The Spence at Gleneagles Townhouse

British, Scottish·
££££
·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of The Spence at Gleneagles Townhouse

Silver Award

The direct descendent of arguably Scotland’s most famous hotel, Gleneagles Townhouse has big shoes to fill. It’s the first offshoot of the iconic brand and only the team’s second opening in its nearly hundred-year history.

You might think they’d bring in an old-timer, a tried and tested veteran, for their flagship restaurant The Spence. But this is Gleneagles in a whole new guise. All fresh and fun around the edges despite its stalwart commitment to the luxury experience the group originally became famous for. Breathing life into the kitchen is head chef and countryman Jonny Wright who at just thirty-something has managed to rack up quite the CV. He’s been head chef for Jason Atherton’s Berner’s Tavern as well as sous chef at now Michelin starred Evelyn’s Table.

Guests of Gleneagles have grown to expect generosity and it seeps through everything in the restaurant. The interiors are a decedent mix of pastel pink velvets, squishy cushion, gilded lamps and palatial original detailing. Staff are bend-over-backwards kind and there are more than enough interesting drinks options to go round.

On the food menu too, there are choices for all. Soft, golden cornbread with crunchy, toasted edges comes with a side of whipped chicken butter and crispy skin. There are little beignets, so sharp and salty with cheese that a side of peri peri proves a genius addition to help cut through the fat. And we're pleased to report that there are no hints or whispers of anything here, you get enough sauce to allow for gay abandon with your ratios. Plump, sweet langoustine - for instance - are crumbed and report for duty with a bowl of dijonnaise so good we order a repeat prescription for our mains. Speaking of, mains are a confident assembly of just a few beautiful things. A stand-out comes in the form of perfectly cooked Isle of Gigha halibut which is dressed in an addictive mix of capers, preserved lemons, herbs, and sea vegetables.

Wright’s excitement for his new Scottish larder is palpable, and his respectful handling makes for plates that shine through their simplicity.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British, Scottish
Ambience
Cool, Glamorous, Luxury, Unique
Food Occasions
All day dining, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Birthdays, Child friendly, Group dining [8+], Special occasions

About

The Spence is Gleneagles Townhouse’s flagship restaurant and the only opening that is open to the public (hotel guests and members are free to dine upstairs at the rooftop bar as well as an additional lounge).

Interiors are cleverly conjured out of a sweet-shop-style palette of pretty pinks and muted greens while the breathtaking original features in the double height space are picked out and accentuated by guilding. The large central bar runs with a precise list of cocktails and non-alcoholic options as well as all the expected softs, beers, wines and Champages. Plus, the knowledgeable team will whip you up a classic should you fancy. The in-house sommelier is on-hand to recommend specific sips in line with your order, should you prefer a little extra help.

Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, the menu spans every meal of the day and offers a please-all selection that centres around Scottish fare. There’s even a Sunday lunch come the weekend to keep to the UK’s famous culinary schedule. At dinnertime you can expect oysters and shellfish to kick things off, while starters proper include baby artichokes with hazelnut ricotta and sour lemon; west coast crab crumpets; and burrata with heritage tomatoes and smoked almonds. Mains run from a plant burger and lobster pasta dish through to a whole roasted turbot ideal for sharing, which comes with fennel and chilli in the supporting roles.

Cheese and dessert arrive via a trolley which elicits much excitement from guests and presents a selection of the kitchen’s high-end pastries as well as drawers full of petit fours to choose from. If you’d like something even more intricate, there’s an additional a la carte dessert selection.

Staff are charming and go above and beyond to make every guest feel valued and special during their time in the restaurant. Dietary requirements are carefully adhered to where possible too, and recommendations are thoughtfully doled out.

In the restaurant guests are able to book for up to six diners, while a separate private dining space allows for larger groups.


FAQs

What is the dress code?

There is no official dress code but most guests choose smart casual attire.

Helpful? 0

Do they cater for dietary requirements?

Yes, the team is well versed in catering for all kinds of allergies and requirements. To ensure you get the best service possible we'd recommend you let them know at the time of booking.

Helpful? 0

Do they cater for parties?

Yes, there's a private dining space which you can book for small parties, events or gatherings. In the main restaurant, the maximum group size is six.

Helpful? 0
Meet the team
The Spence at Gleneagles Townhouse

Jonny Wright

Head chef

Scottish-born Jonny Wright is head chef at The Spence in Edinburgh. He returns to his homeland after years working in London. His experience includes time as head chef at Jason Atherton's famous Berners Tavern as well as experience working in the kitchen at The Palomar. Previously he also worked at Luke Selby’s 10-seater Evelyn’s Table, which recently won a Michelin star.


The Spence at Gleneagles Townhouse is featured in

Location

Gleneagles Townhouse, No. 39 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH2 2AD

080 0917 4655 080 0917 4655

Website

Opening Times

Breakfast
Mon 07:00-10:30
Tue 07:00-10:30
Wed 07:00-10:30
Thu 07:00-10:30
Fri 07:00-10:30
Sat 08:00-10:30
Sun 08:00-10:30
Lunch
Mon 12:00-15:00
Tue 12:00-15:00
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat 11:30-16:00
Sun 11:30-16:00
Dinner
Mon 18:00-22:00
Tue 18:00-22:00
Wed 18:00-22:00
Thu 18:00-22:00
Fri 18:00-22:00
Sat 18:00-22:00
Sun 18:00-22:00

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Call The Spence at Gleneagles Townhouse to make a booking on:

080 0917 4655 080 0917 4655

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