Like everything else at Crieff Hydro, the hotel's dining operates on a large scale: and yet, from our experience, it succeeds in doing so while maintaining high levels of quality both in terms of the food on offer and the standard of service. As a result our dinner in the hotel's Meikle Restaurant was thoroughly enjoyable as a dining experience. It was also highly impressive as we watched the way a large number of diners were served extremely efficiently, and at a pace that suited the diners on each individual table. No one seemed rushed, and no one appeared to have to wait unduly for their next course: an outstanding achievement by a calm, friendly, and very effective waiting team. You can read our hotel review for Crieff Hydro here.
The Crieff Hydro has a wide range of dining options on offer to guests in the hotel or in its self catering accommodation, or to others simply wishing to dine. Starting beyond the walls of the hotel itself, The Clubhouse is, as the name suggests, the clubhouse for the estate's Culcrieff Golf Course. It is family friendly (and dog friendly) and offers breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks to hotel residents and non residents alike. The breakfasts prove particularly popular with residents of the self catering accommodation on that part of the estate.
Geographically rather closer to the hotel is The Hub. This is found in a south eastern extension to the hotel which also houses the childcare facilities and some of the sporting activities. In essence it is a family friendly fully licenced cafe offering lunch or an all day menu that majors on healthy options like spicy soups, salads, paninis and filled ciabattas: plus cakes and an ice cream cart offering a range of flavours and toppings.
Moving into the main hotel we find the magnificent "Winter Garden", housed in a large glass walled conservatory built onto the southern side of the building at a fairly early stage in its life. Lunches of homemade soups, sandwiches and salads are on offer, as is an all day menu, and the Winter Garden is fully licenced. This is a particularly good place in which to enjoy a rather fine afternoon tea, if you can find room for it between lunch and dinner.
Those staying on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis at the Crieff Hydro can choose to dine on either of two nicely contrasting restaurants. The typical DB&B package includes dinner from the table d'hote menu in the more formal Meikle Restaurant, where booking is highly recommended. The Meikle Restaurant offers a very grown up ambience and does lunches (and breakfasts) as well as dinners. The neighbouring Meikle Piano Bar is a beautifully styled and fairly sophisticated bar with a grand piano: and an impressive whisky wall.
The alternative venue for dinner is The Brasserie, where dinner bookings are again recommended. This is less formal and more family friendly, and has its own attractive bar. Menu items are individually priced in the Brasserie and DB&B guests choosing to dine there have an allowance they can set against the menu items they choose. The Brasserie is open for lunches and dinners: and also offers children's high tea early each evening.
At the time of our stay breakfast was available in the Meikle Restaurant. The dinner menu had warned that the last hour of a long breakfast service can get busy, so like many others we opted for an early start. Coffee, tea and toast are served at your table, the latter to enjoy with locally produced jams, while there were two buffets, one for the cold starter course and one for the hot main course. You can read our hotel review for Crieff Hydro here.