Uniquely set Manor House hotel situated on its own Isle, with entirely hospitable service and very well executed dishes
“Hello I’m Richard, I’m a little early for my table at 7pm seeing as though it’s 4 O’clock but I wondered if I could sit and chill in the drawing room for a bit?”. Not only was the answer to this a resounding “Yes indeed” but tea and afternoon cakes / scone were also available as this is the norm to all guests between 1600-1715 every day provided (which I didn’t realise was the case). Having this by one of the many log fires on sofas that you could fall asleep on was a rather lovely way to spend the afternoon and this is the beauty of Relais Chateaux hotels. Time simply sailed by too quickly – in fact, it was so nice I was actually late for my table!
Quick fire summary of here is that the food was beautifully done with near impeccable service. There was a wonderful selection of wines to be paired by the small glass courtesy of the trusty Coravin and this meal really was good food, utterly deserving of its, prestigious accolade. I’ve given details of the meal in the expandable review below however, main point is that even though you will not be able to get here without a car and a fair hike, this was also a very difficult place to leave based on the entire package and was a pleasure speaking with all the staff afterwards and their clearly talented chef.
The canapés of linseed cracker with cream cheese and Ox tongue shavings was an original start and although the roe and haddock tartare was quite salty, it was good having the much needed sweet chutney with the haggis bon bon. This sweetness softened the offal ‘hit’ in the bon bons which was dinky and pleasing. The white from Austria was similar in style to a Pinot Blanc and Riesling in its quite sharp quality but this was superb to provide enough zing for the oil and protein rich Salmon which, with the sweet egg was a sheer delight to eat.
The beef tartare was an instant punch the air moment(!) and with its pine powder and butter mushrooms it was both delicate and rich at the same time – a superb tartare. Its supporting blood-like Tinto de Toro glass of red probably wouldn’t have been my choice for the wine on its own but thankfully the meat was there to soften the tannins accordingly. The venison that followed was frankly superb with an outstanding jus but the roasted pears were a little unpredictable – some were sour, some were sweet and this seemed a little inconsistent to fully enjoy.
However, this was a meal of refined quality without question and the skill was clear as a bell to see. I loved the overall impact and could not have been more well looked after (again, without airing that I would be writing about it until after the meal so full marks to them). The only shame of this visit was having to come in the dark but the pictures of the surroundings do make this venue look like an absolute keeper to enjoy in day and then night. It is not the most atmospheric of dining rooms but this adds to its strength of a lovely get away for quite celebrations or romantic breaks.
Food Grade: 83%
Location (Click google logo for directions)