My wife and I another couple stayed two nights while visiting Forres to attend a friend's retirement party. We chose Cluny Bank Hotel based on Trip Advisor Reviews. In this case we found all the positive reviews to be completely accurate and can only agree with them. We were greeted by an enthusiastic and extremely friendly Loyd before we even left the car and he then carried our luggage to our room before showing us to the small cosy bar to join our already relaxed friends. There is a very good range of drinks available We found the company of Loyd and Julia so warm friendly and fun that we didnt return to our rooms but stayed in the bar until time for dinner.
Ah, the dinner. Difficult not to wax lyrical as you will see from other reviews. The dining room provides a large but intimate traditional space typical of the property style. The style is fine dining, with white linens and quality dining furniture. Service is friendly, attentive without being intrusive and very efficient. Space prevents going into every detail of the wonderful meal, but check out their menu and be assured it will taste as good as it sounds, whatever it is. I believe the menu changes approximately every six weeks or so. Some stars of the meal were: an amazing starter of mini suet pudding stuffed with oxtail; a delicious duck main dish which would have fed two in some restaurants, a beautifully prepared veal main, and a loin of wild hare that was simply heaven on a plate. As others have noted, be prepared for Loyd to come to the table and describe in enthusiastic detail the available puddings and how he prepares them. I think there were probably 5 available but unusually Loyd will mix and match ingredients or serve warm or cold to your wish. Personally I think that would be a mistake as his dishes are perfectly blended for the elements to complement each other but the option is there...amazing! We let Loyd go through the whole list, explaining ingredients, methods etc before asking what the first one was again.........it's an example of how relaxed and friendly you come to feel there that you can joke like that in what as I said above is a fine dining restaurant.
The standard is maintained for breakfasts that provide for all anyone could wish. The fresh blackcurrants, raspeberries and blueberries with yoghurt followed by a choice from a wide range of cooked options gives an idea.
We all found our rooms to be cosy, spotlessly clean and well supplied with good toiletries, towels and tea and coffee making facility. The rooms are accurately presented on the website but its reasonable to set your expectations that this is a traditional style building and so some compromise has to be made in order to provide the excellent amenities it does.
The car park is small but adequate with steep stairs up to the hotel, but you can take your car right up to the door when necessary.
So, our experience was one of relaxation, friendliness, wonderful food and great service during our stay. To top it all it is walking distance to the golf club from where we walked back at night quite late with keys provided to get back in to the hotel.
Loyd is quite mad I am sure, but in the nicest way, a lot of fun and a true genius as a chef. How Julia runs the business, serves bar, dinners, breakfasts and attends reception duties while reigning Loyd in must be a modern day example of a small miracle.
But to be serious, this is a wonderful small business providing individual service, comfortable accommodation and some of the best food you will get anywhere. Excellent value.
We will certainly be back.
- Also Known As:
- Cluny Bank Hotel
- The Cluny Bank Hotel Forres, Scotland
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Small Hotel (Restaurant with Rooms, really) set in the best residential area of Forres, Moray. There are lots of activities within easy reach of the hotel such as golf, the world famous Malt Whisky Trail, castles, beaches and much more. Inverness is only 30 miles (airport 25 miles) away and there are many places of interest which can be reached. We have an extremely good reputation for food as you will see from the reviews. ... more less
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