In terms of Scottish grandeur, the Gleneagles Hotel has to rank amongst the most famous. Long established as a premier destination for holidays and sporting breaks – think golf, for example – the hotel is well on its way to celebrating 100 years of lavish service…well, 91 so far.
When the Gleneagles® Hotel opened in 1924 it was described as ‘a Riviera in the Highlands’ and ‘the eighth wonder of the world‘. Today, this luxury hotel remains dedicated to excellence, just as it was in its earliest days when “the avowed intention of the management was to create happiness”. The hotel was built by the former Caledonian Railway Company, with its own railway station just minutes away…in the 1950s: Gleneagles was a fixed part of high society’s calendar – after the London “season” it was yachting at Cowes, polo at Deauville and golf and grouse shooting at Gleneagles.
It still has the railway station and the hotel suggest you can a direct train from London to Gleneagles in five and a half hours. That doesn’t allow for a stop in Yorkshire on the way, of course. Probably best to allow five and half weeks/months/years to be safe. Also, if you must, you can land your helicopter in the grounds… Dinner at Andrew Fairlie is the third report from Edon Tours of their spring break in Scotland. They take up the story…
Upgraded to a suite, 2 front doors, separate lounge with sofa and dining table, a walk in wardrobe! Everyone very accommodating. We find Gleneagles is two hotels, in school holidays it has a plentiful supply of children to disturb the ambience and create queues for breakfast. Out of school holidays it is relaxed and generally quite pleasant. Our 4th time and welcomed back by the staff shows they’ve done their homework. One of our favourite places to eat.
- Chilled Pea Soup, Compressed Melon, Feta Mousse, sweet pea. This Amuse Bouche was very tasty morsel to get the show on the road.
- Home Smoked Scottish Lobster, Warm Lime & Herb Butter – the signature starter – it’s difficult to choose anything else. Subtly smoked with lashings of butter
- Slow Cooked Oxtail, Seared Foie Gras, Radish & Kohlrabi. I know Foie Gras is bad, but the texture and the taste in this dish made it stand above the oxtail.
- Orange Parfait, Lemon Jelly, Pineapple Creme. A delicate pre-dessert, very refreshing
- Rhubarb Soufflé, Pistachio Sauce, Vanilla Ice-Cream. Worth the short delay, perhaps not as intense rhubarb flavours as at Simpsons in Birmingham but I wouldn’t have swapped it.
- Coffee, Raspberry Ganache, Thyme Truffle, Madeleine. For us the Thyme Truffle didn’t work, but the rest just had to be squeezed in!
- Qupe Syrah – I always have this! A great aroma, lighter I think than the South African earlier.
- Tokaj Osremus – This is a good one, not too thick and syrupy, gorgeous.