Gilvenbank Hotel, Glenrothes, Fife.

I had told OH I was going to be late home from work and left instructions for him to cook a curry for tea. Unfortunately, I arrived home to an empty house and no smell of a Rogan Josh coming from the kitchen. Disappointed, hungry and not in the mood for cooking I suggested to OH (when he eventually got home) that we go out for dinner. I asked where he fancied and when he suggested somewhere within walking distance I thought…

There can be only one.

Unlike The Highlander, Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. Who was born in 1518 in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel. And is immortal. I was in Glenrothes and only had the Gilvenbank Hotel to walk to if I didn’t want to die from hunger.

Due to rubbish family stuff happening recently we have been there more than we would normally visit but it had served it’s purpose pretty well so I didn’t mind going back – even though it wasn’t a blue moon.

Unsurprisingly for a Wednesday night, we managed to get a table without trouble but then, very surprisingly, found the dining area busy. Part of the reason for this was the baby shower happening at the next table but there were also lots of hotel guests dining too and the odd couple, like ourselves, who had just wandered in.

The menu was a large double-sided cardboard one which listed main courses, burgers, salads, from the grill, pizzas, pastas, tex mex and sharing platters so much akin to a Wetherspoons but with bigger prices. The waitress told us the soup and curry of the day and then disappeared to fetch us a bottle of house red.

I decided on Salmon salsa verde – oven roasted salmon fillet with a fresh herb salsa served with boiled potatoes and fresh vegetables  2015-04-22 19.11.37. It was an odd dish. The salmon was good. The cabbage was good, The carrots were good. The salsa verde was good. But they didn’t go together. The salsa verde over shadowed everything. It was vinegary, tangy and overpowering, which made everything else seem bland. Sadly, the potatoes tasted like they had been heated up for the 10th time in a pot where the water only covered half of them.

2015-04-22 19.11.23OH went for the Braised lamb shank with red wine, herbs and chunky vegetables with mash. He enjoyed his lamb and demonstrated just how easily the meat fell easily from the bone but then did mention that the potatoes were a little salty.

2015-04-22 19.34.25For dessert, I went for the cheesecake of the day which was honey, pistachio and fig. I love figs so was drawn to it or I would have missed out a pudding completely. I was asked if I wanted cream or ice cream with it but reckoned Id be fine without either. However, I ended up having to steal some of OH’s cream from his rum and raisin chocolate torte as it was a tad dry. 2015-04-22 19.34.18

OH thought his torte was too rich and would rather have had something with a buttery biscuit base but that was probably due to him not really knowing what he was ordering as he thought torte was a posh way of saying tart ;p Mind you, it didn’t stop him scrapping his plate clean.

2 mains, 2 desserts and a bottle of house red (merlot) came to a very reasonable £41.30 for an evening (and it definitely gets bonus points because no-one had to drive).

The Crusoe Hotel, Lower Largo (an evening visit)

Last September I wrote a blog after having a bar lunch at The Crusoe Hotel in Lower Largo. (you can read it here if you want) Having just reread it, we obviously weren’t overly impressed with our meal. However, I’m delighted to say that wasn’t the case when we went there last night for a meal with OH’s sister-in-law. Now to be known as Silc.

Like our last visit, I was on-call so one of the reasons we chose The Crusoe was I knew I could get a phone signal there. Sure as fate, just as we drove up and maneuvered into the tight car park, my phone started to ring so as I dealt with the call, OH and Silc went in a managed to get us a table in the lounge, even although we hadn’t booked.

When I eventually managed to get into the lounge Silc and OH were patiently sitting looking over the menus with drinks already by their place settings and diet coke next to mine (damn this blessed on-call!). The evening menu looked really interesting and I struggled a little to decide what I would have as there was such a good choice. Eventually I decided on the 2015-04-03 19.37.29Confit of Pork Belly, caramelised apple puree, Pomme anna and salt baked winter vegetables. And what a great choice it was! The pork belly melted in the mouth, the salt baked vegetables were phenomenal and the layers of potatoes were amazing. OH turned to me whilst I was eating and said, “I thought you didn’t like parsnips?” I replied that I didn’t but because of the way they were cooked they were just too good not to eat. He said he was disappointed as he thought he would have been able to steal mine. He had no chance!

