Guests staying at the Isle of Eriska Hotel are unlikely ever to go hungry, as a range of dining options are available that between them cover just about every waking hour of the day. Additionally, non-residents may book dinner in the hotel or enjoy lunch in the Verandah Restaurant, part of the Stables Spa. You can read our hotel review for The Isle of Eriska Hotel here.
For hotel guests the full range of options start with pre-breakfast tea and coffee, followed by breakfast itself (see below). There is also a room service breakfast available through most of the morning, and a main room service menu then takes over and operates until late at night. Light lunches can be served in the hotel itself, while the Verandah Restaurant offers a more complex range of choices for lunch. Afternoon tea is taken in the hotel's public areas in the afternoon and, as it is included in the price of the accommodation, this proves a highly popular social event for those staying in the hotel.
The evening commences with a children's high tea for any younger guests, which is followed by the main culinary event of the day, dinner. Dinner is served in the Isle of Eriska Hotel's restaurant, which is the largest room on the ground floor of the hotel. This combines a wood panelled main room that offers a surprisingly contemporary feel with a bright and airy conservatory that extends out into the garden. The main restaurant combines what in the original house were separate morning and business rooms with the butler's pantry. The conservatory was added in 2002 and complements the hotel beautifully.
The dinner menu changes on a daily basis, so what follows is only a snapshot of what was on offer on the day we visited. Following an outstanding selection of amuse-bouche, the choice was between three starters and three main courses.
We went for starters of roasted young Scottish partridge and grilled sea bass. Both were very good indeed. Our mains comprised a "fillet of prime aged Scotch beef with cheek croquette, truffle jus and young garden artichokes" and "herb crusted hake with toasted fregola pasta, leek ravioli and mussel essence." The highlight of the meal was the sweet course. On the day we dined, this offered some highly unusual flavour combinations. The "griottine cherry custard tart, toffee sauce and banana sorbet" was outstanding. The "light bitter chocolate mousseline crowning a crisp hazlenut and feuilletine base beside vanilla ice cream" was equally good. The sweet menu also included a savoury option. The house style throughout dinner was of very high levels of artistry in the presentation. Especially commendable was the way the serving staff identified what was on each plate that arrived at the table.
Another nice touch is the way cheese is regarded as a separate course to be enjoyed after the sweet course. The selection of cheeses available from the trolley is extensive and includes old favourites as well as more novel options, and a good choice of both Scottish and non-Scottish cheeses.
Residents at the Isle of Eriska can begin their day with tea or coffee delivered to their room. Breakfast is served in the main restaurant, and at your table. Fresh orange juice is followed by a good choice of cold first course. The range of main course options is also very good. The "Eriska Breakfast" offers any or all the elements of a traditional Scottish breakfast, or you can go instead for smoked west coast kippers, finnan haddock, or Eriska's own smoked organic salmon with egg. The accompanying basket of toast and croissants confirm the particularly high standards achieved in the pastry department of the kitchen. You can read our hotel review for The Isle of Eriska Hotel here.