Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

The Birchwood, Marchmont Rd, Edinburgh, Scotland,

birchwood outsideI arrived late for lunch at The Birchwood, but could not have been made to feel more welcome. The decor is bright and clean and the service friendly without being obtrusive. Access is easy for those with mobility issues.

 

I am vegetarian but found there was choice on the menu for me, meat eaters and vegans, had that been necessary. I chose a brie and chili jam roll. This was served with a delicious, fresh salad tossed in a tasty dressing. Birchwood inside

From my seat, I could see the meals being made. I always like that. It gives me confidence that the restaurant is clean. The Birchwood was certainly spotlessly clean.

Whenever I am back in the Marchmont area of Edinburgh, I would choose to eat at The Birchwood again.

Val Penny

Seamill House Hotel, 31 Ardrossan Rd, West Kilbride, Ayrshire, Scotland

My husband and I have enjoyed afternoon tea and dinner at the Seamill House Hotel, 31 Ardrossan Rd, West Kilbride, Ayrshire, Scotland and members of our family have stayed at the hotel. This Hotel offers award winning luxury accommodation at its finest. The coastal location of Seamill now boasts one of Ayrshire’s newest boutique hotels. It is certainly a favourite haunt of ours.

Seamill house hotel

The afternoon tea was a social event for our book group. We were accomodated in a large, bright, private room on the ground floor of the hotel which suited our group well. Orders were taken for tea and coffee, but only teapots were left on the table which meant the the coffee drinkers had to ask for additional refreshments. I also noticed that water was only brought to the table upon request and the number of jugs was minimal for a group of 20 people. The jugs had to be refilled several times.

The meal was traditional consisting of a variety of sandwiches, scones with jam and butter or cream and cakes. The sandwiches were fresh and very tasty and the scones were delicious. While the cakes were lovely, I think they were the smallest cakes I have ever seen!

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The quality of service was mixed. Most of the staff were delightful and attentive but one young waitress seemed to think it was her place to comment diparagingly about the number of vegetarians in our party (3). I did not appreciate that.

All in all, as value for money goes, this was good and, provided the young waitress got the additional training she needed, I would return for afternoon tea to the Seamill House Hotel.

diningroom

When we were hosting friends to dinner, we chose to go to the Seamill House Hotel. There is free parking to the rear of the building and although the restaurant is upstairs, there is a lift for those with mobility issues.

We were seated at a table near the window. Ice water was brought to the table and the service was excellent. I chose the mushroom burger and my husband had the fish and chips. The fish was fresh and flaky and the mushroom burger surprisingly delicious. For desert I chose a chocolate brownie and my husband had the sticky toffee pudding. Both were excellent. I would certainly recommend the Seamill House Hotel as a dinner venue.

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When our family stayed in the hotel, they were delighted by the quality of the rooms, and the lovely views. The hotel was busy as there was a party in the simulated golf room and the bar was busy but our group slept well. They all enjoyed the breakfast which was included in the price and I would certainly recommend a stay in the Seamill House Hotel.

Val Penny

 

Wildwood, Lothian Rd, Edinburgh, Scotland,

I always get a little nervous when I am meeting a lot of new people for the first time, but for the meal arranged by the inimitable Kelly Lacey for the Facebook Group, Authors and Book Bloggers in Scotland, I need not have worried – what a lovely meal in excellent company. Wildwood 105-109 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh, Scotland is very centrally situated so it was easy for everybody to get to either by car or public transport. wildwood out 2

We were all seated at one long table I was sitting amidst a very jolly group and the chat flowed easily. Several bottles of Prcesso were on the table and included in the cost of our meal. It all added to the happy atmosphere. The staff were most warm and friendly without being intrusive and we all enjoyed a joke with them. wild wood in

The restaurant is decorated in a modern, relaxed style and, because there were so many of us, we had ordered in advance. Our starters arrived on large sharing platters these included figs and strips of pizza bread with cheese and onion jam. Everything was delicious.

