Saturday, August 26, 2006

Monachyle Mhor, Loch Voil, Balquhidder

My wife and I have visit to Monachyle Mhor, winner of The Small Scottish Hotel of the Year 2005 award, on a number of occasions during the last few years and have had the pleasure of sampling the wonderful food prepared by Tom Lewis. When we first discovered the Monachyle Mhor it was like finding a hidden sparkling gem and since we have introduced a number of close friends and family to the superb food prepared by Tom.

In celebrating our recent wedding anniversary we reserved a table Monachyle Mhor, which is set on the lower slopes of the northern side of Balquhidder Glen, just 5 miles off the A84. As is usual, we had pre-dinner drinks in the bar sitting in front of a cosy log fire. The menu was enticing and presented us with many pleasant dilemmas of choice. We came to our decision and placed our order with a female member of staff who appeared to be in the role of Maitre De. We also ordered what we thought would be an appropriate bottle of wine to compliment our meal. At this point the Maitre De offered advice on another wine that she felt would be more appropriate to our meal. I have to state that I was really pissed off with her. It was not the fact that she was offering the advice it was more that way she did it. She came across as totally patronising. I gave her short shift and sent her politely packing. In hindsight maybe this was the wrong approach! Anyway, we settled in front of the fire for what is usually a short relaxed time until we are seated at our tabled. Time passed and time passed. Our pre drink glasses were dry. Staff were sparse if not invisible. 1 hour 7 minutes after receiving our pre-dinner drinks we were shown to our table. By this time I was once again extremely pissed off with the length of time it taken to show us our table.

I am pleased to say that the Maitre De never visited our table during the meal and the other staff were extremely efficient, attentive and friendly. I could write screeds and screeds of compliments about the meal. It was superb. The meal and drink was well worth the £120.00. And by the way the wine was extremely enjoyable and fully complimented the meal and at £20.00 a bottle was £10.00 cheaper that the bottle the suggested by the Maitre De.

I have never had an average meal at the Monachyle Mhor. It’s always been first class and this was no exception. However, the extraordinary long wait to be seated, together with the patronising manner of Maitre De reduced the overall experience and our enjoyment. This is unfortunate, as I really enjoy the food of Tom Lewis, but the food does not make the whole experience. I will have to think long and hard on whether or not I would return to the Monachyle Mhor as unfortunately for us it is lost a little bit of its sparkle.

Contact Details:
Monachyle Mhor
FK19 8PQ
Tel. +44(0)1877-384622
Fax. +44(0)1877-384305

Upcoming Postings

Keep your eye out for upcoming postings on some of the places that I have had the pleasure or otherwise in sampling their gastronomic delights. During the last wee while I have visited the following places:

o Monachyle Mhor, Loch Voil, Balquhidder, The Trossachs, Stirlingshire
o Osta, Stirling, Stirlingshire
o The Drummond Hotel, St Fillans, The Trossachs, Stirlingshire
o St Fillans Golf Club, St Fillans, The Trossachs, Stirlingshire
o The Royal Hotel, Comrie

I've done a bit of dinning out during the last month. So I have a bit to share. Keep visiting Buddha Belly Eats for updates on some of the good places or not so good places to eat.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Buddha Belly Eats

I don't know what Buddha Belly Eats is going to look like or what it will contain so you will need to bare with me. What I wish to do is to share with you some of the bars, restaurants and hotels that I have visited and had the pleasure or otherwise in sampling their eats, drink and service.Initially, I will focus of reviewing eateries in Scotland. Although, I might be tempted to report on some of my raids across the English border. Being a tight wee Buddha I will also share how much the eats and drink cost and whether or not I thought it was worth the money.

The reason I have a cute and cuddly buddha belly is that I love good food and drink. I enjoy cooking and sharing what I've cooked with friends and family. However, I really enjoy going out and having others cook something for me. I, like loads of other people, do not have mega amounts of money, so I do not go to the most exclusive and expensive bars, restaurants and hotels. The eateries I go to are ordinary places that might be of interest to ordinary people. Just because they are ordinary places I still expect that the food and drink are tasty, slightly different and interesting and that the service makes you feel a special ordinary person for the wee while that you are there.

Buddha Belly is not one of those celebrity food experts; he is just an ordinary person walking the gastronomy path to enlightenment and like the other Buddha Belly Blogs I do not wish to offend anyone by what I write here. But, if I do tough! I'm sure you'll get over it. Try not to judge me by what I write. It's my life, so there my views and opinions. But I am happy to hear what you think so leave your comments and emails.Last thing, do not try to stalk the Buddha Belly. I have connections with some very powerful people so be warned.