise it was expensive. Glad we tried it but would we go back, not sure and would try the other restaurants in the town.More

Date of visit: March 2024
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Reviewed 4 February 2024 via mobile

What a great Sunday afternoon, food was awesome (oysters, fish soup, steak and prawns) as always and the staff/Debbie looked after us so well. 👊🏻

Date of visit: February 2024
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Reviewed 29 January 2024 via mobile

This was our second trip to Provender and after some reflection it was sadly rathler disappointing and expensive. We arrived on a very wet and stormy night - the greeting was friendly but no one offered to take our coats, and then there was nowhere...to hang them as the coat stand was overloaded. Small thing but ...... Starters of fish soup, broccoli with goats cheese croquet, and scallops with squid ink veloute were all delicious and probably the best course of the evening. The venison main was tasty, but not 'wow amazing' and the seafood platter was disappointing and bland. Too many tasteless mussels and a huge piece of bland white fish. The 2 langoustine with salsa Verde and 2 scallops were tasty but once eaten the rest of this dish was really dull. We eat out often and just felt that the food and the ambience sadly did not match the price tag.More

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed 27 January 2024

Absolutely loved this place. We went for a family dinner at 5.30pm. Warm welcome and the restaurant is beautiful, relaxing atmosphere and spacious. The food was amazing. The deserts were some of the best we’ve had. Staff were all so friendly. A perfect evening and...would definitely recommend. Great prices too.More

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed 23 December 2023 via mobile

I should start by saying that I can't fault the food taste wise - everything was well cooked and presented and we have been here a few times previously. My low rating is for the prices charged! My starter was Tempura Monkfish with Garlic aoli...priced at £17! It was nice but consisted of 6 pieces of very very small pieces of fish with a little dish of aoli. Partner had the Prawn Cocktail, again perfectly nice but £15. Our mains were both good but £29 & £34 for "good" sticks in my throat a little. Espresso Martini is £12! We have eaten in many very good restaurants in Edinburgh and these prices being charged in a small Border town are up there with city prices. Came away feeling we had been slightly ripped off and sadly I don't think we will be back.More

Date of visit: December 2023
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 9 December 2023 via mobile

Very pleasant lunch. We had a steak tartar and fish stew. Very good service. Prices got up for wine but the same as everywhere else. (Slightly annoying you need to go to the bar counter to pay.) We’ll come back.

Date of visit: November 2023
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Reviewed 4 December 2023
Serious safety incident

My review is a complaint about our recent experience at Provender Melrose restaurant, when my son experienced an anaphylactic reaction to ice cream served to him. I had booked a table for lunch for 5 people on Sunday 26th November, as a birthday celebration. When...I phoned to book, I mentioned that my son had a nut allergy and was assured by the person who took my booking that this would be noted for both menu choices and potential cross contamination. When we arrived on the 26th, I again asked the staff whether they were aware of my son’s allergy and was assured by front of house staff that they were. As our plates from the main course were cleared, the waitress asked if we wanted dessert and mentioned specifically the ice-cream sundae to my son. As I was about to enquire if this was a nut free option, I was interrupted to be, again told, the restaurant would obviously make sure it was nut free. My son ordered one scoop of vanilla ice cream. Almost immediately after eating his ice cream, he started showing signs of an anaphylactic reaction. When we asked to see the ice-cream for allergens, we were shown a tub which had in unmissable, bold letters “may contain nuts”. Obviously, in the circumstance, our priority was to get our son to A&E. We took him to A&E, leaving one of our party behind who paid the bill. While the waitress was apologetic, I did not feel that your staff fully understood the enormity of this error – that, in fact, it could have been a fatal one. Our initial compensation was our son’s meal being free of charge, plus an additional £15.45 removed from the £154.50 bill – a mere £26 to address negligence which had endangered our son’s life. On top of this, when our designated driver returned to collect the final member of our party, the waitress stated she “couldn’t apologise enough” with a smile on her face. When it was pointed out to her that allergic reactions are life or death situations, the waitress said that the restaurant did take it seriously and that our son’s allergy had been noted and was on “all of the paper work”. It beggars belief that, not only can this error have been made, but that staff reserved the right to be indignant that all protocol had been followed – the only one which hadn’t was ensuring that nothing that potentially had nuts on it, was on my son’s plate. As an establishment, you clearly need to re-evaluate your systems so that the “paper work” and communication between front of house and kitchen staff, ensures that any allergy sufferer is kept safe – with no danger of being exposed to any allergen. After having been given medical treatment, our son has made a physical recovery. However, since being diagnosed as anaphylactic, our son is very cautious about what he eats and has often been worried about getting treats when out and about. As a family, we were also just beginning to trust that restaurants and other establishments were careful enough about allergens, and, in fact, this was the first meal we have all had out together since his diagnosis. This incident has entirely ruined that trust. I understand that Provender have now offered to fully refund the cost of the meal and have accepted responsibility for the incident – chiefly, that this ice cream should never have been served to my son. Unfortunately, however, the incident has ruined a family celebration and left us feeling a sense of trauma and fear about eating out. The fact that this mistake took place at all, and the blasé reaction of staff mean that I feel unsure whether I could trust Provender Melrose in the future, without reassurances of what steps will be taken to improve these issues. It appears clear that staff do not have adequate training in how seriously they need to take food allergies – if a product says it “may contain nuts”, it should be in no circumstances given to someone who is allergic to nuts – regardless of how “precautionary” the head chef feels these messages are, the labelling is there to make clear that nuts have been present in the production line and it is not safe for anyone who is allergic to them. The fact that this was initially used as a ‘get out’ from responsibility in a previous email response, is even more infuriating and makes clear that you and your staff are not taking allergies as seriously as you should be. Anyone who has lived with an allergy all their life should not need to be reminded of this. Since our experience the restaurant are now displaying a notice asking costumers to inform them of any allergies and food intolerance they have. We did this and still ended up at A&E.More

Date of visit: November 2023
Helpful?14  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 26 November 2023

Ate with two families for a nice dinner. Cod was excellent, turbot entree was also good. Bread from twelve triangles bakery was excellent. We enjoyed the ambience and the fare!

Date of visit: June 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 23 November 2023

Excellent, relaxing spot tucked away in Melrose, with many places to eat I would class this as my favourite. Menu always different, ambiance great, private yet edgy, maybe a little more expensive as the others but well worth it.

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed 10 November 2023 via mobile

Beautiful restaurant nice vibe good was good. My steak wasn’t cooked exactly how I wanted for the price of it but they were apologetic about it.

Date of visit: November 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 10 November 2023

We have been going to this restaurant once or twice a year for the last 5 years. The food is beautifully cooked, even the fish and full of flavour. I had a superb venison loin, mother in law had a mushroom tart and husband had...Guinea fowl. I would recommend it to anyone visiting the Borders or who live there if they have not already visited. It is consistently excellent.More

Date of visit: October 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Questions & Answers
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Navigate28994210440
25 October 2022|
Answer
Response from Happywalker_12 | Reviewed this property |
There was a fog in the restaurant when I visited so it’s probably ok.
0
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roseandap
12 December 2020|
Answer
Response from Rambling_Giant | Reviewed this property |
I wasn’t looking for this option on the menu but I think if you phone the restaurant directly they may be able to offer your party more advice. I’ve had two brilliant meals here!
0
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PROVENDER, Melrose - Updated 2024 Restaurant Reviews, Menu & Prices - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Provender

Yes, Provender is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

Provender is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 5