My partner and I were spending the weekend in Pitlochry and had heard good reviews about Fonab Castle. We read about it on Trip advisor and asked some locals who explained it has recently re-opened following a multi-million pound refurbishment.
We reserved a table two days prior but could only secure a reservation at 6.30pm, which was a tad early for us but thought it was a good sign it was so popular.
We arrived early and were welcomed by concierge who explained our table was ready but we explained we would like a drink in the bar area which we were kindly showed to. We were given the drinks menu as well as the food menu to browse. The décor is oldy worldy castle décor meets contemporary. The bar area was very small for the size of the hotel however it was waiter service so no bar to queue at. Good selection of drinks to choose from.
We were shown to our table and had already selected what we wanted to eat. I ordered quail eggs with a duck confit to start which was beautifully presented and tasted just as good. For main I had sirloin steak. It doesn’t state on the menu that the steak comes with any sides, so we were ready to order additional sides, which isn’t great when you’re paying £30 for a steak, however we were kindly advised that we were unlikely to need sides as it came with potatoes (I chose mash) and grilled tomatoes. We shared a sauce – which of course you need to pay extra for.
Were unsure as to whether it was because we ate quite early and were some of the first people to dine, however it was an overkill of staff. The female waiting our table was over to ask how the food was before I had even taken a bite. The gentleman who appeared to be the head waiter was also a tad over enthusiastic. If you like overly attentive staff then this is the place for you. The knowledge of our female waiter of what was on the menu was also questionable. The women sat next to us asked what Parma ham was like the response from the waitress was “its like ham, but different, a lot nicer” – hmm. The interior of the restaurant was pleasant, but it certainly didn’t reciprocate the price of the menu. I personally felt it was lacking in ambiance and didn’t have that exclusive restaurant feel it perhaps was looking for. The closeness of the table next to you wasn’t ideal, and the long bench type seating meant you could touch the person next to you.
I would say my visit to Fonab Castle was pleasant, but lacks atmosphere. The food although tasty and well presented, I have ate nicer food for a lot less than we paid here. It appears the price of the menu reflects the “flash” exterior and perhaps the view which you cant see anyway when its dark. Id rate this 3/5.
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