Posts Tagged ‘Robert Burns’

Brig o’ Doon House Hotel, High Maybole Rd, Alloway, Ayr, Scotland

I went to visit Alloway with my friend Anna. We stopped for coffee and cake at the Brig o’ Doon House Hotel, High Maybole Rd, Alloway, Ayr, Scotland. The Brig o’ Doon House Hotel, is set on the banks of the River Doon and across from the Burns Memorial Gardens. We took the opportunity to visit the beautiful gardens before stopping in at this tranquil hotel.Burns museum

The Brig o’ Doon House Hotel, is situated in an ivy-covered house is a 6-minute walk from the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. We took a self-guided tour of the property Robert Burns grew up in, Burns Cottage,  as well as a visit to the museum that houses his manuscripts, books, many artefacts and artwork. Burns Cottage, was the first home of Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet and radical thinker. It is located in Alloway, South Ayrshire, Scotland. It was built by his father, William Burness in 1757. Burns is acknowledged as Scotland’s national poet. He was born there on 25 January 1759.Burns Cottage

After our visits in the town of Alloway, Anna and I decided to look for somewhere to stop brig-o-doon outfor afternoon coffee and cake. We were delighted to find the Brig o’ Doon House Hotel, its fine-dining restaurant offers traditional Scottish cuisine, and panoramic views of the gardens and river. The hotel also retains exclusive fishing rights on the river for its guests. Other amenities include landscaped gardens, event facilities and limited parking, but coffee and cake sufficed for us. brig-o-doon entrance

The entrance is beautiful and in the lobby and fire added to the warmth of the surroundings. We so enjoyed curling up in the comfortable armchairs whiling the afternoon away. The coffees were delicious. Anna had a cappuccino, while I opted for a decaf latte. The cakes were fresh and tasty. Anna had an individual bakewell tart, while I had a slice brig o doon insideof apple pie. The service provided by the staff was excellent.

There was a wedding taking place the day we were there. Nevertheless, the service for us was still excellent. We were not made to feel unwanted or in the way at all. The only brig o doon roomsdisadvantage to the Brig o’ Doon House Hotel is that the access for those with mobility issues is poor. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Brig o’ Doon House Hotel and we hope to visit there again.

 

Val Penny

 

 

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MacKenzie’s, 2-4 Bridge Road, Colinton, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH13 0LF

I recently went to Edinburgh, Scotland to visit my Mother. It was lovely to have a few days relaxing, chatting and Mackenzie's outsidecatching up with her. During the visit she hosted a Sunday lunch for us to be joined by friends and family. She chose MacKenzie’s, located in Colinton to the southwest of Edinburgh’s city centre, for the occasion. MacKenzie’s is on Bridge Road and is an intimate cottage-style pub and restaurant serving traditional Scottish cuisine that my Mother found as being very nice. She had been there previously with friends. None of her guests had been there before. I enjoy going to new restaurants to review them, so I was thrilled.

MacKenzie’s looks quaint outside and smart inside. It is named after Henry MacKenzie, an Edinburgh lawyer and writer, who lived in the cottage adjacent to the restaurant in the eighteenth century. He is best known for his novel The Man of Feeling. MacKenzie, was editor of a magazine, The Lounger for a while and wrote an article praising Robert Burns poems in 1786. This enhanced Robert Burns’s reputation in literary circles.

macKenzies insideThe restaurant claims to be child-friendly, although there were no children there during our visit. It is certainly accessible to wheelchair users: that was important to us as my Mother is disabled and has mobility issues. MacKenzie’s also claims to be able to cater for vegetarians and those with gluten-free requirements. I cannot speak to the gluten-free claims, but I have a lot to say about their vegetarian catering. The restaurant specifically boasts a vegetarian selection. That was not true. The vegetarian choice of main course was take it or leave it. This was singularly inadequate and very embarrassing to my mother.

MacKenzie’s had been advised in advance that all my mother’s five guests were vegetarian, including a member of the nationally acclaimed band Broken Records. The Sunday lunch menu, the only menu offered to us, included three vegetarian choices of starter amongst the offerings. They included tomato and red pepper soup. Apparently this was very tasty. The melon fan and tomato and mozzarella salad were also very fresh, but all were singularly broken recordsunimaginative. My mother had a black pudding starter and she did enjoy that.

The entrees were the real issue. There were 8 on the menu. Only one, a roast vegetable tart was suitable for vegetarians. This, not withstanding that the restaurant had been advised of the number of vegetarians in my Mother’s party and its advertisements claim that it caters for vegetarians. The claims do not match my experience. The tart was perfectly pleasant, but again it was a choice that lacked both flair and imagination. My mother had the lamb. She said she enjoyed it, but she ate less than half. The selection of vegetables and potatoes offered was varied, but not plentiful for 6 people. I was still hungry at the end of two courses. That is very unusual for me.

So, five of us had desserts. These are homemade and, apparently, change daily. I had the chocolate and black cherry macKenzies tablecheesecake. It was delicious. Others amongst us had the lemon tart and the creme brulee. We all enjoyed our puddings but some of the portions were very small. We finished the meal with coffee or tea and mints.

Service at MacKenzie’s was very poor. Something was overlooked or forgotten at each course. I also got the impression that some tables contained regular customers. There was clearly more attention paid to these other tables and more pleasantries exchanged. MacKenzie’s will not extend its bank of regular customers if they treat first time guests with the disdain our table received.

While we all really enjoyed the company and the occasion, my Mother did not feel that MacKenzie’s offered her value for money. The menu and service also fell far short of my expectations. I cannot recommend this restaurant. There are too many other restaurants in Edinburgh in this price bracket that offer a more varied menu and better service.

Valerie Penny