When you visit a country hotel, you really want the food to be good as the likelihood is that you won’t be venturing out to the local restaurants. The Tinto Hotel is set in countryside near Biggar. It was a beautiful snowy day as we drove up the winding driveway to enjoy an overnight break.
More about the hotel soon, here I want to talk about our dinner.
The restaurant dining room is located in the conservatory which offers views over clear countryside. After a pre-dinner drink we made our way through. The restaurant itself is traditional (I like a table cloth), without being too twee.
My friend ordered the Duo of Smoked Salmon with soused vegetables and lemon mayo. It was a light and fresh start to our dinner and a nice way to showcase one of our premium Scottish ingredients.
Continuing the Scottish theme I had the Haggis and Potato Scone Tower. It was served with a whisky and tomato chutney and a deep fried slice of turnip – because, this is Scotland after all. It was an inventive dish and everything tasted good, but I think I’d have preferred a traditional whisky sauce in place of the chutney.
For main I had the Pan Fried Duck Supreme, which was served with a celeriac and potato dauphinoise and a cherry reduction. This was a nice dish but I’d have happily compromised on the presentation to have the dauphinoise a bit looser and creamier. The cherry reduction was a good accompaniment to cut through the richness though.
My friend had the Butter Poached Chicken (how indulgent does that sound!). This was served with sprouting broccoli, garlic breadcrumbs, lemon butter potatoes and tarragon cream. The chicken was tender and not dry at all – poaching makes all the difference – and the accompaniments all worked really well together.
I couldn’t resist the Warm Vanilla Poached Pear and Frangipane Tartley, it’s rare to see a classic dessert like this and I was not disappointed. The pastry was excellent and it perfectly hit the spot after a lovely meal.
My friend had the Selection of Scottish Cheeses, I tried to steal a bit but she wasn’t in the mood for sharing.
Overall the food was really good for a three star hotel and I’d have no hesitation booking to go back – it’s a lovely place to escape to for an overnight break.
Tinto Hotel Restaurant
Price: Starters £3.95 – £5.95, Mains £9.95 – £14.95
Good for: Good quality classic dishes