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Luxury, Gourmet Scotland

Written by Linda Jackson

 

Delving into the cookpots of Scotland is an interesting prospect. A prospect I savour. Exploring behind the scenes at some of Scotland’s best hotels proves very enlightening. If you think Scotland is all haggis, neeps, tatties, shortbread and porridge, then think again.

For seconds: stay in the best hotels in Scotland and dine in-house. I’ve discovered some gourmet gems scattered around Scotland that could tantalise the most stubborn of taste buds. Let me share a few excellent restaurants in Scotland with you.

Boath House

A perfect place to start is Boath House in Nairn, a Regency house in a wonderful location the Highlands and owned by Wendy and Don Matheson. The family-run hotel is small, has beautiful gardens with secluded spots, is renowned for its delectable breakfasts, run with a high standard of personal service, and very food-orientated.

The Head Chef Charles Lockley has 4AA rosettes and a Michelin Star amongst his collection of accolades. As he uses wild foods in his dishes, you’ll see Chef foraging in the hotel’s 20 acres for wild mushrooms and herbs, flowers and roots. And with a 1½ acre fruit and vegetable garden, a well stocked greenhouse, orchard, chickens, and their own bees, you’ll get a flavour of what the hotel has in store for its lucky guests.

Watch this space... as Boath House regularly launch wine dinners (tutored tastings with dinner) as well as a series of courses on ‘from-garden-to-kitchen’, and wild herbs and root foraging.


Knockinaam Lodge

Among the top restaurants on a long list of venues in Scotland favoured by lovers of good food and wine sits exclusive Knockinaam Lodge, holder of a Michelin star for twenty years and recipient of a host of wine, food and service awards including 3 AA red stars and 3 AA food rosettes.

Tony Pierce is Executive Chef at Knockinaam and winner of the top prize at the Scottish Chef Awards (2008) - the highest honour in Scottish cooking.

Famous for its superlative wines and champagnes, Knockinaam Lodge is tucked away in a delightful setting in Portpatrick in Dumfries and Galloway. This historic hunting lodge is a relaxing hideaway to enjoy not only great cuisine second to none, but also the great outdoors. This is a secret to be relished... often.


Marcliffe Hotel & Spa

For all-round serious food, very Scottish, make a beeline for the elegant Marcliffe Hotel & Spa, a prestigious five-star Scottish country hotel set in beautiful wooded grounds on the fringe of historic Aberdeen. With a brigade of chefs headed up by Michael Stoddart (a past holder of the Scottish Function Chef of the Year award) the restaurant, a Member of the Scotch Beef Club, specialises in organic beef, Highland cattle beef, Aberdeen Angus and Grampian Region produce.

Having golf courses that are world famous and cuisine with an international reputation for excellence, The Gleneagles Hotel is a gourmet golfer’s haven with a choice of different style restaurants. Unashamedly French, but with a Scottish twist, is how the cuisine at the fine dining restaurant, Andrew Fairlie @ Gleneagles, is described. It is the only two-Michelin-Starred restaurant in Scotland. His signature dish is mouth-wateringly scrumptious: smoked lobster shells (smoked empty for 12 hours over whisky barrels) filled with lobster meat, roasted, and served with melted butter and lime juice.


Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles

Staying at The Gleneagles Hotel for a special occasion? Then celebrate with Andrew Fairlie’s www.andrewfairlie.com six-course Menu Degustation; it has been carefully planned to create a memorable culinary experience... these may include Baked King Scallop, Potato Gnocchi, Roast Fillet of Halibut, Roast Loin of Wild Venison, Hazelnut Praline Soufflé...  and that’s only part of it. Check out the full menu here >> www.gleneagles.com

It's not only ‘ladies that lunch’ - many men do too. Both will particularly enjoy the special Wine Events held periodically at the One Devonshire Gardens at Hotel du Vin in Glasgow. You’ll find this luxury boutique hotel, which has a string of accolades to its name (including the ‘Best Customer Service’ - Scottish Restaurant Awards), in a tree-lined Victorian terrace in the fashionable West End. The hotel is known for its serious food.

At the end of February you can njoy an evening of fabulous food matched with wines from esteemed Rioja producer Marques de Caceres.  Anne Vallejo, marketing manager for Marques de Caceres, will be with us to host and show off some stunning wines..


Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire
   

Greywalls

Eating through my complete list of noteworthy hotel restaurants in Scotland will be a slow, albeit delectable, achievement. So to doubly whet your appetite, I’m going to dangle a few more tasty carrots...

Greywalls (forty minutes drive from Edinburgh, overlooking famous Muirfield golf course) is opening its doors this May with a new Chez Roux restaurant. Roux www.albertroux.co.uk (the first chef in the UK to be awarded three Michelin Stars) states that his menu at Greywalls will be “French classical cuisine with a flair and lightness, using local products as much as possible”. (Special ‘May Sale’ DB&B offer, see website

Rocpool Reserve Hotel in the heart of Inverness and Inver Lodge on Scotland’s rugged west coast are also choice hotels with restaurants run by hugely respected Albert Roux. Inverlochy Castle, another gastro-hotel, nestles amid the glens, lochs and mountains of the West Highlands of Scotland. This beautifully located hotel has a Michelin Star restaurant and 3 AA Rosettes.


Crinan Hotel

It is no surprise that Crinan Hotel, sitting in a picturesque loch-side spot at the north end of the Crinan Canal, is renowned for its world class seafood which is landed daily just 50 yards from the hotel. The hotel boasts many awards and top reviews for its cuisine. The recently opened Seafood Bar has an enviable reputation for wonderful fish and chips as well as seafood stews and fresh fish platters.


Fresh Prawns at Crinan

 


21212

In Edinburgh, gourmet's will seek out 21212 Restaurant with Rooms. Paul Kitching has amassed an impressive collection of awards in a very short time, including Best New Restaurant in UK, Most Stylish Hotel and a Michelin Star 2010. Paul has stayed true to his contemporary French cooking style but has added a unique approach to his menu combinations. Though the menu never has more than three choices for any course, variety is achieved by having a new menu each week.

21212 sits in a listed Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh’s Royal Terrace. Set over four floors, it’s light, spacious and airy. It’s also elegant, sumptuously decorated and enjoys commanding views to the Firth of Forth and beyond from the upper level rooms. As well as the 38 seat restaurant with open kitchen, there’s a drawing room, two private dining areas and four luxury bedrooms.

Without a doubt, eating out in Scotland these days can be most pleasurable. But believe me: ‘eating in’ at superlative restaurants in Scotland’s best hotels is even better. Try them for yourself... and try them for that true taste of Scotland.

Luxury Scotland
Tel: +44(0)1786 821 860 
Fax: +44 (0)1383 825 700
E: dorothy@luxuryscotland.co.uk

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