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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Dunblane Hydro and Nick Nairn's Restaurant

After a very disappointing two weeks holiday in June, much of which was spent decorating, we decided to have a weekend away and got a great dinner, bed and breakfast deal at the Doubletree Hilton Dunblane Hydro, not far from Stirling.

The hotel has recently been refurbished and also has it's own leisure centre with pool, gym and spa treatments.  Your room is guaranteed to be ready by 4pm but we arrived early just after lunch time, left our cases at reception and headed off for a pre-booked massage, then spent time lounging by the pool, followed by a swim.

We had a standard room with king size bed.  I've stayed in a few Hilton Hotels on trips for work and they all look pretty much the same. The bed was really comfortable which is more than can be said for many hotel beds!

Ah, the first sight of food!  Yes, you are greeted at reception with warm chocolate chip cookies and they are very delicious.  Sadly, you only get one and there are no little packs of biccies in your room, even on the second day of your stay.  I also thought they were a bit mean with in room coffee packs, especially as the coffee bought in the bar was extortionate.  I have learned never to go near the mini bar, just don't even open the door because it is weight controlled and any disturbance seem to end up with extras on your bill.  Although, they will remove it when they have checked the contents.

We ate, on both nights, in The Kailyard Restaurant by Nick Nairn.  Nick Nairn was involved in creating the restaurant three years ago and includes some tried and tested Nick Nairn classics, identified by his signature beside them on the menu.  There was live music in the restaurant on both nights, the Friday night band were unobtrusive and it was quite nice especially as we ate quite early when we ate and there were quite a few empty seats when we started - soon filled up though.

We ordered some olive bread to accompany our starters.

I chose this 'Classic Cocktail of brown shrimps, Loch Duart smoked salmon 'Nick Nairn', Hass avocado and cocktail sauce'.  Very retro and very nice indeed, there were shrimps and salmon all the way down to the bottom of the glass and the taste was fresh and light.  I gave this 8/10

Brian went for the Tarbert crab and coley fish cake with an Asian slaw, coriander and sweet chilli dressing.  Brian gave this 7/10 as it was pleasant but nothing special.

We both chose the same main course, 'Pan fried Scrabster monkfish. herb crushed potatoes, roast and braised fennel with sauce Jacqueline'.  This dish did not disappoint, the herb crushed potatoes were particularly delicous and brilliant for soaking up the sauce.  The fennel was nicely braised and went well with the monkfish and potatoes.   Definitely an 8/10.
I added a side dish of buttered summer greens which consisted of french beans, peas and asparagus.  I really loved this as a side dish and there was probably enough there for three people.  Brian ordered the Rocket and Parmesan salad, but he also ate some of my vegetables.

We were very full after all that food so decided to order one dessert and two spoons!  We went for Warm Pear and Apricot Crumble with Honeycomb Icecream.  The crumble was a bit disappointing, it was a crumble and I could easily have made it myself.  The Honeycomb icecream was much better, light and creamy with crunchy honeycomb pieces through it and a little shortbread biscuit.

I was not sponsored to write this post, I did not recieve any discount or gifts. These are my own views based on my experience of Dunblane Hydro and The Kailyard Restaurant by Nick Nairn. I'll be back with part two soon!

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At 18 July 2012 at 22:43 , Blogger Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Sounds like a real treat of a trip. Wonderful!

At 19 July 2012 at 09:48 , Blogger Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Sounds like a lovely trip.
My wonderful father-in-law has given myself, his wife and daughters vouchers for he spa for the last two Christmases so we have had two lunches there and one dinner.
I have been very pleased with the meals. The last time we were there for lunch quite recently, the place was deserted!

At 19 July 2012 at 20:46 , Anonymous Petra08 said...

It looks great and it sounds like a lovely time!

At 21 July 2012 at 10:44 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

That sounds like a FABULOUS break and such lovely food time, take me Janice! LOL!

At 23 July 2012 at 08:34 , Anonymous Jacqueline @Howtobeagourmand said...

Sauce Jacqueline...who knew???
Nice post Janice. This takes me way back. I used to work for Stakis (in Internal Audit) who owned the hotel before the Hilton acquisition. Looks like the renovation has worked wonders and the main course looks exquisite!


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