Myself and my wife went there for an afternoon tea to round off our weeks holiday as we hadn't gone away anywhere. We weren't quite sure what to expect, not having been to Mar Hall before, but had heard good things about the place. We have been lucky enough to have had afternoon tea at Gleneagles though and hence had high expectations.
The location is very nice, and on arrival the staff were very pleasant. We were shown to a table and everything was very promising. We weren't asked what kind of tea we would like, just of we wanted tea or coffee. Slight shame as we normally drink Earl Grey tea (or espresso coffee).
The tea arrived and was very pleasant, although the crockery did seem a little unrefined. Then the food arrived. It was excellent, no complaints for the kitchen. The baking was fresh, light and tasty, I doubt Paul Hollywood nor Mary Berry would have found too many issues if any.
One thing where I would say they missed a trick is cake forks. More specifically, there were none, which given quite a few sticky cakes was not what I'd expect from a hotel of this calibre. This isn't something which costs money exactly, it's simply attention to detail. To me, afternoon tea in this scenario is as much a marketing exercise as to make money, and I didn't come away believing the staff saw it in this way.
The younger staff members were all very friendly and professional, thank you. Unfortunately that couldn't be said for all. The Maitre d' was, when we were ready to leave, sailing close to being down right ignorant, standing in front of us and clearing the table before allowing us to leave (we had stood up ready to leave before he had appeared over to clear the table).
So, in comparison, the quality of the food was at least on a par with Gleneagles, but if you are looking for the whole experience, I know which one I would return to.
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- Also Known As:
- Mar Hall Bishopton, Scotland
- Mar Hall Hotel Bishopton