Main course choices included sea bass and turkey but I chose the pizza. This caused great hilarity as it was enormous and would comfortably have fed a family of five for  a fortnight, I think! I thoroughly enjoyed what I had, but there was no way I could possibly finished such a large serving. Deserts included a chocoltate brownie with ice cream or a sorbet. I had the brownie. Again, this was very tasty but I had already eaten so much, perhaps I should have chosen the sorbet.

wildwood food

All in all this was a delightful afternoon. The restaurant did not rush us at all and I had a delicious meal in fresh surroundings served by attentive staff and in good company. I highly recommend Wildwood and plan to visit again with my husband when we are in Edinburgh.

Val Penny

 

One Square, Sheraton Hotel,1 Festival Square, Edinburgh, Scotland

one square outsideRecently, I had to organise a festive family lunch where I could be sure my mother and her wheelchair would be accomodated and my granddaughter would have access to a highchair all on the Sunday before Christmas. I chose the centrally situated Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh as the restaurant, One Square is highly praised. It was years since I had eaten at the Sheraton, but my mother was delighted by the choice but unfortunately she was belatedly unable to join us.

Nevertheless, many people had had the same idea and there were many with mobility issues and wheelchair users there, but the tables were too close together making access for these guests difficult.

one-square-restaurantOur servers were pleasant and helpful and brought drinks but yhey were not efficient about refilling water glasses. The meal was buffet style. The buffet was set in three parts, starters, mains and deserts and cheese. Access around these areas was virtually impossible for those who were not able bodied.

The starters were tasty and varied, but portions very tiny: the real disappointment was the mains. The mains were served in the buffet area by people in chef outfits. There was very rare beef, turkey roll with a strong tasting stuffing and a good looking roast of gammon. However, I am vegetarian: I asked a female in a chef uniform if there was a vegetarian option. I was told she could give me a butternut squash ‘patte’ and I could help myself to vegetables. I am not partial to butternut squash. When I mentioned this, the woman shrugged and turned her back on me. I feel retraining may be required. Had my daughters not been there, I would have called the manager. As it was, I did not want to cause a scene.

one square 2The deserts were delicious and the selection of cheeses varied. The coffee was provided by a machine which needed cleaned when I went to use it, but there was nobody to ask about this. No provision was made for tea and, again, no member of staff was anywhere to be seen to ask. Even getting my bill was a struggle and I did resent the 10% service charge. However, I paid it, but did not add a further tip. It was not deserved.

I had a wonderful time in the company of my husband, our daughters, my son-in-law one square outside 2and our granddaughter, but the food was mediocre and the service far too variable for such a feted hotel. Would I book lunch as a family treat in One Square in the future? No. Would I return to One Square in any other circumstances? Not voluntarily.

Val Penny

The Orangery Restaurant, Seamill Hydro, 39 Ardrossan Road, Seamill, West Kilbride, Scotland

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It is not often that my husband and I can go out for dinner with friends and walk to and from the event, so it was rather nice when we met with Jill and Paul who had suggested we go to dinner at The Orangery restaurant in Seamill Hydro. The hotel has recently undergone a major extension and refurbishment, so we walked down and arrived a little early to have a drink before dinner in the well appointed pub where I had a fine choice of gins.

orangery bar

When we met up with our friends in The Orangery we were seated with them in a booth where we studied all three menus: the regular menu, the vegetarian/vegan menu and the wine menu. The fellows each had a beer, Jill chose a small house wine and I went with a soda water and lime after my earlier gin.Orangery 1

For our meals, we all chose different things. Jill and Paul shared a mixed fish starter while my husband chose a haggis starter and I had the temura vegetables. For our mains, My husband went with a steak, unfortunately this was a bit cooler and more cooked than he had ordered. Jill chose chicken, Paul had a vegetable pasta and I ordered the asparagus and mushroom risotto. My meal was delicious, but very filling. orangery out

Only my husband chose a pudding, a chocolate and icecream desert. The rest of us all had coffee. It was a lovely meal, except for my husband’s steak: the environment was fine, although the service was a big slow. Still, I would give The Orangery another try.

