Maybe it's the students in snowboard gear; maybe it's the stag heads and antler fittings; maybe it's just the name, but there is definitely an après ski feel to Big Slope. Wood veneers layer the walls with cut outs of the bar's trademark silhouette – figures on an outdoor wilderness – plus leather alcoves and a recessed faux fire give a considered and modern feel to the place. It's bright with natural light despite being below road level, and is wrapped around by a sunken terrace which will inevitably be a popular sun trap when (if) the sun comes out. We walk in halfway through an Old Firm match and it's busy with couples and pals reading the Sunday papers and nursing pints.
The menu offers alternatives to mainstream pub choices with halloumi and beet salad, a rabbit and beef lasagne, and tempting sticky pork salad with caramelised cashews and mango salsa dressing. Finlay finds his usual in the form of a pint of Guiness and Boddington's battered fish and handcut chips, both of which happily induce the required Sunday afternoon food coma, and Rachel's butternut squash curry with chickpeas, mango salsa and rice is fresh, sweet and spicy. My roast beef is tender, wholesome and tastes good for me with roasted new potatoes, and parsnips and carrots that are all caramelly and crispy on the outside. All of this over a bitter wee pool of gravy from the roasting pan make for a great mix of roast flavours.
We finish on a dense chocolate brownie with ice cream, and a massive portion of sticky toffee sponge which together pretty much knock us out, leaving us to stroke our fat tummies contentedly. [Penny Green]