There are many different reasons why you might choose to stay at The Coylumbridge Hotel: you can read our hotel review for it here. The idea of "choice" carries through to the very wide range of options available for those wishing to dine here, which really does extend to providing something for everyone. In the rest of this review we run through the various dining choices on offer, but it seems fitting to begin with breakfast.
Breakfast is served in the Inverdruie Restaurant and is quite simply outstanding. This is important, because breakfast is how you start your day, and, as a hotelier once told us, it is the last meal that most guests eat before leaving. It's important, therefore, that it creates a good impression that they take away with them.
This is a large and busy hotel, and signs in the lobby indicating that breakfast can become busy between certain times did not lead to high expectations. The reality utterly confounded those low expectations. What we found was quite simply the best all-buffet breakfast serving we've ever enjoyed. The layout seemed capable of handling the throughput of a busy hotel and the range of choice on offer was simply superb, whether you wanted a breakfast built around continental meats and cheeses, fresh fruits, cereals, breads, or traditional fried fayre, including less-mainstream options such as gluten-free sausages. We found two things to be particularly impressive. The first was the way the buffets were kept well-stocked and attractively presented by attentive staff; and the second was the speed with which dirty plates were cleared away after use. The fried breakfast buffet was a particular triumph, freshly stocked and nicely presented, with an extremely wide choice. Plus fried eggs that were being cooked as people wanted them, with great results (not something we can ever recall seeing being done nearly as well as part of a buffet breakfast anywher else). Meanwhile the waffles can also be highly recommended. We doubt if anyone leaves breakfast at The Coylumbridge without feeling extremely pleased with the meal they have enjoyed, and fully prepared for the day ahead.
The main and most popular choice for dinner is the Inverdruie Restaurant. This 320-seat restaurant is very stylishly fixtured and furnished, and is laid out in a way that belies and breaks up its large size. The Inverdruie Restaurant offers Italian family dining in the early evening, followed by a table d’hote menu. The style is described as "Scottish cuisine with a modern twist". There is also a private dining area, The Druie Room, which helps further subdivide the overall space. We found service in the restaurant (as in every other aspect of what the hotel does) to be outstanding. The sense we got was that the Inverdruie Restaurant is intended particularly to meet the needs of guests staying on DB&B packages, with a menu that when we stayed offered ten starters (plus special), nine mains (plus choices from the grill and two specials) and eight sweets including a sweet of the day, plus a selection of Scottish cheese. The mains menu also listed ten possible side orders, and we'd suggest you seek your server's advice about whether the main course you have chosen would benefit from one or more sides or not.
Directly accessed from the main lobby near the front doors is the Bistro, which is open through the evening. The hotel describes this as "cool and calm, with contemporary colours and soft lighting, as well as an extensive chalkboard menu featuring daily specials." The menu tends to include a wide range of starters, mains and desserts, with everything from steaks and burgers through upmarket pub classics to a number of vegetarian options. There is also a kids' menu, though the main restaurant seems the more popular choice for families.
So far we've not touched on lunch. Food is available in the foyer lounge and main bar from lunchtime until late, from a menu sufficiently wide in its range of choices to ensure that there's something for pretty much anyone to enjoy. The options on offer extend from soup and sandwiches through to full meals. Or you can simply select from the afternoon tea menu.
Beyond the confines of the main hotel itself, you can also choose to dine (from lunchtime onwards) in the Woodshed Bar from a menu that specialises in nachos (the best this side of Mexico, apparently) or enjoy something from the barbecue on the terrace outside. Meanwhile, the "Fun House" comes complete with an American Diner that is open from late morning onwards. You can read our hotel review for the Coylumbridge Hotel here.