Val Penny

The Cafe Royal, 19 West Register Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

I recently met up with a delightful clowder of Cats: some other authors whose books are also published by Crooked Cat Books. We got together at The Cafe Royal, 19 West Register Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.Cafe Royal

It was years since I had been to The Cafe Royal and I had forgotten what a popular, busy pub it is. Hidden away around the corner at the East end of Prince’s Street, it is a gem. The décor is fabulous: Victorian & Baroque, stained glass windows in the Oyster Bar and Royal Doulton ceramic tiles. The staff were friendly and attentive. The wide choice of beers and whiskys is legendary.  cafe royal inAfter we had drunk our publisher dry, but not under the table, we all ordered meals and the food was excellent. Our main courses ranged from fish to risotto, steak pie. All the choices were much enjoyed and all were very reasonably priced.

Cafe royal outWhen we arrived about 3pm the bar was quite empty: by the time we left to find a different watering hole some five hours later, The Cafe Royal was back to being the bustling bar I remembered from years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to The Cafe Royal. The company, the food and the drinks were all excellent, so whether you are looking for a pub to watch a rugby match or a restaurant to enjoy a meal with friends, I highly recommend Edinburgh’s Cafe Royal.

Val Penny

The Apartment, 7-13 Barclay Place, Edinburgh, Scotland

My husband, my mother and I recently went to The Apartment, 7-13 Barclay Place, Edinburgh, Scotland for a celebration lunch together. My husband was treating us to celebrate a successful year which saw my debut crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ published by Crooked Cat Books with a launch date of 02.02.2018. ‘Hunter’s Chase’ is dedicated to my mother. The story is set in Edinburgh and two of the main characters live in Gillespie Crescent, just opposite The Apartment.Hunter's Chase book cover (1)

Although there were only three of us, we are not an easy group to cater for. Mum uses a wheelchair. Unfortunately for her, I am not the best wheelchair driver on the planet, but she is very gracious. Access was easy.  I am vegetarian while my husband and mother are confirmed omnivores.

We had booked a table and the staff were very helpful and kind. We were able to choose between two tables and opted for the one nearest the window. We decided against alcohol in the middle of the day, but we all had different drinks. Mum had a diet coke, I chose a soda water and lime while my husband asked for a ginger beer.The Apartment Outside

Mum did not have a starter, but my husband chose the traditional Scotch Broth soup. I went for the pear, blue cheese and walnut salad. We were both delighted with our choices. The menu is not huge, but it is a carefully chosen mix of meats, fish and vegetarian dishes to suit all tastes. I always feel pleased when I have genuine choices: at The Apartment, I did.

The omnivores both chose the rib-eye steaks for their main courses. Mum requested hers be cooked ‘medium’ while my husband wanted his ‘medium rare’. Apparently both were perfectly cooked. They both seemed to enjoy their main courses. My husband’s only complaint was that there was parmasan cheese on his salad. He believes this to be the cheese of the devil! I chose a halloumi, sweet potato and pepper skewer for my main course. It was served with a beetroot coleslaw, green salad and another side. I chose fires. The beetroot coleslaw sounds strange, but tastes delicious. I highly recommend it.The Apartment Food

Neither Mum nor I could manage a pudding, we shared a plate of truffles. They were tiny but tasty. A delicious end to the meal with a fine coffee. My husband chose the chocolate brownie. This was served warm with a bitter fruit couli cutting the sweetness of the chocolate and a fine vanilla icecream. My husband is very fussy about his coffee, but not even he could find anything to complain about with his Americano.

The service was flawless. This was a first visit to The Apartment for all of us, but we thoroughly enjoyed it, so it will certainly not be our last.

‘Hunter’s Chase’ is available to order from Amazon.

mybook.to/HuntersChase

Val Penny

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