Duisdale House Hotel offers two main dining options. The choice is between the excellent but more casual approach offered by the Chart Room menu from lunchtime onwards; and the superb experience on offer in the 2 AA Rosette main dining room. You can read our hotel review for Duisdale House here.
The à la carte Chart Room menu is available for lunch, through the afternoon, and on into the evening, and offers a range of tempting starters, mains and sweets. It is served in the Chart Room Bar at the front of the hotel, and at lunch and in the afternoon this menu is also available in the conservatory area of the main dining room. If you want something a little lighter, afternoon tea is served throughout the afternoon in the Chart Room or lounge.
The full dinner experience commences with pre-dinner drinks in the lounge, a room whose character harmonises well with its contemporary decor and furnishings. Here too, you can sit by an open fire on a cold day and make your selection from the menu and wine list while enjoying canapés.
The main dining room comprises a boldly decorated inner area and a conservatory extension. The inner area offers romantic candlelit dining and a log fire on cold days. The conservatory offers excellent views over the gardens, which lie on both sides of a valley. The view is especially impressive as the light fades and the floodlights in the garden begin to show their full effect.
On our visit, once we were settled at our table in the conservatory, we were served an amuse bouche of "Mallaig mussels in a provencale sauce" and a choice of home-made rolls. The menu changes daily and when we visited comprised a choice of three starters, three mains and two sweets plus cheese. For starters we had superb "hand-dived island scallops with cauliflower, golden raisins, pickled shallots and lime"; and an equally delicious "braised highland beef shoulder with potato rosti, neeps, beetroot and broccoli". This was followed by an excellent butternut squash soup (not, as one of us initially heard, "butterscotch soup"!) For mains we enjoyed "fillet of Lochaber pork, with cheek and belly, confit potato, apple puree and celeriac"; and "Parma ham wrapped cod, with crushed pink firs, fennel, grapefruit and parsnip".
The combination of excellent ingredients and superb preparation produces really outstanding food. On our visit the best was saved until last, and we found the dessert course to be a real triumph. Of particular note was the truly outstanding "iced cherry parfait, griottine cherries, apple and kirsche". Meanwhile, the cheese selection was exceptionally good, and a particularly nice touch that we suspect we will begin to see used elsewhere was the names of the cheeses in the selection written on the slate on which they were served. We expected great things from our dinner at Duisdale House, and were not disappointed: both the food and the overall dining experience are simply outstanding.
Breakfast at the Duisdale House Hotel is excellent and is served in the conservatory. Both courses are table served. The first course includes a range of fruits, juices, muesli and cereals, or you can order porridge with syrup, cream and/or whisky from the kitchen. The porridge can be highly recommended. The main course includes options such as oak smoked Hebridean salmon and scrambled eggs; Mallaig smoked haddock and poached eggs; and Loch Fyne kippers. Meanwhile, the traditional Scottish breakfast is excellent, offering all the elements you would expect, prepared to a high standard and guaranteed to set you up for the day. You can read our hotel review for Duisdale House here.