Hotel/Restaurant reviews

Mar Hall Afternoon Tea

 (Mar Hall teaAfternoon Tea was the order of the day and what better place to have it than the stunning baronial mansion that is Mar Hall . This stunning building dates back to the early 18th century and was recently renovated at a cost of around 15 million. The building was formerly Erskine Hospital but does not give a hint of this nowadays . The ground has a golf course and spa and it is classed as a 5 star wedding venue . On this count i can not argue. The long winding and immaculately kept driveway hides a stunning loch view until you turn a sharp left at the end and there is the reason this place holds a dear place in my heart . A view to die for and A couple of bronze stags welcome you to the grand halls . Inside the main Hall is the reception where you are courtesly greeted on arrival and shown into one of the most beautiful drawing rooms i have seen. Lovely tapestries on the wall and mostly all original features still remain here. Love the large wooden doors of all different sizes leading into different corridors and allowing a peek view of the stunning view outside and all around the grounds. Anyhow i was here for the Afternoon Tea priced at £22-50 each ( The cake stand pictured was for 2 people at a cost of £45 June 2016) . Now on my travels in the last 20 years this would not be considered cheap or even moderate so i was anticipating great things. We were seated at a table for two which was a great deal higher than the chairs making eating and viewing what was actually on your table a bit of a problem. In fact both myself and my guest had to stand up every time we wanted to see or move something on the table . This will be over looked i told myself when the Afternoon Tea comes. We were politely told our Afternoon Tea would not be long and neither it was . Out arrived one stand with 6 tiny sandwiches ( No garnish , dressing, or savouries) A middle plate with two rock hard scones and a tablespoon of clotted cream . The 1 strawberry which garnished the clotted cream sadly tasted of onion . The top tier was full of tiny little pastries which looked great but i would question whether they were all Baked on the premises . Sadly my experience was tarnished by the offering of the two tiny egg mayonaise sandwiches ( 1 for me and 1 for my guest ) They tasted of vinegar and quite obviously had turned in the heat of the kitchen or just not fresh . A second batch was brought to the table which were perfect and tasted of egg mayonaise but by this time i was feeling a bit queezy at the thought of what i had just eaten. There was no atmosphere in the large beautifully decorated halls where we sat and this is a shame . Overall i would say my experience here is not how i remember it from years gone by but for a wedding venue or overnight stay it would be hard to beat .

Baking with Melanie Andrews

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