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Windows At The Carlton George Hotel
Carlton George Hotel, 44 West George Street, Glasgow, Strathclyde, G2 1DH
Fabulous rooftop views across Glasgow’s skyline are a big asset at this spacious, glass-fronted dining room high up on the seventh floor of the Carlton George Hotel. The kitchen deals in please-all
international favourites with a smattering of Scottish produce tossed into the mix. Fish and chips, Caesar salad, eggs Benedict and steaks with all the trimmings are cornerstones of a dinner menu
that also offers the likes of Gruyère quiche with radicchio salad, duck with red cabbage and port jus or sea bass with chorizo and broad beans. To finish, keep it familiar with sticky toffee
pudding, coconut crêpes or blood-orange and passion-fruit crème brûlée. Good-value theatre deals and ‘grand’ afternoon teas are also worth a punt, and alfresco seats are at a premium in fine
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Road Hole Grill
£50 - £79
Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, Fife, St. Andrews, Central Scotland, KY16 9SP
The modern Scottish cooking is every bit as diverting as the view from this dinner-only restaurant overlooking the renowned Old & New courses, the golden sandy beach & the sea. Day-fresh,
hazel nut-crusted scallops delicately seared & moated by a celeriac puree enhanced with the sharp accompaniments of celery, apple & truffle salad & a truffle froth typifies the
kitchen’s style of updating classical combinations. At main course stage a dish of roasted loin of lamb is served with steamed mutton & caper pudding, root vegetable pave, carrot purée &
braised tongue – all with a minimum of fuss for a maximum of pleasure. Friendly service & the help of a globetrotting sommelier add to the enjoyment & the next-door bar promises a boozy end
to the evening – it’s the only one in the world to stock at least one malt whisky representative of every Scottish distillery, past or present. For a less expensive & less formal dining option,
the ground floor Sands restaurant is worth a look & it’s also open at lunch.
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The Boath House
£50 - £79
Auldearn, Nairn, Highlands, IV12 5TE
Designed by celebrated Scottish architect Archibald Simpson, the Boath House opened its doors as a private residence in the 1820s; following a loving restoration it became a small hotel in 1997 and has received rave reviews ever since. Palladian splendour aside, a big part of its attraction is chef Charlie Lockley’s food. Pride of place goes to the full-on six-course dinner menu, which shows of the kitchen’s impeccable attention to detail and the chef’s sheer enthusiasm for good food. To begin, there might be celeriac soup garnished with burnt oil, followed by foie gras with apple and meringue; after that, some fish (perhaps mackerel with fig and cashew nut) and something gamey (roe deer with peas and chickweed). Next up is the cheese course (Ribblesdale goats’ cheese with beetroot, for example), before the sweet finale brings, say, a confection of raspberry, whisky and honey. Diligent service and an imaginative wine list also help to make this a top local destination.
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Number One Restaurant
£50 - £79
Balmoral Hotel, 1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH2 2EQ
Situated at the east end of Princes Street, the grand old Balmoral has been an Edinburgh icon for more than a century. It has various options for food and drink, but Number One remains its
Michelin-starred flagship, long supervised by executive chef Jeff Bland. The restaurant has its own entrance down some steps from street level, and it feels fairly timeless with gold banquettes and
original exhibits from the Royal College of Art on red lacquered walls – although the menu is modern French, with seasonal ingredients playing an important part. Scallops might be paired with
oxtail, carrot purée and Vadouvan olive oil, while dry-aged Orkney beef could appear with cavolo nero, mustard and barwheys cheese. To finish, a pairing of soft Crowdie and mandarin with carrot
cake and chocolate sorbet is in tune with the prevailing theme. Number One also shows its pedigree with a tasting menu and a mighty wine list.
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Summer Isles Restaurant
£30 - £49
Achiltibuie, Unknown, Highlands, IV26 2YG
Strung out dramatically on the far north-west coast of Scotland, this much-loved Highland institution could hardly be more romantically escapist. After four decades at the helm, the Irvine family
sold their beloved hotel in 2008, & the handover appears to have been seamless. Charm, warmth & comfort still abound. Chef Chris Firth-Bernard remains at the stoves, & he delivers
five-course evening meals as well as simpler dishes for the back bar. Dinner is a finely tuned operation that begins with drinks & canapes in the lounge, before guests process to the candlelit
dining room. An autumn feast brought a filo parcel of monkfish followed by a light cheese souffle, then Achiltibuie lobster in butter sauce. For dessert, choose from an old-style trolley laden with
hazelnut log, chocolate cheesecake, raspberry souffle & the like. A fine selection of cheeses comes next, with coffee & tablet (sugary Scottish sweet) in the lounge completing a full-blown evening.
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