Following a short rest, and with a few more sips of the aromatic and subtle 2017 white Sancerre, which was expertly recommended by the sommelier, the main courses arrived. As an alternative to the two-person stuffed Dover Sole, my choice was the moist piece of turbot which was garnished with morels, mixed herbs and truffle, so there was no need for sides. It was full of flavour and just disintegrated when it came into contact with my taste buds. My other half went back to the regular menu and had the slow-cooked Waterford lamb shoulder which was cleverly presented inside an onion and was decorated with some soft kale.
With still enough space for something sweet, we were presented with another amuse bouche consisting of blackcurrant mascarpone with thin meringue sticks and flakes of edible gold. Dessert was then put before us, a sumptuous caramelised puff pastry stack with layers of white chocolate, vanilla and citrus fruit. In similar awe of what lay before her, my wife also proceeded to polish off the caramelised apple with marinated raisins and ginger. Both were sublime, and it closed what had been a truly exceptional and memorable meal.
For breakfast the following morning, we headed to The Barn which is a more informal eatery nestled amongst the Stable Rooms. As our host explained, you lose the “table cloth formality” that you get with an à la carte restaurant. It has a relatively rustic feel and is suited to families with children who just want to get started with breakfast rather than having to wait for orders to arrive. For a hotel of this calibre, the buffet is not as extensive as you would expect from a five-star property, and is more limited in comparison with that offered by some of the competition that we have had the pleasure of staying at. That being said, there’s no chance of going hungry thanks to an array of different and inviting dishes on offer to start the day such as smoked salmon, fresh fruit, different types of bread, pastries, cereal and yoghurt. This is complemented by a hot menu where all dishes are prepared in full view of guests. My wife enjoyed the delightful poached eggs and smashed avocado on toast, and other options available included wholesome Scottish oat porridge, as well as waffles.