The Golspie Inn serves a range of locally sourced food throughout the day from the start of breakfast until, when we visited, 9 p.m. Lunch and dinner is served in the attractive, welcoming and comfortable restaurant in the conservatory area on the ground floor of the hotel, just off to one side of the main entrance. Breakfast is served in the dedicated breakfast room nearby on the ground floor of the hotel. You can read our hotel review for the Golspie Inn here.
The inn's website says that their food "is complemented by a comprehensive wine list to suit all palates and occasions." We'll come to the excellent food shortly, but should first agree that the range of drinks on offer is very good. The wine list offers all the variety you might wish, but from non-obvious sources. You get the sense that someone who knows their wine well took a great deal of time and trouble to come up with a list that would have wide appeal at good value while still offering some surprises. We didn't try the Pinot Grigio Rosata and still wish that perhaps we had! There's also a cocktail list and a more general drinks list, which included six draught beers and six bottled beers, plus ten gins if your taste inclines that way. We'd not encountered Wolfpack Pilsner before, but were highly impressed and will certainly look out for it in future.
There was no menu on the inn's website at the time of our visit, so we weren't really sure what to expect in the way of food. Perhaps upmarket pub grub with a custom burger and a steak and ale pie? Not at all. The food on offer at the Golspie Inn was a real surprise. If we had to offer a description, it would be something like "hearty fine dining". Really, really good food in really generous helpings that leaves you thoroughly satisfied in terms of both quality and quantity.
There were five starters on offer when we visited. Scallops, pea puree and chimichuri dressing vied for attention with steamed west coast mussels, white wine, garlic, shallots and cream: or we could have selected the soup of the day. Instead one of us went for breaded brie, cranberry sauce and crispy onions, which was lovely (and very filling); while the other had chicken liver parfait, warm toast and red onion jam. This was also delicious and amply proportioned.
The menu offered six main courses when we dined. These included breast of chicken, steamed veg and roast butternut squash; seared salmon, creamed potato, sprouting broccoli and Bernaise sauce; and courgette fritter, pickled veg and beetroot ketchup. One of us opted for the 28 day matured ribeye steak with handcut chips, rocket and Parmesan salad, and peppercorn sauce. The steak that arrived was magnificent: cooked exactly as requested and challenging in size, accompanied by equally generous helpings of chips, salad and sauce. But - and opinions differed slightly between us here - the dish of the day has to have been the venison topside with clap shot and roast vegetables. This was possibly not art on a plate in terms of presentation but it was the best venison dish I have ever eaten, and I have eaten a few in my time so that's a pretty bold claim. The meat was perfectly cooked and substantial, and the accompaniments excellent. There aren't many dishes you eat that you know will stay in the memory for all the right reasons, but the Golspie Inn's venison most certainly will.
How to follow that? There were five desert choices on offer, including sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice cream; lemon and lime cheesecake; and lemon posset with fresh raspberries and shortbread. We went for a really lovely chocolate brownie with Capaldis of Brora's ice cream. And, in acknowledgement of both the quality and quantity of the first two courses, for a selection of Capaldis of Brora's ice cream. A fine way to round off an outstanding meal and rather lighter than the alternatives!
The breakfast choice was not wide but the quality of the breakfasts was superb. Tea, coffee and toast, fruit juice, cereals and yoghurts could be followed by porridge and the Scottish breakfast with a choice of fried, poached or scrambled egg. We are able to report that both the porridge and the Scottish breakfast are outstanding. Overall, a fine dining experience for the really hungry diner! You can read our hotel review for the Golspie Inn here.