Dinner at The Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillan
For those of you who might not remember, Phil and I took a trip to the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillans for a cosy stay and dinner. The hotel was the very heart of the community, championing all things local. It gave a hint at what to expect when it came to our three course dinner in the Meall Reamhar Two Rosette restaurant.
Whilst the hotel and the village it resides in may be small, the ambitions of the restaurants staff are anything but. They have a desire to continue to excel and it shows. Whilst their 2 AA Rosette accolade may highlight that, the attention to detail and creative flair used in their dishes was still a surprise.
It is important to note that if you don't want to go all out for dinner, there is the cosy Tarken Bar that gives residents and guests the option to dine casually - offering bar snacks and traditional meals.
We booked our table at Meall Reamhar for 7.30pm - giving us an opportunity to have a drink or two prior to our meal. The bar was packed, both with people and dogs, and had the most wonderful atmosphere. By contrast, the main restaurant was cool, calm and elegant; the diners were there for quiet celebrations or because had been before and returned again and again.
There was some what a juxtaposition of the audience dining in the bar versus the restaurant, but in that respect, the hotel offers something for everyone - a fine dining experience or a cosy bar meal for the family.
Now that the scene is set, on to the food. The restaurant has a hugely varied list of food options, all with a truly authentic Scottish feel. From the artisan cheese board with Kenmore oatcakes, Scottish beef, Aberfoyle black pudding - the restaurant itself explains the food is "chosen for variety and above all, to make use of Scotland's seasonal larder". We opted for the lamb and beef and were surprised at not only the portion size, which was perfect, but the delicious flavours. The chef clearly knows exactly what to use to create a perfectly varied taste journey on every plate. A pate-mousse with beef is the dream, for the record.
Each and every course was delicious. However, I was in for another treat. One such Scottish delicacy surprised me on the breakfast menu. I have rarely seen a menu that includes porridge created in such a delicious and traditional way. It arrived with cream, honey and a shot of delicious Drambuie. Given the wind and chill outside, it set me up perfectly for the day and absolutely stood out as one of the best things I have ever tasted.
As a guest at the Four Seasons St Fillans, you have an absolute hidden gem in Meall Reamhar. For those in the area, or even further afield, it is worth making the trip, if not for the view then most definitely the gorgeous array of food. The joy is each time you return you know you will get something different.