Saturday, 9 July 2016

Scottish Scran | Crossbasket Castle Restaurant

Crossbasket Castle Restaurant - Beauty Talk With Lauren


Crossbasket Garden

Crossbasket Castle

14th Century Castle

Scottish Castle

Hi guys

If you don’t already know, it was my 31st birthday on the 6th July and Liam decided to take me to the newly opened Michael Roux Jnr & Albert Roux restaurant within Crossbasket Castle in High Blantyre. I was actually screaming inside when he told me he booked it as a surprise as 31 isn’t a big birthday at all but considering he missed my 30th family meal last year he said he wanted to make up for it. And boy did he make up for it.

When we drove onto the grounds, I was taken aback at how beautiful the surroundings were, it really is quite incredible. The building itself is a 14th century castle which was recently restored by husband and wife, Steve Timoney and Alison Reid Timoney. As well as the Albert & Michael Roux Jnr Restaurant & breathtaking surroundings, it boasts 9 en-suite bedrooms which are filled with antique furnishings and a grand ballroom perfect for weddings.

Crossbasket Bar

Crossbasket Bar

When we arrived, we were greeted by the hotel manager (I think!), he took our coats and escorted us through to the bar area where we overlooked the river behind the hotel. While we waited for our table we read over the menu, which looked incredible. We were presented with a few bar nibbles including olives, salt & vinegar cashew nuts and salted popcorn. We were then given some canapes including salted beef, smoked salmon on beetroot crisps & rhubarb with parmesan crisps. I was blown away at this point as they tasted amazing. Honestly if this was only the canapes, I could only imagine how good the meal was going to be. 

Crossbasket Castle Menu

Albert and Michael Roux Restaurant

Crossbasket Chefs Taster Menu

Roux Taster Menu

After 30 minutes, of relaxing by the waterfall display outside, we were taken through to the restaurant which overlooked the beautiful gardens in the forecourt. As we already salivated over the menu, we were quite excited and wanted to dive straight into the food. 

In total there were 7 courses which included an amuse-bouche of Chicken Liver Parfait with a Madeira Jelly & 6 dishes including dessert. Please see above for full breakdown of menu. I actually forgot to take pictures of the amuse-bouche & the first course as I zoned out and just started shovelling the delicious looking food into my mouth. What can I say, I`m a greedy person when beautiful food is presented to me. 

I opted for the wine parings with each dish and I have to say, up until now I just drank wine to drink it as I never understood its place but after tonight I will be looking into this more and more as it really added to the experience. Liam who is not a wine drinker tried some of the offerings and he loved them. After 6 courses, we were getting full. I know everyone moans about portion sizes when it comes to eating like this but honestly it’s more than you would imagine.

Chefs Taster Menu (£67 per person)
Homemade Mortadella Sausage with Asparagus & Bois Boudran Sauce
Crab Tortellini with Scallops & Lemon Dressing
Wild Smoked Salmon, Peas, Broad Beans with a Light Liquorice Consomme
Glazed Duck Breast with Salt Baked Beetroot, Celeriac Puree and a Duck Jus
Passionfruit Soufflé with Chocolate and Hazelnut Ice Cream

I am glad I made some room for the dessert as it was the most amazing thing I have ever eaten. I am not a soufflé lover, I would much rather a cake of some sort but as soon as I cut into the soufflé the most intense aroma whacked me in the face. It was really strong with Passionfruit, which is what you want when it’s the main flavour but I was not prepared for the intensity at all. It was hands down the best dessert I have ever eaten. Liam, who unlike me, hates desserts, he would rather have a starter and main whereas I am the opposite but he devoured his in a matter of seconds with all of the obligatory oohing & ahhing ha-ha. 3 days later and he is still talking about it, that’s how good it was.

Albert & Michael Roux Junior Restaurant

Crab Tortellini with Scallops & Lemon Dressing
Crab Tortellini with Scallops & Lemon Dressing

Wild Smoked Salmon, Peas, Broad Beans with a Light Liquorice Consomme
Wild Smoked Salmon, Peas, Broad Beans with a Light Liquorice Consomme

Glazed Duck Breast with Salt Baked Beetroot, Celeriac Puree and a Duck Jus
Glazed Duck Breast with Salt Baked Beetroot, Celeriac Puree and a Duck Jus

Passionfruit Soufflé with Chocolate and Hazelnut Ice Cream
Passionfruit Soufflé with Chocolate and Hazelnut Ice Cream
After the meal, we were escorted through to the lounge area which was very welcoming and relaxing. We were full to the brim by this point and welcomed the comfy seats in a beautifully decorated room. We were then given coffee & petit fours along with a slice of rich chocolate cake with a Happy Birthday message & candle on it which I was not expecting. I love little touches like this when you dine out as it makes the overall experience that bit more special. 

The overall feel of the hotel/restaurant was very decadent indeed. It was very warm and inviting. It screamed high class all the way and the food was definitely the star of the show. One thing I was worried about was the service as I have never dined in a restaurant of this calibre before so I didn't know how they would act but I shouldn't have worried as both of the ladies who looked after us were an absolute joy. I was highly impressed with their knowledge of food and wine but they were just down to earth girls who made us feel comfortable and special. 

Crossbasket Castle

Crossbasket Castle

Crossbasket Castle Restaurant

Crossbasket Castle Restaurant Petit Fours

Crossbasket Castle Restaurant Coffee

Crossbasket Castle Restaurant Cake

I'm not going to talk money as I feel it is a little crass, I'm sure you will have a rough idea after seeing the menu above. I understand this is a once in a lifetime experience or a once every year kind of a deal but we were celebrating a birthday and wanted to try Crossbasket Castle ever since we heard of it. We certainly don't dine like this every weekend, trust me. If you don't want to try the dinner service, they offer a Lounge Menu (items from £6.50) Afternoon Tea (from £25) and a Lunch Menu (£30) too which I will be trying out very soon as they all sound amazing. 

I have to say, 3 days later I am still salivating thinking about this meal. Both myself and Liam keep talking about it every couple of hours and have the stupidest grins on our face as we know it was a once a year kind of a thing for us. The service was top notch, the surroundings were gorgeous and the food was the most amazing experience ever. My favourite dishes were the Crab Tortellini with Gavi di Gavi Olim Bauda 2014 Wine (£14.99) & the Passionfruit Soufflé with Berton Vineyard Metal Label Moscato Frizzante (£31 for 3 bottles) as they were both out of this world. Liam’s favourite was the Duck & Beetroot as well as the Passionfruit Soufflé. As Liam and I love to cook, we are going to attempt the crab and scallop dish at home, obviously we dont have a recipe but we will search for a similar one online and I will 100% be buying the wine to go along with it as it truly impressed me.

If you haven’t tried this place and are saving for a special occasion then I would recommend the Albert & Michael Roux Junior Restaurant. It is by far the best meal I have had the pleasure of eating and the castle was the most extraordinary way of spending my birthday with my love. I would get on it instantly as I am sure it will be in the running for a coveted Michelin Star soon so get in quickly! Also for all us beauty minded folks, Arran Aromatics supply all their bathroom supplies so you know you are going to smell like a dream while you eat but i'm sure you wont be worrying about that when you tuck into your first course.

Have you checked out my latest featuring A Rival For Lush?
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  1. Amazing post Lauren! The photos are stunning and happy belated birthday! Xx

    1. Thank you very much and im glad you liked it xx


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