I’ve had my eye on the rather beautiful Tor-Na-Coille hotel pretty much since we arrived. We drive past it every day on the way to Banchory and it looks pretty glorious, perched atop a hill surrounded by trees. The website describes it thus:
Secluded in acres of magnificent woodland and parkland on the edge of our pretty village of Banchory in Royal Deeside we invite you to join us as guests in our unique Country House Hotel.
Tor-na-Coille is a privately owned Victorian House with 25 individually decorated and designed Suites and Deluxe accommodation. Personally managed by Phillip J. Fleming since 2010, with a dedicated team, we work towards ensuring the unique qualities and chaacter of ‘Our Hidden Gem’ are maintained and are proud to offer new levels of comfort and service in Deeside to all of our guests.
With no specific plans for the weekend we got up on Saturday and decided that we would lunch at Tor-Na-Coille. What a fantastic decision! It was the best gastronomic experience I’d had in a long time! For a lot less than your average chinese take away, we enjoyed a three course lunch with wine. The interior wasn’t quite as plush as I’d hoped – advertising themselves as a privately owned Victorian house had me imagining that I was to be eating at Downton Abbey, whereas this was pretty run-of-the-mill hotel chain chic.
I know that sounds terribly snobby, so don’t get me wrong – it was lovely (especially having a window seat with a nice view) and very quiet and comfortable, I just wanted a few stags heads on the wall, you know?! Fireplace was nice though:
Here we both are. Personally I hate this picture of me, in which I seem to be growing another neck, but Nathan will not allow me to post his picture without one of me, and I think he looks rather good in his!
Nathan started with a gorgeous fish cake and pickled courgettes, served on a slate, while I had the game terrine with homemade chutney, toasts, pine nuts and salad. For the main course we both had the venision stew, served with seasonal vegetables and mashed potatoes and, to finish, I gorged on a big slab of pumpkin pie, while Nathan stayed with the savoury option and a big cheese board! Yum yum yum!!! It was fantastic to have a relaxed lunch in such a grown up environment. No children, no stress, no unnecessary “how is everything?” or “can I get you anything?” from the staff when you’ve got a mouthful of food (why do they do that?! Tell you what – if I need anything I’ll let you know, otherwise **** off!)
A 3 course lunch would probably have been gluttonous enough for most people, but not us! No! We ended our day, pretty much as we started it! For our evening meal, we walked into Aboyne (walked see! Exercise! Healthy!……. Oh, fine, whatever….) and went into a little bistro, where we stuffed ourselves even further on venison charcuterie, mussels, slow roasted pork belly and pan-fried hake! With my arteries clogging up more and more with each excessive mouthful, I had just enough energy left afterwards to take a photograph of my latest vintage find! Loved this jug when I saw it at the town hall antiques fair. Loved it all the more when the price tag read ‘£3.’
Today we headed out for a day trip to Stonehaven:
But I’m afraid you’ll have to hear more about this later – for now my dinner is ready!
I wonder – is eating a legitimate choice for a hobby?!
MR x x x