When MrG popped his head into the living room a few weeks ago and said ‘I saw Mar Hall had a good deal on for Valentines Weekend, so I’ve booked us a suite for next Saturday’ I was both beyond excited, and if I am honest a wee bit shocked.
For years I have wanted to visit Mar Hall in Bishopton but have never really had an occasion to go. Naturally I immediately started pouring over menus, working out exactly how many meals I could cram in to 24 hours (4 is the answer) and drooling over pictures of the hotel on instagram.
Although we managed to squeeze in 4 pretty massive meals I decided that I didn’t want to do a full scale food review, because frankly there was just too much food – instead I am going to give you a feel and vibe for the hotel and the food we enjoyed.
If you’ve never been to Mar Hall it is pretty fecking spectacular, and given that I have a HUGE thing for a glamorous country house hotel this large Edwardian Scottish Mansion is totally my style.
To be honest I can’t really do the place justice, and I think the pictures can give you a better idea of just how lovely it is.
The lavish public areas all enjoy massively high decorative ceilings, comfortable plush furniture and grand stately fireplaces which exudes a welcoming cosy feeling.
We booked a junior suite for the evening since we took Leo with us and wanted to give him plenty of space. The room was fabulous – A few of my favourite features include the massive window with working shutters which looked out onto a pretty decorative walking garden, the 20ft high ceiling, a fireplace that was as tall as me and a huge antique sleigh bed, the vibe was vintage glamour which I adored.
The room also had some nice little touches – a nespresso machine, a not ridiculously expensive mini bar, arran aromatic products in the modern bathroom, and a selection of current magazines to flick through.
The only thing I would have changed about the room would have been better/more pillows. 2 pillows each felt just a bit on the stingy side, and I actually ended up having to use some of the scatter cushion to try to give my head some support during the night
It was gorgeous and as far as hotels and hotel rooms go right up my street.
So, like I said four meals in 24 hours – let me very briefly take you through them.
We arrived at Mar Hall at 4pm hungry and our dinner reservation wasn’t until 8pm, so there was only one thing for it – Room Service! We ordered a Classic Club Sandwich and Chips to share. The food arrived pretty quickly and was piping hot. The sandwich was really good – nice thick smoked bacon, tender chicken and a creamy mayo. And the chips were big, chunky numbers which were nice enough. It hit the spot and kept us going until our dinner.
Next up – dinner, which was a special Valentine’s Sharing Menu priced at £60pp, which was included in the price of our room.
When we arrived we were given a glass of Rose Moet to enjoy while checking out the menus.
To start I went for the Seasonal Asparagus Chargrilled with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and some parma ham – I’d be lying if I said it blew me away because it really didn’t, it was certainly tasty enough just a bit on the boring side for my liking. This was followed by a sweet and slightly tart Strawberry and Prosecco Granita which was a lovely palate cleanser.
For our main MrG and I decided to share the Chateaubriand, which was carved at the table which was a nice touch of theater.. The steak was fantastic – buttery, juicy and melt in the mouth. The sides were nice enough but again were lacking a little in inspiration – a slice of dauphine potatoes which was perfectly lovely and some pretty average looking runner beans in a bowl. There was also a glossy peppercorn sauce , which I would never normally pick to go with a steak but it was tasty enough. It was all nice just a little meh!
Dessert was a Strawberry Mille Feuille served with Salted Caramel Ice Cream – All I am going to say about this dessert was there was no salted caramel ice cream…what??? In fact there was no ice cream at all, which was a huge disappointment and left the dessert a bit on the dry side.
We were then supposed to get Pink Macaroons topped with edible gold leaf with our coffee which never appeared. Instead we got a selection of chocolates which were beautiful…but they weren’t what I was supposed to get, and there was no explanation as to why I never got them. Presumably like the ice cream they must have ran out, which is REALLY bad in a 5 star hotel who must have known exactly how many bookings they had in on the Saturday before Valentine’s day.
The cost of dinner was included in the price of our room, but I think had I have been presented with a bill for £120 plus drinks I would have been disappointed and a little upset.
Thankfully the food on Sunday redeemed this pretty average dinner massively.
We kicked the day off with breakfast in our room so we could hang out with Leo in the morning which was frankly fabulous….I will let the pictures speak for themselves with this meal.
Before we left the hotel we managed to squeeze in one final meal by trying out their Sunday Lunch menu….which was just delicious.
Very briefly – the smoked salmon starter was beautifully smoked and lush. Obviously I went for the Sunday Roast, the beef was delightfully pink with well cooked roast potatoes,a nice selection of veg and the biggest yorkie I have ever seen in my life! And dessert was a silky smooth Vanilla Creme Brulee with soft fresh choc chip cookies which was just decadence on a plate. It was a gorgeous way to finish a fabulous weekend before we packed up and headed home to do the laundry.
I loved my first visit to Mar Hall so much, I have already been making noises to MrG about maybe doing it again in a month or two. Based on the other food we had at the hotel I think the menu on Saturday night perhaps wasn’t the best representation of the standard of food available here, and I really would love to pop back and try their a la carte dinner – just in the name of research you understand……that is my excuse and I am sticking to it!