Both Silc and OH went for the Pan Roast breast of duck, fondant potato, sticky red cabbage and griottine cherries. 2015-04-03 19.36.28

OH raved about his duck saying it was excellent. He tells me that he hasn’t had duck for ages and when he has had it, it’s usually from the Chinese and it’s dry, crusty and overdone but this was succulent and cooked to perfection. He added that the sauce wasn’t too sweet and the cherries burst in the mouth with a lovely surprising tang.  When I asked if there was anything else I got, “It was all good and the tatties were done in the duck fat to give them a nice crispy texture.”

As you know I don’t usually have a dessert but as the main courses were so good I decided I’d have Rice pudding, apricot compote and walnut crumble. It was nice and warm when it arrived but just as I 2015-04-03 20.26.09had started to eat it my phone rang and when I returned I found it to be just a little bit chewy. I still managed to eat it all though.

OH went for the Sticky toffee pudding, butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream. 2015-04-03 20.26.02He said it had been heated up in the microwave and was hard and tough on the outside and just ‘alright’ in the inside.

Silc had Ice caramel parfait – poached pear and dark chocolate sauce. When it arrived it looked great as it was presented beautifully (as was everything to be fair). Silc had no complaints and scrapped her plate clean.2015-04-03 20.24.39

We had a fabulous time – the atmosphere was great, the service was fantastic and our main meals were out of this world. We will be back.

As Silc paid for the meal (thank you so much)  I don’t know how much the bill came to but if you look on the website you can see the prices on the Dining page.

The Bein Inn, Perthshire

For the last fortnight I have been intending to tell you all about our recent trip to Spain but unfortunately life events have overtaken us and instead we have been involved with family stuff. Spain seems like a life time away now so I will leave it in the past and tell you about a more recent trip to The Bein Inn in Perthshire.

One of our niece’s had been staying with us – now to be known as D’Niece – and we were giving her a lift back to Crieff. It was late on a Sunday afternoon and we were struggling to think of somewhere that would be serving food. I thought of The Bein Inn as I knew we would pass it if we were going over the hill towards Perth but wasn’t sure if it would still be serving food. Thankfully when we stopped in the pouring rain we found it was.

There was a Roast Sunday Menu which offered Soup of the day, Roast Rib of Scottish Beef with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and fresh vegetables (or Mustard crusted roast ham), and Dessert of the day for £16.95.

The soup was pea, chilli and chorizo which I thought sounded lovely but made D’Niece turn a whiter shade of pale as apparently she has a fear of peas – probably brought on by a tyrannical mum (;)) making her kids eat up every last one. I’ve never had a problem eating them as I eat my peas with honey, I’ve done it all my life, it makes the peas taste funny but it keeps them on my knife ;p2015-03-29 18.09.59

The soup was just as lovely as it sounded (to me) and had tasty lumps of chorizo in it, which were gorgeous. D’Niece went off menu and chose Thai fishcake served with chilli sauce. She enjoyed it, saying they were spicy, hot and fresh just as they should be.2015-03-29 18.09.20

For mains, I had the roast ham 2015-03-29 18.26.07and both D’Niece and OH had the roast beef.

I didn’t expect to get a Yorkshire pudding with mine but I was over the moon when I did as I do love a good Yorkshire pudding me! Unfortunately, and very disappointingly, the pud was burnt and tasted a bit odd. It had a sweet tang to it and I ended up leaving it at the side of my plate. The rest was good although maybe a little bit unspecial – I never did find the mustard crust and I thought my gravy tasted the same as OH’s when I’d much rather have had something more in keeping with ham. D’Niece and OH enjoyed their roast beef 2015-03-29 18.25.48but they didn’t really rave much about it. I think the overall feeling was that it was a fine meal but nothing to write home about (unless of course you write a blog when you do get home).

The meal – 3 starters and 3 roast dinners – came to £42.50.