From the moment you arrive and have your car valet parked, be waited upon by the kilted concierge who arranges for your bags to disappear as you check in, you get a wee sense of things to come.
I’d been invited to visit the hotel which has just opened a new restaurant on the fourth floor – The Swilcan Loft, and if you’re lucky enough to get a window table (bookings essential) you’ll be presented with some stunning views of St Andrews at night.
Truly, if you’re looking for a touch of luxury, and to be waited on hand and foot, this is the place for you!
Nothing is too much trouble – room service turning down beds while you are at dinner, room lighting dimmed to evening mode, refreshed bottled water by the bedside, the fresh roses, fruit platter, newspapers. You’ll never have to lift a finger here. I’m fairly certain if you asked, they’d send a butler to unpack your bags. They really have considered all the extra stuff that can make a stay so much more memorable.
My good lady, Mrs M and I were staying in a Fairview Suite overlooking the hallowed greens and the North Sea, permitting some amazing images at both sunrise and sunset as the sky turned to various shades of reds, golds, ambers and pink.
The suite was well appointed and very comfortable, comprising a living room, king size bedroom, both with balconies, large screen TVs in both rooms, a bar, full size bathroom, and some of the highest thread count linen I’ve ever slept in.
Swilcan Loft is the latest dining option at the hotel, and like most other things here, someone has put a lot of thought into it. It is the resort’s sixth bar and restaurant and is part of a series of multi-million-pound renovations which took place last year.
The 74-cover restaurant offers all-day dining, and is ably managed by Executive Head Chef, Martin Hollis, who oversees all of the hotel’s restaurants, including the the three AA Rosettes rated Road Hole Restaurant.
Created with locally sourced Scottish produce, the eclectic international menu will include dishes, such as hot smoked Loch Duart salmon salad, Scottish Black Isle beef rib eye and local berries with champagne & basil jelly. The extensive wine and bar list will feature signature cocktails including the Islay Air – a warming cocktail for winter made with whisky, honey, fresh ginger and chocolate bitters.
My choice of the hot smoked Loch Duart salmon was an excellent choice, a subtle infusion of flavour from the mixed woodchip married perfectly with the soft, tender flaky salmon. I don’t think this can be bettered.
I’m a sucker for a good steak, so when I saw the 10oz Black Isle beef rib eye, I knew where I was heading.
Cooked rare, as I like it, the chef still managed to render the fat into the meat providing an exquisite piece of beef, charred on the outside, red/ pink on the inside, tasting just as a perfectly matured piece of beef should.