Balcary Bay Country House Hotel

Balcary Bay Country House Hotel

British

0.5 miles
Auchencairn, Castle Douglas, DG7 1QZ
X

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Thu, 08/04/2016 - 15:08 -- Administrator
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An esteemed family-owned hotel personally managed and supervised by Graeme Lamb, the Balcary Bay Country House Hotel is beautiful and imposing, facing onto Auchencairn Bay and Heston Island, half a mile off the rocky coast. After being led into the comfort of Balcary Bay's oak-panelled lounge and plied with canapés at the fireside, we were handed menus and invited to indulge in some exquisite food in the soft primrose yellow and sky blue dining room. The food comes courtesy of young, talented head chef, Grant Walker, and everything that graces the extensive menu is made fresh in the hotel kitchen - the menu changes every day.

Both the lunch and dinner menus are very special indeed. From a choice of five starter dishes I chose the warm tart of wood pigeon with leek and mushroom ragout and puy lentil sauce - delicate and delicious, with crisp golden pastry, it didn't last long on the plate. There are five main courses too, which see game, fish and beef in some imaginative partnerships; a loin of lean venison is served with caramelised parsnips, beef fillet is served with confit garlic, shallots and a garlic sauce, and a roasted langoustine is rolled inside a salmon steak and served with the sweetest of dill butter sauces. My main - a seared red snapper steak served on a tongue-tingling samphire disc with a herb and olive dressing - was light and appetising.

When the food is this good it's the little extra touches that make it last in the memory: homemade bread with flecks of dill and sun-dried tomato, silky mango sorbet between courses as a palate-cleanser, slivers of roasted pineapple adorning a cheesecake, and a golden sugar net balanced on a zesty slice of lemon tart. The chef is obviously having a wonderful time with the desserts; presentation is playful and skilful, while flavours are subtle and complex. This is a dining experience to take time over (for the restaurant, prior bookings are essential), so why not book one of the beautiful rooms - many with views of the bay - and stay a little longer.
+2Balcary Bay Country House Hotel
Open: Mon-Sat noon-2pm (bar lunches & restaurant), 7pm-8.30pm (restaurant); Sun noon-1.30pm (bar lunches & restaurant), 7pm-8.30pm (restaurant)

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