Cromlix House: the perfect birthday surprise

It was my better half’s birthday the other week and the usual challenge came up – what do you buy the man who has everything? After much thought I decided the best idea was to treat him to an experience, something he would enjoy and remember.

Scallops, squid ink linguine & herring butter caviar sauce

Scallops, squid ink linguine & herring butter caviar sauce

The timing was perfect, the ankle biter was away with school providing the perfect opportunity for us to escape for the night. Cromlix House, Andy Murray’s hotel had been on my radar for a while and after some discussion with myself (well about five minutes!), I decided dinner and an overnight was the answer.

We set off on a gorgeous sunny afternoon and sped up the road from Edinburgh to Perthshire to be welcomed by a very polite young man in the car park, who showed us the way to reception. Once we had checked in and had a good browse round our fabulous spa room we headed for the gardens and enjoyed the country calm and a nice pot of tea in the open air, soaking up the Spring rays.

Time slipped away and soon it was time to go down for dinner. The stunning hand painted walls and art deco design in the bar are very elegant and almost transport you to another decade of life at Cromlix. We enjoyed a glass of bubbles before moving through to the open plan dining room next door. I loved our table, which was situated next to the kitchen service area and allowed us to see all the creations coming through.

Seafood envy

The birthday boy (BB) picked the best starter by far and I did have slight food envy on the other side of the table. He had a delicious dish of scallops with squid ink linguine, accompanied by a lime herb and herring caviar butter sauce. It was just stunning, the scallops were succulent and cooked to perfection and the linguine melted in your mouth – simply delicious.

Another good choice for main, BB kept on the seafood theme and had North Sea cod with braised Iberico pork cheek and cauliflower cheese gratin. While tempted by the fish and the cauliflower I am not keen on pork cheek, so opted for a safer option of rump cap with duck fat potatoes, baby carrots and cabbage – a real Sunday roast.

North Sea cod with Iberico pork cheek & cauliflower cheese gratin

North Sea cod with Iberico pork cheek & cauliflower cheese gratin

My beef came with a yummy Yorkshire pudd, just as it should and was a very generous portion. The meat was lovely and went extremely well with the cabbage and veg, a hearty meal for sure that resulted in no room for dessert at all sadly. The cod was also very nice and I was perhaps harsh to write it off because of the pork cheek, as it was not as ‘offal’ as I thought it might be and actually worked really well.

Rump cap, duck fat potatoes, baby carrots & cabbage

Rump cap, duck fat potatoes, baby carrots & cabbage

Fuelled up and feeling very happy with our Chez Roux experience at Cromlix we decanted ourselves into the library for a refreshing pot of mint tea and some petits fours – a sweet treat to round off a lovely evening in the country.

Breakfast tip

Now, since we stayed over I can also provide some inside tips on the breakfast, which is fast becoming my favourite meal to experience out and about. Our waitress during dinner had recommended the Pain Perdue and I absolutely second that. A colourful plate edged with fruit arrived with French style toast, the surface of the toast was almost like crème brulee, it needed to be tapped and broken into before you could access the bread and raisins. It definitely wasn’t the light option on the menu, but it was certainly the tastiest.

Pain Perdue - French toast & fruit

Pain Perdue – French toast & fruit

Cromlix House
Kinbuck, Near Dunblane, Perthshire, FK15 9JT
T: 01786 822 125
Twitter: @CromlixHotel

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About Nicki Sturzaker

Chief chatterbox and Mum on the run! Nicki is a foodie at heart and is in constant search for the best scone in Edinburgh, but in their absence she always has a secret stash of dark chocolate to get through the day.

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