Since this review was written, the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel has become the Dunkeld House Hotel. As a result, what follows is now out of date. The contact information on this page has been updated to reflect the change of identity and ownership of the hotel, but the rest of the review remains as it was. It will be rewritten following a revisit, which is planned to take place once refurbishment work is complete.
The Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel offers an excellent dining experience that is enjoyed by those staying in the hotel and in the surrounding lodges and, from what we could see, others living or staying in the area simply drawn here by the quality of the food. The result, when we visited, was a very busy dinner service that was generally slick and effective, yet which still offered friendly and personal service. The hotel has obviously judged its market well, and caters for it very well indeed. And breakfast deserves a special mention. It is easy to do a buffet service breakfast badly, but rather less easy to do it as exceptionally well as Dunkeld House. You can read our hotel review for Hilton Dunkeld House here.
Anyone feeling peckish at the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel can set about meeting their needs in a number of different ways. One is via the "All Day Menu" found in the guest directory in every room, which offers everything from soup, sandwiches and snacks up to full meals. This menu is available in its entirety from 8am to 10pm every day, and items like soup and sandwiches are available 24 hours per day.
Meanwhile the Garden Bar is open from late morning to late night, and offers (in addition to 50 malt whiskies) a menu of light meals and snacks, plus a "patio menu" of themed sharing platters. The latter seem a really great idea, but one we were unable to test without risking the enjoyment of our dinner.
Dinner is served (as is Sunday lunch) in the Garden Restaurant. When we dined the hotel was busy, and it was interesting to see how a fairly small team managed the service. There are three menus on offer, which rotate daily. The result is to give a much wider choice for those staying for a few days than would otherwise be possible. The menu on offer on the day we stayed offered three starter choices plus a soup of the day; four mains; and three sweets plus cheese. A separate grill menu offered a choice of two different steaks or duck.
For our starters we chose the soup of the day, which was Cullen skink; and brie and goats' cheese panna cotta, beetroot carpacchio, walnut vin, baby Mozzarella, slow roast cherry tomatoes and apple gel. The highlight of both meals was the main course. The pork tenderloin, grain mustard mash potato, wilted greens, bacon lardons and redcurrant jus was very nice indeed. As was the crisp skin sea bass fillet, pea puree, Parisian potatoes, warm summer salad of Savoy cabbage, sun-dried tomato, sugar snap peas and black olives. For the sweet we went with a "temperatures of chocolate", which combined a chocolate mouse with chocolate ice cream and a hot chocolate shot; plus the cheese option, which combined Dunsyre Blue, Red Anster and Morangie Brie.
We've already noted that breakfast at the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel is rather a triumph, and if we sound at all surprised by this, it is simply because the fairly large size of the hotel means that there is a buffet service of both cold and hot courses. We turned up for our breakfasts two hours into a three hour long service, and were very impressed to find the service areas clean and well presented, with fresh food being provided at frequent intervals. Combine the freshness of, for example, the bacon, sausages and fried eggs, with the obvious care in ensuring their quality, and the result was that every aspect of breakfast was both impressive and enjoyable. You can read our hotel review for Hilton Dunkeld House here.