Time can cause perspective to fade. More recent events or experiences can seem much more vivid or exceptional than less recent events or experiences. Despite this, it's quite something when two people finish a three-course dinner, each comprising different elements, and both conclude it's the best dinner they've ever eaten. That's exactly what happened on our most recent visit to Trigony House Hotel & Garden Spa. The food on offer is exceptionally good by any standards: it is also exceptionally good value. The main event is dinner, though lunch can also be booked. Afternoon teas are served in the lounge or your room or (weather permitting) on the terrace. Room service and packed lunches are also available.
We should perhaps start by questioning Trigony House's own description of what they offer as "rustic cuisine". Perhaps it's down to semantics, but to a generation brought up watching "Masterchef", the word "rustic" is not always an entirely positive one. What turns up on your plate at Trigony House certainly does tend to be hearty: no-one is going to consume a three course dinner and leave hungry. But it is also beautifully and lovingly crafted and nicely presented. Not Picasso on a plate, perhaps, but you need more empty plate for that: and in any case that's not what the team at Trigony House are trying to achieve.
A theme that pervades everything at Trigony House is that of "home made". Why buy in shortbread biscuits for the guest rooms when you can make better yourself (and they can, and do). The delicious bread served before dinner or as toast at breakfast is home made, as are the jam and marmalade, and just about everything else. Another theme is that of local sourcing. Ingredients are sourced from within Dumfriesshire or Scotland more widely wherever possible, and depending on the season. In Summer and Autumn the hotel's own walled kitchen garden provides inspiration and produce, and care is also taken to source from free range and organic producers, again whenever possible. Implicit in this approach is that the menus on offer vary from day to day depending on availability and the season. This of course means that a description of what was on offer during our stay should be seen as an example of the sort of food produced, and more examples can be seen on the hotel's own website. Trigony House also takes great pride in catering for all its guests' dietary needs. They cater for gluten free, lactose free and dairy free diets as well as vegans, vegetarians and other food preferences on their menus on a daily basis.
The dining room at Trigony House benefits from large windows looking out over the hotel's beautiful garden and is a nicely relaxing place in which to eat. The bar can be used by those wishing to dine with their canine companions.
On the evening we dined, the menu offered a choice of four starters; four main courses; four vegetarian dishes that could be prepared either as starters or mains; and five desserts plus cheese. For starters we chose "smoked pheasant sausage, wild garlic and flageolet bean cassoulet" and "field mushroom and porcini mushroom soup with truffle oil". Both were outstanding, and generous. For the mains we chose "Mexican style beef with beetroot, smoked chilli and coriander, roast sweet potato, refried beans and wild garlic", plus, from the vegetarian menu, "fennel and fenugreek braised cauliflower, lime pickle, coconut dhal and basmati rice". Once more each was superb in its own way, and both were beautifully filling. For desserts we went for the "raspberry vanilla crème brûlée", and a selection of "double cream vanilla, malted chocolate and raspberry" ice creams. Each sounds simple but each was magnificently prepared and each provided a perfect end to a memorable meal.
It is not often that breakfast is held up as something worthy of pride, but it is at Trigony House Hotel. After all, it is the last thing that departing guests eat before leaving, and as a result creates a lasting impression. It is nice to be able to report that our breakfast at Trigony House more than lived up to the billing. Guests can help themselves to a cold first course comprising everything you'd expect, plus one of the nicest fresh fruit salads we've ever seen. Hot options ranged from all the elements of a full fried breakfast through porridge to locally smoked kippers; eggs Benedict, royale or Florentine; smoked haddock kedgeree; and Galloway smoked salmon. We are happy to report that the porridge was as near perfect as you will find, and the fried breakfast was exceptional. You can read our hotel review for Trigony House Hotel here.