Posts Tagged ‘Stirling’

The Grill Room Colessio Hotel 33 Spittal Street, Stirling, Scotland

I visited The Grill Room at the Colessio Hotel, Stirling, Scotland, both for breakfast and dinner.

The dining room is modern and brightly lit. The staff are pleasant and courteous and although I was dining alone, I was never hidden away or offered an unattractive table.

colessio-foodAt breakfast The Grill Room offers a substantial cold buffet including fruit, cold meat, cheeses and criossants. A additional hot meal is also offered and table served.
The dinner menu is varied and had some extremely interesting choices as well as some tasty vegetarian options. If I stayed at the Colessio Hotel again, I would use The Grill Room. However, I would not seek it out, if I were not resident.

Valerie Penny


Colessio Hotel, 33 Spittal St,Stirling, Scotland

bloody scotlandI recently attended the Bloody Scotland Crime Writers’ Festival in Stirling, Scotland. The talks and events took place mainly in the Albert Halls and the Golden Lion Hotel. However, I chose to stay in the 5* Colessio Hotel. I had been to a meeting at the hotel some years ago and was favourably impressed. It is central, and has a wide variety of health and spa facilities.The Colessio Hotel is part of the Aurora Hotel Collection which is a small but growing portfolio of hotels and lodges in Central Scotland.

I was greeted peasantly at reception and taken up to room 115 by a young lady from reception. I was very hot and was delighted to have the benefit of bottles of mineral water in the room. so I sat and relaxed and drank my mineral water and ate a packet of complimentary cookies, which were very tasty.


However, I became increasingly aware of a draft at my back. I got up to check where t was coming from and found a hole in the window. Not just a crack, a great big hole. Luckily, I had not unpacked. So, before going to my first meeting, I explained the issue and requested a room change from reception.I was told the staff had no idea that the window was borken and was asked what kind of room I would like. I asked for one without a broken window! I was re-roomed to room 118. It met my modest requirements. It was disappointing to note that room 115 was re-let to alternative guests. If I were manager of the Colessio Hotel, that would not be acceptable. The staff certainly knew of the broken wndow when room 115 was re-let to those other guests.colessio-bed

That apart, my stay in the Colessio Hotel was very pleasant. Both rooms 115 and 118 are relatively small, but the main building of the hotel is an old Victorian building is a 9-minute walk from the Stirling Smith Museum & Art Gallery, a 12-minute walk from Stirling Golf Club and a 6-minute walk from The Thistles Shopping Centre. However, the rooms are modern and feature flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, and tea and coffeemaking equipment, plus large en suite bathrooms. 


Room 115 is a disabled friendly room with a wet room. The photos here are from room 118.

colessio-bathroomThe staff were courteous and helpful. They could not have been more pleasant. Breakfast in the Colessio Hotel was served as a generous, varied continental buffet. There was also an option of an additional served hot breakfast.

The bar is well staffed and the bartenders are attentive. Evening meals, served in the hotel restaurant are from a wide, varied reasonably priced menu. Several tasty vegetarian choices are on the menu. The reastaurant is pleasant to be in as it features a striking palette of black and white  with designer touches evident throughout.

There is a gym and an indoor pool at the Colessio Hotel, but I did not have time to use them. All in all, the Colessio Hotel is a very nice hotel, but it is not as luxurious as many 5* hotels that I have visited. In none of the others was I offered a room with a broken window.

Valerie Penny




Henderson’s Bistro, Albert Halls, Dumbarton Road, Stirling, Scotland

bloody scotlandMy husband and I recently attended the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in Stirling, Scotland. We managed to get a table in Henderson’s Bistro for coffee and cake. This, in itself, is an achievement. I strongly advise you to book a table! Henderson’s Bistro is located within Stirling’s premiere functions venue, The Albert Halls in Dumbarton Road, Stirling. It offers mouthwatering cuisine and a bespoke hendersons 2approach to all things culinary.

We were only there for coffee and cake between events on the Friday afternoon, but even then there was only one small unreserved table in the corner. Still, it was big enough for two people and there were only two of us.

The menu for meals is varied and original. It includes an interesting dipping platter to share amongst its starters. This caught my husband’s eye. My mother’s favourite, sea bass, was on the menu as a main and my particular favourite, a trio of deserts was amongst the puddings offered.

hendersonsThere is no doubt that Henderson’s Bistro is a very self-important restaurant. It is in a prestigious position within the Albert Halls and the staff are well aware of this so the reception given to those who have failed to reserve a table is rather superior. However, once you cross that barrier and secure a table, the service is friendly and professional. We enjoyed our visit and would go back – with a reservation!

Valerie Penny

Jimmy Chung’s Chinese Buffet, 17 Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1BQ

jcJimmy Chung’s is a restaurant in Edinburgh that provides affordable buffet dining experience for friends and family to enjoy Asian cuisine in Scotland. Jimmy Chung’s have Chinese Buffet Restaurants in Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, Inverness in Scotland, and Dublin, Ireland. My friend and I met for lunch at the branch on Waverley Bridge in Edinburgh.

The restaurant offers a buffet meal at a set price for lunch or dinner. Young children are charged a reduced price of £3.00. The restaurant claims to pffer an authentic Chinese cuisine experience presented in a buffet style. It is certainly a buffet, but I have visited China on buffet 2several occasions, and do not consider this authentic Chinese cooking. However, it is very tasty.

