Hotel/Restaurant reviews

Knockderry House Hotel

Today was a wee breather in what seems like an eternity of torrential rain in the west coast of Scotland. I hesitantly ventured out around the Clyde estuary to a tiny little place called Cove and to the stunning Knockderry Hotel . Knockderry is situated on one of the most stunning sea lochs on the west coast of Scotland and boasts a 2 star rosette rating . It also has its own Marina for those long lazy days out sailing when you just need to anchor up and take in some shore time. This hotel is quite simply stunning and immaculately well kept. I absolutely love the tartan , open coal fires and authentic wood engulfing its every corner. The grounds overlook some of the best scenery in scotland and you could lose yourself just gazing out at the small boats and sailing yachts gently meandering by . Let me begin by tempering this review by stating that i I have eaten here in the evening about 5 years ago and the service and cleanliness again were outstanding as was the evening meal but i was here today to review the Afternoon Tea .

We were very warmly welcomed into a beautifully appointed dininig/bar area where all the tables were dressed for lunch or Afternoon Tea in crisp white linen tablecloths . There was roaring coal fire ( July !! ) which was beautiful to look at and great for tourists but sweltering to eat in sadly. We were sat at an enviable location in the window overlooking the Loch. Our waitress was quick and efficient and we were soon served with our choice of bagged tea in a teapot and two stands of sandwiches and cakes. They looked absolutely beautiful as did the stunning stands . The sandwiches sadly felt like they had been made up hours beforehand and left to sit in a hot kitchen, hard on the outside and cheese rubbery on the edges. The sundried tomatoes were dried out to a crisp and unedible . the salmon sandwiches were nice. The plain scones tasted lovely with a crumbly texture and lovely flavour and the blueberry jam was devine . Sadly the sultana scones were raw in the middle and flat . The cakes were a mixed bag with 2 tiny slice of Ganache squares which just melted in the heat and really unless firmer would never really have worked. The macarons simply were unedible as soft and gooey and not at all like a Macaron ! The chocolate brownie tasted nothing like chocolate and nothing like a brownie .  The cakes that were brilliant were the shortbread rounds which just melted in the mouth , the sticky toffee cake which was one of the best i have tasted to date and the vienesse biscuits which were excuisite . So in short, although my arrival was announced beforehand ,this was not the best experience for Afternoon Tea i have had but for me the location , hotel , staff and simple traditional elegance here would make me return time after time .

Baking with Melanie Andrews

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