Find this splendid Victorian castle, with its turrets and castellated walls, set in 36 acres of beautifully-restored gardens, and overlooking the Isle of Arran. On entering, nothing disappoints - with period antiques and an elegant interior. Chef, Adam Stokes, offers a five-course dinner menu, based - as much as possible - on carefully-sourced local ingredients. Many of the vegetables, fruit and herbs coming from their kitchen garden and glasshouses.
Dishes such as 'Salad of Ballantrae Crab with Granny Smith Apple, Tomato & Ginger Beer Jelly'; 'Arran Scallops with Bacon and Cauliflower Purée'; 'Chicken and Foie Gras Mousse with Morels, Broad Beans an Gewurztraminer Sauce' or 'Courgette Flower Tempura with Ratatouille' sets the style for starters.
With maybe 'Fillet of Cairnhill Beef with a Truffle & Foie Gras Cromesquis'; 'Squat Lobster, Saffron Risotto and Bouillabaisse Jus' or 'Duck Breast with Foie Gras and Madeira Jus' to follow. Game figures prominently in darker months.
Desserts, such as 'Apple Crumble Soufflé with a Light Blackberry & Apple Espuma' and 'Strawberry Sorbet set on Vanilla Parfait in Iced Raspberry Soup' plus Scottish cheeses are strong points.
Try and secure a window table for the best views. No mobile phones.
If you have the foresight to book, this is an extremely comfortable place in which to stay.
- Food Style: French
- Lunch: all week £39.50 (3 courses); plus light dishes are available
- Dinner: all week; set D £65 (6 courses)
- Seats: 34
- Wine: A large and prestigious wine list kicks off at around the £28 mark, but there are half a dozen by the glass
- Children's portions: when possible, but no children under 5 in the dining room
- Wheelchair access: Yes (including lavatory)
- Nearest station: Stranraer Rail (about 13 miles)
- Directions: See the map on this page - or pass through Ballantrae, go over the bridge, take the first right turn, the hotel is about 2km
- Parking: Yes
- Closed: from 21st December until the end of March, but opening over the New Year from 30th December for a 3 night package
- Rooms available