Upon arrival, we waited for a member of staff to show us to our table. We ordered drinks. (Of course, these are charged in addition to the meal.) My friend and I were then free to help ourselves to the wide variety of buffet food. I am vegetarian and, even for me there were plenty of choices for buffetboth starters and main courses. I started with a selection of vegetarian spring rolls and onion rings while my friend chose some chicken wings and chicken spring rolls. For main course I have noodles, bean sprouts and steamed vegetables while my friend had sweet and sour pork with rice as we helped ourselves from the delicious starters and main courses. I admit, as it is a buffet, we did go back for more! I then finished buffet 3off my meal from Jimmy Chung’s selection of cakes, jellies and icecreams. There was nothing very Chinese about the puddings. friend did not have any room left, but we did both manage a Chinese tea. I was slightly disappointed that this came from teabags.

However, we both enjoyed a tasty lunch and the service was courteous and attentive. I will certainly be back to Jimmy Chung’s. The meal was very reasonable as, including drinks, it was less than £15.00 a head.

Valerie Penny

Rob Roy Hotel, Lochard Rd, Stirling, Aberfoyle, Scoland, FK8 3SZ

My husband stayed overnight at the Rob Roy Hotel, Lochard Rd, Stirling, Aberfoyle, Scotland, between fishing dates.rob roy It is named after the legendary local folk hero Rob Roy McGregor and is situated within Scotland’s first national park. The Rob Roy Hotel is wonderfully situated in idyllic countryside at the gateway to the glorious Trossachs. The Rob Roy Hotel is only a 5-minute walk from Aberfoyle Golf Club, this relaxed low-rise hotel is 2.3 miles from the Lake of Menteith. As it is so very close to the Lake of Menteith, the hotel offered ideal overnight accommodation for him between an evening and full day fishing.

There are 99 en-suite bedrooms, all non-smoking and with television, telephone and tea/coffee making facilities. His room was clean and very rob roy roomsuitable. The bed was comfortable and he slept well. Cosy rooms feature en suite bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities, and flat-screen TVs. Some of them even sleep up to 4 guests.

He had dinner before the evening fishing began. He was impressed by the lounge menu offering freshly produced local food. This is available throughout the day in the Thistle Bar, and the Tartan Room is an excellent spot for lunch or an evening meal. The dinner and bar facilities were pleasant and the staff friendly. He really enjoyed the buffet breakfast and said it was excellent. The Rob Roy Hotel offers excellent food friendly staff, and good old fashioned value for money. There rob roy baris also a casual restaurant that serves locally sourced cuisine, and an informal bar/lounge offers light fare and a pool table; there’s an adjacent outdoor sitting area. Other amenities of the hotel include event space and free parking.

This hotel is so convenient for my husband’s favourite fishing venue that I have no doubt that he will use this hotel again.

Valerie Penny

The Old Town Coffee House 38 Spittal Street, Stirling, Scotland FK8 1DU

I had had a busy, tiring day. I stopped into The Old Town Coffee House, Spittal Street, Stirling, Scotland. It is a friendly looking little cafe and I needed a bite to eat mid afternoon. I should have been warned when the table I sat at was grubby and the people at the next table were asking for their drinks (again) as I sat shop

When my food arrived the soup (described as lentil soup) was made with lentils but was spicy. I could not identify the spice. My toasted sandwich was cheese and tomato, not the tomato, mozzarella and basil that I had requested. In addition to this one of the slices of bread was the thick end slice (known in Scotland as the heely).

When I drew this to the attention of the staff, they shouted at me, ridiculed me and chased me from the restaurant. This was a thoroughly unpleasant experience. I will not be back.

Stirling Highland Hotel, Spittal Street, Stirling FK8 1DU, Scotland

It was some years since I had been to Stirling, Scotland and I have never stayed in a hotel in the city. However, recently, when I was attending the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival, I chose to stay in this central 4* hotel close to all the events. I was pleased with my choice. The hotel is situated in an old building which also house the Scottish Whisky Shop! This offers very individual style gifts and good advice if a traditional gift of the amber nectar is sought.stirling-gallery-2-267x151

The hotel itself is part of The Hotel Collection Group. The only real draw back is that there is no entry that completely avoids stairs. For that reason I would not use it if visiting with a disabled friend or relative. The lay-out of the hotel is also illogical.

There are entrances at different levels. The car park entrance is the level where you will find the leisure facilities. These are very high quality.Indoor-Swimming-Pool2-600x300

The bar and reception are on the floor above. Another entrance is up a flight of stairs leading from Spittal Street. One floor up again are rooms numbered in the 200s and 300s. Today it is unusual to have a numbering system of this type. The first digit of the room number usually reflects the floor the rooms are situated on. These rooms are all on the same floor as the restaurant.  The decor is a little dark and in public areas, throughout, a bit dated.


Having said all that, the staff are extremely kind and helpful. The hotel is spotlessly clean and the food offered is tasty and varied. I enjoyed my stay at Stirling Highland Hotel and have no doubt that I will use it again. Indeed, I look forward to visiting next year when I attend Bloody Scotland again!

Valerie Penny