Ate in the restaurant on a Friday night at the beginning of August. We didn't have starters, but two fish courses and a beef olive between the three of us. We had a long wait of about 40 minutes sitting in the conservatory, but this must have been partly because we didn't want starters.
The dining room has stunning views over Loch Harray, complete with posing swans and other birdlife. Although we weren't allocated a window table, you could still see the view perfectly well. The room itself was fine, though the decor was perhaps a tad on the old-fashioned side, and personally I could have done without the tartan music, but otherwise it was pleasant enough. It was surprisingly quiet for a Friday night, though perhaps this was because we were a bit later, but it meant you could hear other tables' conversations, which you perhaps would rather you didn't. Not much the restaurant can do about this, of course, but if it had been a bit busier there would have been a bit more of a buzz.
The young waitresses were doing a good job; they were well-trained, pleasant and polite.
The food itself we thought was very good, well-cooked and subtle. It was served with boiled new potatoes (good) and fried potatoes (even better!) a nice ratatouille-like selection of vegetables and carrots (which personally I think should be left to winter). The puddings were also very nice.
There was a short but acceptable wine list which I thought was very reasonably priced; I think the most expensive white was about £20.
Overall, the food and service were very good and also great value, especially given we got 10% off through a voucher from the self-catering we were staying in.
Would like to come back and stay in the hotel for a break some time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for your review....Very pleased you enjoyed your dining experience in Skerries Restaurant, the Friday you dined with us we were full, we had a large table of 16 in early dining with us at 6pm, who had just left, which was why it was quieter when you came into the restaurant after 8pm.....the music played in the Dining Room is all Orkney Artists, and we play it so you cannot hear what being said at the next table, obviously on this occasion it was not the case, perhaps something we should look at, as around 80% of our guests eat early with us and around 9pm, we only have a few tables left in the Restaurant. We are lucky enough during the summer months to have guests that stay with us on a weekly Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis, and the two types of fresh vegetables change every day. We are looking at a couple of refurbishing ideas for the dining room this year, new lights and new curtains, we do have to be very careful when refurbishing as guests do like the atmosphere and ambiance at the Hotel, it's why they come back every year, but your right we do need to keep on our toes in ensuring we move with the times....Our wine supplier is Duncan McLean from Kirkwall, whose expert eye keeps our wine list up to date and explains what goes well with what dish.....We would love to welcome you as a guest at Merkister, and its worthwhile keeping an eye on our specials page on our website, to see the up to date last minute specials we have on offer...Thank you again for your review, I will pass on the comments to the team....
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.