After a busy few months at work, we decided to treat ourselves to a relaxing break away from Edinburgh at Easter time. Somewhere in Scotland definitely and somewhere we could enjoy some downtime while trying out some new eating experiences. Where better then than Inverness, a beautiful city with plenty going on and with a great choice of eateries.
We had a restaurant in mind for Saturday night but had no plans for dining on Sunday night. While chatting to Jenny, the lovely founder and MD of POSH Agency at a recent event we mentioned our upcoming visit to the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness. It just so happened that the hotel was one of their clients and would we like to dine at their restaurant then do a review? We hadn’t actually considered dining at the hotel but thought that after a days sightseeing it might be nice to enjoy the full experience.
Sure enough, we had a busy day sightseeing on the Sunday and after a disco nap we headed to the Conservatory restaurant where we were shown to our table that looked out on to a courtyard. The restaurant has a slightly Cunard feel about it with crisp tablecloths and smartly turned out staff – it certainly felt special. Our waiter for the evening was Anu who was very charming and made us feel welcome with a pre-dinner drink. We decided that a G&T would be in order and he chose one for us from the vast array of gins on offer. The last thing we were expecting was a gin from Paisley called Gilt – who would have thought? Very nice it was too.
|Conservatory Restaurant – Photo – Laura MacKinnon|
The menu sounded mouth watering with Scottish ingredients to the fore and many of them sourced from local producers. For starters Donnie went for the seared hand dived Shetland scallops with leek and vermouth cream and a lemon parsley crust. I opted for the goats cheese bonbons with beetroot carpaccio and a madeira reduction. The scallops were sweet and perfectly cooked with the vermouth adding a lovely very gently spicy flavour that worked well with the parsley and lemon crust. (the lemon crust could have been a bit more lemony and a bit more crusty for his liking!). My bonbons were simple but utterly delicious – I do love goats cheese and these tangy beauties hit the spot and the beetroot carpaccio was an impressive feat of culinary engineering that I won’t be trying at home.
The main courses all sounded delicious and choosing was difficult but I went for the Shetland monkfish tail with cranberry farce (French for stuffing I discovered on Google later), pancetta, wilted spinach, saffron mash and a lemon butter sauce. Donnie had the Gressingham duck breast, braised chicory, purple sprouting broccoli, potato rosti and clementine orange jus. I don’t often eat fish when dining out but I was in the mood for something fairly light and hadn’t actually tried monkfish tails before so thought I’d give it a go. I didn’t regret the choice as they were perfect for an aspiring fish lover like me – quite a meaty texture with the pancetta adding a salty crunch. The cranberry stuffing was quite an unusual idea that worked really well with the fish and the lemon sauce. Donald’s Duck (have waited ages to write that!) was nicely cooked blushing pink next to the crunchy seasonal vegetables – the clementine jus giving it all a zesty flavour.
After polishing off the mains, we debated dessert and decided to share the set rice nutmeg and cinnamon pudding with marmalade sauce. They definitely saved the best for last as this pudding looked and tasted stunning. The sticky lightly spiced rice had a lovely caramelised crunch with the tangy marmalade sauce surrounding it like a syrupy moat. Yum.
|Nutmeg and Cinnamon Set Rice Pudding with Marmalade Sauce|
If you are staying at the Kingsmills Hotel then this restaurant is a must – the food is delicious and the staff are very warm and welcoming. And if you’re just looking for somewhere to eat in Inverness then treat yourself to lunch or dinner here – you won’t be disappointed.
Tel: 01463 237 166
Read our blog 48 hours in Inverness coming soon.