Hotel/Restaurant reviews

Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles

THE LOCATION FOR TODAYS DINING REVIEW WAS THE ELEGANT GLENEAGLES HOTEL NEAR AUCHTERARDER,PERTHSHIRE. FIRST BUILT IN 1910 BY DONALD MATHESON TO RESEMBLE A PALACE AND TO PROVIDE LEISURE TO THE TOURISTS IN THE FORM OF GOLF.

IT OFFICIALLY OPENED ITS DOORS AS THE HOTEL WE KNOW IT TODAY IN 1924.

IT WAS DESCRIBED THEN AS “ THE RIVIERA IN THE HIGHLANDS “ AND DEDICATED TO EXCELLENCE AND REMAINS DEDICATED TO EXCELLENCE TO THIS DAY.

I FIRST REMEMBER VISITING WHEN THE JACKIE STEWART SHOOTING SCHOOL OPENED IN 1985 AND THIS STILL REMAINS TODAY AS THE GLENEAGLES SHOOTING SCHOOL.

A LOT HAS EVOLVED OVER THE NEAR CENTURY AT THIS MAGNIFICENT PALACIAL HOTEL , NOT LEAST THE CELEBRATED SCOTS BORN CHEF , ANDREW FAIRLIE, TAKING OVER THE REIGNS IN 2001 WITH HIS OWN RESTUARANT WITHIN GLENEAGLES ITSELF.

ANDREW FAIRLIE WAS BORN IN PERTH AND HAS TRAINED WITH THE BEST FRENCH CHEFS AS A YOUNG MAN, GIVING HIM THE INFLUENCE TO CREATE IMAGINATIVE FRENCH CLASSICS WITH A TRADITONAL SCOTTISH FLAIR.

HIS LISTS OF CREDITS ARE ENDLESS, INCLUDING COOKING FOR THE QUEEN, NOMINATED ONE OF THE WORLDS TOP 10 RESTUARANTS IN THE WORLD, INAUGRAL SCOTTISH CHEF OF THE YEAR, RELAIS & CHATEAUX CHEF DU MONDE IN 2011 AND SO ON AND SO ON AND SO ON.

THE EPONYMOUS RESTUARANT IS AN INDEPENDENT BUSINESS WITHIN GLENEAGLES HOTEL AND BOASTS SCOTLAND'S ONLY 2 MICHELIN STARS.

TONIGHT WAS EXCEPTIONAL IN A SUNKEN DINING ROOM, WHICH REMINDED ME A BIT OF THE TITANIC ERA WHERE OPULENCE AND STYLE WERE ALL THE RAGE . THE SERVICE AND SOMELIERS WERE EXTRAORDINARILY EFFICIENT BUT FRIENDLY, CHATTY AND NOT AT ALL PRETENTIOUS ,SO RIGHT AWAY YOU ARE PUT AT EASE ,AS IT SHOULD BE WHEN YOU ARE EATING GOOD FOOD.

A BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED AND CRAFTED MENU WAS HANDED TO ME TO PERUSE WHILE DELICATE LITTLE AMUSE BOUCHE JUST KEPT ON COMING,ONE LITTLE BITE SIZED DELIGHT AFTER ANOTHER .

I ORDERED ONE OF ANDREW FAIRLIES FAVOURITE – HOME SMOKED LOBSTER WITH LIME AND HERB BUTTER- WHAT CAN I SAY? – THE COLOUR, THE FLAVOUR, THE TEXTURE , THE PRESENTATION ALL WERE UNLIKE ANYTHING I HAVE EVER EATEN BEFORE- JUST SUBTLY SMOKED AND PRESENTED PERFECTLY READY TO EAT FROM THE SHELL . MY FAVOURITE STARTER SO FAR IN THIS MARATHON GOURMET EXPERIENCE .

NEXT FOLLOWED THE CARDINAL SIN OF ANOTHER FISH COURSE, THE ROAST LOIN OF MONKFISH , WHITE ASPARAGUS AND CRAB VELOUTE. AGAIN I HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED SUCH INTENSITY OF FLAVOUR FROM ANY MEAL I HAVE EATEN . THE MONKFISH WAS COOKED TO PERFECTION, THE LITTLE GEMS OF JERSEY ROYALS AND ASPARAGUS ALONG WITH THE PERFECT VELOUTE WAS PERFCTION.

MY DESSERT WAS A PISTACHIO AND VANILLA MILLE-FEUILLE WITH POACHED RHUBARB AND RHUBARB SORBET.

QUITE SIMPLY A NUTTY FLAVOUR FROM THE PASTRY SHEETS WITH A DELICATE SWEET PINK RHUBARB AND RHUBARB SORBET , DECORATED WITH LITTLE PEARLS OF RHUBARB , FRESH LEAVES AND EDIBLE FLOWERS. I AM SURE THE POPPING CANDY WILL APPEAL TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION AS A BIT OF THEATRE.

I WAS IMPRESSED, AT THIS LEVEL OF DINING, THAT THE SERVICE CHARGE WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE BILL AND THAT YOU AS THE DINER HAD THE CHOICE OF LEAVING A GRATUITY OR NOT. THIS AGAIN IS NOT PRESUMPTIOUS AND AS IT SHOULD BE .

THE FOLLOWING LITTLE CHOCOLATES AND LEMON CAKES WERE TOO HARD TO RESIST AND ENDED WHAT I CAN ONLY DESCRIBE AS A PERFECT MEAL . ANDREW FAIRLIE AND HIS 2 MICHELIN STAR RESTUARANT WITHIN GLENEAGLES MORE THAN LIVED UP TO HIS ENVIABLE REPUTATION. SUBLIME AND DEFINATELY WILL BE HARD TO BEAT .

 

Baking with Melanie Andrews

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