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Built for the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire as a grand gesture of Scottish baronial exuberance, this magnificent turreted pile with its castellated walls, 30 acres of landscaped grounds and
views over the Irish Sea to Ailsa Craig is a thrilling prospect – and a well-oiled heritage destination. Michelin-starred chef Adam Stokes has moved on to open his own gaff, Adam’s Restaurant in Birmingham, but the kitchen is in safe hands. Fixed-price dinners are still the main event, and
the menu explores contemporary themes, with Scottish produce always getting its proper share of the limelight – from butter-poached lobster tail with wilted lettuce and eucalyptus foam to pavé of
spring lamb with potato and haggis terrine, crisp shoulder and mint jus. Cheeses are strong patriots, while eclectic desserts might bring banana soufflé or burdock root crème brûlée. France
dominates the heavyweight wine list.
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A former protégé of David Everitt-Matthias at Le Champignon Sauvage, Matt Worswick’s early career also involved spells with stellar chefs Kenny Atkinson (when he presided over St Martin's on the Isle) and Simon Hulstone at The Elephant in Torquay – as well as time at the Lords of the Manor in Gloucestershire. Worswick succeeded Michelin-starred Adam Stokes as head chef at the stunningly located Glenapp Castle in January 2013, and is certainly making a name for himself, showing a particular fondness for seafood and foraged pickings on his daily fixed-price menus (three courses at lunch, six at dinner).