Murrayshall Country House Hotel and Golf Club offers a choice of dining experiences. The main restaurant is the Lynedoch Brasserie, which offers magnificent views from its large windows out over Perthshire. If you can draw yourself away from the views, it also offers pleasant and comfortable surroundings. Meanwhile, Stutts Clubhouse Bar & Grill offers a more casual dining experience or drinks with friends and family, complete with the same views. We will talk in more depth about the food on offer in the Lynedoch Brasserie below. Stutts offers what the hotel describes as "classic gastro food with a twist, real ales and excellent wines". It's certainly a great place for a post-arrival afternoon drink. You can read our hotel review for Murrayshall House Hotel here.
We should also mention the afternoon teas on offer at Murrayshall. We didn't opt for the "delicious selection of sweet and savoury delights with a wide range of speciality loose leaf teas and coffees" ourselves as it seemed unlikely we'd be able to enjoy both afternoon tea and dinner, but the idea does sound remarkably enticing.
When we stayed at the hotel the Lynedoch Brasserie offered a fixed price two course menu with the option of adding a starter or dessert at extra cost. The six starters on offer included some Scottish classics, like smoked salmon and diver caught scallops. Plus, from further afield, Wye valley asparagus. We opted for the coronation chicken terrine with spiced mango chutney, spring onion and coriander salad and almond granola; and the wild garlic and potato soup with pig's cheek croquettes and chives. These dishes provided a delicious introduction to a house style which seems to combine standard classics with more unusual offerings.
The heart of a meal is always the main course, and it is no different at Murrayshall. There were a range of options available when we stayed. These included Isle of Gigha halibut; duck and orange; new season Scotch lamb rack; and Bombay potato cake. It was also possible to order (for a supplement) a Scotch beef wellington (perhaps best to discuss with the hotel before dinner as it requires an hour's cooking time); and there was a grill section with an 8oz ribeye steak or a 6oz fillet steak. The Isle of Gigha halibut was pan fried and came with pea puree, a potato terrine, caviar and caviar butter sauce. The fish was perfectly cooked and the dish was delicious. Meanwhile, the duck and orange comprised Gressingham duck breast, confit heritage carrots, kumquat, medjool dates, pickled carrot and brown butter puree. This was also extremely enjoyable, with the duck perfectly cooked.
There were five dessert options when we stayed. They were sufficiently enticing to make a choice quite hard. The caramelised pineapple, lemongrass, ginger and coriander syrup with coconut ice cream sounded really delicious. As, for that matter, did the rum and raisin crème brûlée; and the dark chocolate and chilli tart with lime sorbet. But we went for a choice of Scottish cheese, which was excellent; and the vanilla panna cotta, local strawberries, berry sorbet and crushed meringue. This latter was an obvious choice as we had driven through Perthshire strawberry fields to the hotel and wanted to bring the process full circle and enjoy eating what we had seen being grown. We really weren't disappointed; but to be honest we suspect we'd not have been disappointed by any of the options on the menu.
And then there was breakfast. We were once told by a hotelier that breakfast is an easy meal to prepare; but also easy to prepare badly. We've been told by another hotelier that breakfast is the most important meal served by any hotel, as it's the last thing departing guests will eat and so the thing that they are most likely to remember the hotel by. So let's say this straight away. We think that the full Scottish breakfast at Murrayshall is the best full Scottish breakfast we've ever eaten. That's quite a statement as we've eaten a few. But the full Scottish at Murrayshall is the sort of meal you want to post on Instagram, if that's your thing. Generous in scale, it sets you up perfectly for the day. Two rashers of Ayrshire back bacon, two free range eggs, fried or scrambled, a pork and sage sausage that turned out to be like a mini Cumberland, excellent black pudding and haggis, plus grilled tomato and button mushrooms. Everything you could possibly want from a great fried breakfast.
But we are getting rather ahead of ourselves. You can begin breakfast with a first course comprising freshly squeezed orange juice; plus cereals, porridge, a (delicious) fresh fruit salad, or yogurts. And there are other main course options available beside the full Scottish, including smoked salmon and scrambled eggs Benedict; or a free range egg omelette. But for us nothing could compare to the full Scottish breakfast. You can read our hotel review for Murrayshall House Hotel here.