As Stacey has already detailed in her post on Valentine’s Day, last weekend, I took her on a surprise Valentines Day weekend get-away to Prestonfield House. Whilst we didn’t even leave Edinburgh, we had such a fantastic time! Stacey had never visited Prestonfield before, so she didn’t know what to expect at all – whilst I had been to Rhubarb, the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant with my last job. While Stace has written about the hotel and our weekend, I (as the food-obsessed one in our household) have decided to go through what we ate on our romantic break.
On arrival in our room, we were welcomed with a bottle of the house Champagne, some petit-fours, apples and a jar of cookies. (Not bad, for a welcoming gift, right?!). The champagne was fairly sweet and very drinkable, whilst the petit-fours included a small apricot biscuit, a square of ‘posh Mars Bar’ as Stacey described it, a small milk chocolate square and a small dark chocolate square. They were all really good! The chocolate chip cookies, which we saved for with our tea the next morning, were also amazing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, on such a decadent weekend, we didn’t manage to eat any of the apples – but we did get through our complimentary bottles of water which were placed on our bedside tables when we returned from dinner, as well as a great cafetiere of coffee the next morning.
Whilst the champagne and petit fours were a nice welcome, the dinner that night at Rhubarb was undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend – food-wise, at least! Rhubarb serves expensive, contemporary Scottish food with a slightly French twist – we ate from the al a carte menu, as it was included in our stay – but the restaurant also offers a set lunch menu, as well as a three course dinner menu for £30.
We looked over the menu with the aid of a gin and tonic each (Hendricks gin, a favourite of ours) and made our choices. Sadly, due to the romantic lighting in the dining room, we didn’t manage to get any pictures of our dishes – but believe me, the presentation was spot on, and every course was a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach! Once we’d ordered, we were offered a couple of slices of bread each – Stacey choose a white tomato bread, whilst I had cheddar and rosemary. They were both amazing. Next, an amuse-bouche of mushroom mousse with hazlenut purée and ‘crunchy vegetable bits’. We hadn’t even had our first course, and we already felt so spoilt!
For our first course, Stacey chose the Scallops, mainly because they came with Chorizo, which she can’t resist! The dish was described as ‘Guy Grieve’s hand dived scallops, cauliflower purée, lovage, chorizo, apple and truffle dressing, confit lemon’. The scallops rested on the cauiflower purée, which was surprisingly delicate, with the small pieces of chorizo sprinkled across the plate. The confit lemon was also chopped into small sqaures, which were hard to place the taste of until we looked at the menu again! My choice was the prawns – ‘Seared Mull langoustines, brained chicken wings and squat lobsters, glazed salsify with truffle, lemon purée and tonka bean dressing’. Here, the prawns were large and meaty, and the chicken wings were savoury and crunchy – a great contrast. The whole dish was quite salty, but tasted so fresh and sea-like that I wouldn’t have changed a thing! The rest of the menu options can be seen below.
We then waited for a few moments for our mains. We had decided not to have the same thing, so when Stacey’s amazingly pink venison arrived, I must admit I was somewhat jealous. (Full description: ‘Loin of red deer, black pudding crumble, red cabbage purée, Arran mustard and potato mousse’.) I have to admit, that between the pink meat and the black pudding crumble – which came upon its own little slate plate, with layers of black pudding, creamed potato and then an oat topping, I think both of our mouths dropped! I had decided on the duck – which was also gloriously pink, with little golden crispy nuggets of potato, sweet little pieces of leek and turnip and a tangy plum sauce – and I must admit, it was out of this world. Stacey said that the meal was one of the best she’d ever eaten – and I have got to agree. (I wish I could have convinced Stace to have the Chateaubriand – as a foodie, I would have loved the super-steak – but I like my meat bloody, and Stace, well – not so much – so I didn’t think it’d be a good idea!)
By dessert I was so full – but the wonderful concoctions on the menu meant that I couldn’t say no. We both decided on a chocolate based dessert – with Stacey going for something which was only introduced to the menu that day! I chose the caramelised white chocolate option, which came with a strong espresso gel, segments of orange and even these wonderful little walnut biscuits. I was gutted I couldn’t finish it! Stacey had the Manjari Chocolate – which was a chocolate torte, with chocolate profiteroles with cherries inside, and it looked amazing. Rhubarb is one of those places where the presentation is just spot on.
Anyway – after dessert, we headed up to the drawing room for a black coffee (me) and a g&t (Stace) and a plate of more petit fours! Mini macaroons on sticks, chocolate fudge and some kind of berry jelly – all of them were amazing. And we were both SO full by the end of it.
Even better, the morning after, we found out that we could have our breakfast delivered to our room – success! We ordered the freshly pressed orange juice, pain au chocolates, a pot of tea and two full Scottish breakfasts. The breakfasts were absolutely amazing – and if I were staying longer, the idea of the French Toast or the *sigh* Eggs Benedict would definitely be ordered. We then made coffee in our room and snacked whilst watching the football. It was out of this world!
If you’re ever in Edinburgh or visiting Edinburgh and you’re a fan of food, I can definitely recommend recommend Rhubarb at Prestonfield.Carley