The Kingarth Hotel and Smiddy Bar, Isle of Bute

Whilst touring around the Isle of Bute recently we stopped off at The Kingarth Hotel for lunch.

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A friend had heard it was good and therefore had mentioned it within a list of musts whilst in Bute. When we arrived we were told immediately that they were having difficulties as the gas board had chosen lunch time to check their gas and therefore the kitchens were limited with what they could produce. Paninis and sandwiches weren’t a problem but anything that required a gas hob was not going to be arriving any time soon. The girl was extremely apologetic but at the same time was trying to be as helpful as possible.

The menu on the board looked lovely as did the one on the table. The girl assured us that it shouldn’t be too long before they were cooking with gas and therefore we ordered cold starters in the hope by the time we had finished them our mains would be hot. Therefore, I ordered peppered smoked mackerel pate, salad and oatcakes. OH ordered the vegetable and lentil soup (yes I know that’s not cold but we figured they’d have a microwave).

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OH’s soup arrived with half a loaf. He was hungry so everything got demolished but he did mention that the soup was thick and heart warming between spoonfuls and bites.

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I received a full pot of mackerel pate and 3 oatcakes, which meant I piled the pate high and devoured them. The pate was fantastic. The accompanying salad was great – in particular the pea shoots and pieces of melon stood out and the cherry tomatoes tasted like they were straight out of the greenhouse.

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We did have to wait a while for our mains but we did not mind as everyone was trying their best to feed us. I ordered the Kingarth burger because the description just sounded so good – our butchers best beef burgers served in a ciabatta bun with melting Emmental cheese, relish, fried onions, chips and coleslaw. As soon as it arrived I dived in (which is why the pic shows it already started to). The burgers (yes there were two) were fantastic and because it was in a ciabatta roll it meant nothing fell to bits as I ate it. The chips weren’t quite so good but I’m going to guess they had to put them in the oven instead of a fryer.

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OH had ordered the Mixed seafood risotto with salad and parmesan from the board. When it was put in front of him I could see it was jam-packed with fish and prawns. He also got a side salad, which I was jealous of as I had already sampled it with my starter. OH said it was everything he expected from a risotto, creamy, bursting with flavour and full of fish. However, it was no insult to the kitchen that OH did not finish his meal (personally I blame the half loaf) but it was so full of fish it filled him up quickly. Even when they have issues with their gas you do not leave The Kingarth Hotel hungry! With no space for puddings we got our bill.

2 starters, 2 mains, 2 gins, 1 tonic, 1 juice = £39.30

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