Life is too short for bad wine, poor quality food and overpriced services and products. I very much live by quality not quantity. I would rather stay in an amazing hotel for one night over an average hotel for 7 (ideally the amazing hotel for 7 nights but let’s be realistic here). I am a passionate foodie and believe we will live a happy life if we embrace it. We just need to be careful to find the correct balance with the additive stuff – alcohol, caffeine and sugar.
For 8 years I was constantly wining and dining whilst working in sales and marketing for luxury hotels. I helped to launch Blythswood Square, Glasgow. I knew that stunning menu off by heart from old school prawn cocktails, to king scallops, Dover sole and the juiciest of fillet steak. With its stunning Spanish marble bathrooms and Harris tweed sofa’s and shades, Blythswood Square is a hotel that Scotland can be proud of.
I have been lucky to stay in a lot of beautiful hotels over the years and Gleneagles remains high up there for me. I love everything about it. The way the team make me feel, the fact I can walk around in my robe and nobody cares. I love the simplicity of the spa and the beautiful ESPA treatments and products. I love the fusion of classic and contemporary decor. Andrew Fairlies smoked lobster will always remain in my mind. Be it a warm summers day or a snowy, dark winters night – Gleneagles to me is Scotlands leading destination hotel.
In terms of Edinburgh – I have a big soft spot for Prestonfield House. It’s very much a hidden gem full of sensual corners, antiques and indulgent interiors. If I want to get treated like a princess then it’s an ideal place to be. Which is why I recently chose to go there for my kiddie free birthday lunch.
Now don’t get me wrong – I love my wee people. We have taken them to Prestonfield twice for afternoon tea which is not bad going as they are 1 and 4 years old. Our 4 year old loves the place. She knows it well from watching our wedding dvd. To her it is the ‘special castle with the peacocks where Mummy and Daddy got married’. They also do the best homemade raspberry jam I have ever tasted.
There were tears as we set off. Our wee girl wanted to come too. This time it was just for us though – adults only. I wanted a few hours to stop and indulge in this sexy, chic Georgian mansion. My heels were too high for constant exploring, legging it after our 1 year old and games of hide and seek. I have paid my dues. I wanted to sit and savor a cold glass of champagne and take my time over our meal. I was up for a bit of birthday spoils and after our little monkeys running rings round me for most of the morning- I deserved it. Happy birthday to me, hello Prestonfield.
The champagne was waiting on arrival. Their own brand is super tasty – clean, crisp and always ice cold.
Nothing is too much for the team – they are relaxed in a non stuffy kinda way which is right up my street. A lunch at Rhubarb doesn’t have to break the bank either – they do a 2 course lunch for £20 or 3 courses for £25.
I kicked off with the foie gras and duck confit terrine which was washed down with a nice glass of Riesling. The wine list is REALLY good.
This dish to me was as good as it looked. Like the scones, the homemade bread is always delicious and the perfect temperature – we dug into spiced brioche and freshly baked pumpkin loaf.
The hubs went for the stone bass and I chose the lamb – both cooked bang on with all sorts of well paired treats on the plate. A bit too much going on but (in the words of Gregg Wallace) I was pleased that the lamb remained the ‘star of the show’.
Rhubarb restaurant serves indulgent modern Scottish dining with a classical twist. I could tell the chef hadn’t held back on the butter and after running a 10k that morning (what idiot books a half marathon a week after her birthday) – I didn’t give a damn.
We ended the meal with a dark chocolate and caramel fondant served with blood orange sorbet – it was melting in all the right parts and the sorbet was so refreshing. I was tempted by a dessert wine but opted for more champagne. I get one birthday a year so I may as well milk it. I love a champagne buzz #partytime.
The sun was beating in the window. The waiter read my mind and asked if we would like to have coffee in the garden. A great way to end the afternoon.
I just love the vibe at Prestonfield. I love the pink powder room and the fact that they use Penhaligons Blenheim Bouquet products (such a clean, sexy smell).
I love how each shamelessly seductive bedroom is unique – boutique to me is best. Chain hotels can get a bit dull.
This place personifies style, romance and sophistication. All that was missing for me was some music playing in the restaurant and a luxury spa. The bathrooms are pretty glam though and with some nice candles and a little bit of ESPA bath oil you could create the next best thing. An ice bucket filled with bubbly is clearly a must also.
As usual I was sad to leave but I had the family waiting for me at home with a tasty homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting – life could be worse. Until next time Presto, stay fabulous x
To read about some of my food and wine rates check out the links below: