Thyme at Errichel
We recently spent a lovely bank holiday weekend near Aberfeldy in Perthshire and decided to book Thyme at Errichel for dinner on the Saturday evening. This restaurant is located in the roundhouse on a family run hill farm and has stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The building itself was clearly a labour of love and has just recently been converted into a terrific restaurant space offering lunches at the weekends and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday evenings. The owner and chef Paul Newman has spent many years working all over the world as an executive chef for Hilton Hotels so brings a lot of experience to his own venture.
After admiring the panoramic views and saying hello to the ducks (hoping they’re not making an appearance on the menu) – we entered the roundhouse. Pre-dinner cocktails are served in the slightly surreal library that feels like you might encounter Miss Scarlett with some lead piping. Instead there is the lovely Fiona with the drinks menu and some friendly banter. The cocktails all sounded divine and I ordered a Bramble Sloe Gin £6.95 which was a fruity cocktail mixed from sloe gin, bramble gin liqueur and lemon juice. The star of the show was the Bakewell Tart cocktail – an almondy concoction that wowed everyone. The menu offers two courses at £29 and £35 for three and each has a variety of seasonal choices, most using locally sourced ingredients including some from the farm itself (no duck thankfully on tonight’s menu).
After sipping our cocktails by the fire and admiring the vast array of books on display, we were shown through to the main dining room. The room is very modern with beautiful stonework and an amazing circular vaulted ceiling – the large windows give you glimpses out to the bucolic surroundings. Tap water is offered as standard without any fuss and we had some lovely bread to nibble on while we enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere. The service provided by the small team of staff is also relaxed, unpretentious and very attentive.
Our starters duly arrived and I had the asparagus with poached Errichel duck egg with parsley dressing and Donnie had the Ayrshire beetroot and Inverloch goats cheese terrine. Mine was a really simple dish that tasted fresh and crisp with a perfectly poached runny egg that the asparagus was made for dunking into. The terrine looked like a piece of art on the plate and tasted delicious with quite a subtle goats cheese flavour.
|Ayrshire Beetroot and Inverloch Goats Cheese Terrine|
After making light work of our starters, we were treated to a zesty sorbet of pink champagne and thyme which was a lovely touch. Our mains arrived, mine a slow braised Errichel lamb shoulder, puy lentils, curly kale, garden pea and parsley casserole and Donnie went for Puddledub Farms buffalo sirloin steak, roasted shallot, vine ripened cherry tomato, flat cupped mushroom and cut chips. The lamb was meltingly tender and went well with the slightly salty flavour of the puy lentil casserole – very moreish. The buffalo steak comes all the way from Fife and is much leaner than traditional beef (they breed them lean and mean in Fife) so we were advised to have it cooked slightly rarer than normal. It was beautifully cooked (Donnie gets a bit faint if there’s too much blood) and tasted absolutely delicious.
We fully intended not having dessert but crumbled in the face of the Kahlua coffee cream brulee with a caramelised sugar glaze. Thankfully we shared this dreamy, creamy confection and pretended that the fruit would cancel out the rest of it. It was very nice but for our expanding bellies sake, we probably should have had a cup of coffee instead! No regrets though as it was delicious.
Thyme at Errichel is such a relaxing place to dine and is a delight from start to finish. Hopefully they can provide a lead for other farms to do something similar as it provides a real destination dining experience unlike anything else. They give a true farm to plate experience with imaginative cooking, a stunning dining space and fabulous service. Thyme is definitely worth making a detour for and they also have holiday accommodation on the farm too so you don’t have to worry about the taxi home.
TEL: 01887 820 850
|Stunning dining space|
|Paul Newman – Chef/Owner|
|The evening’s Menu|