Last week we took a trip up to Loch Earn to visit The Four Seasons Hotel for a spot of Sunday lunch. From Edinburgh it’s around an hour and 30 mins by car so a bit of a distance for lunch but after checking out the menu and having previously visited Loch Earn and knowing what a picturesque place it is we decided it was worth the trip and we were not disappointed! As an aside the route we chose on took us along the moor road which was about 15 mins of amazing scenery of unspoiled landscape.
The Four Seasons Hotel is situated in a perfect spot by the side of the Loch with amazing views from the bar and restaurant. Upon arrival we were asked to take a seat in the bar area, our waitress took our drinks order and left us to peruse the food menu while enjoying the stunning view out onto the loch. Our order was taken and again we were left to enjoy our drinks and were only seated at our table once the chef was ready with our food. An excellent way to do things if you have the luxury of a large bar area.
For starter I went for the warm crayfish and black pudding salad with a pesto dressing. Both the crayfish and black pudding were cooked perfectly and was complimented well with the pesto which I thought might be overpowering but was just right. Miss Edinburger went for the Shetland smoked salmon with pickled vegetables and herb crème fraiche. The salmon was deliciously fresh and tasty without being too “fishy” which can sometimes be the issue with smoked salmon.
For the main course after much deliberation I went for the roast rib of Scotch beef with Yorkshire pudding, root veg, potatoes and pan gravy. I was informed that the roast beef was served a little pink (which was good news) but you have the option to have it cooked further if you wish. The beef was cooked to perfection and without a doubt the best roast beef I have tasted. The portion size was great also with a very substantial amount of beef and roast potatoes. I also asked for some horseradish which had clearly been freshly prepared in the kitchen and was an excellent accompaniment to the beef and potatoes.
Her went for the braised lamb shank with mashed potatoes, root vegetables and rosemary jus. Again the dish was very substantial and the lamb was fall of the bone, melt in your mouth perfect. I really couldn’t fault either dish at all.
After we had polished off our main course we had a look a the dessert menu (it would be rude not to!), despite being a self confessed chocoholic I decided against the dark choc, coffee and ricotta mousse and opted instead for the sticky ginger pudding (I’m also a ginger fanatic) with salted caramel sauce and lemon grass ice cream. The dish was again fantastic, the sponge was lovely and moist with bits of fresh ginger on the top, the salted caramel was perfect consistency and the lemon grass ice cream stopped it from being over sweet. I’m amazed to say a non chocolate dish has entered my top dessert list!
Lemon curd creme brulee with thyme shortbread and winter berries compote was the only choice for her. Not being much of a lemon fan myself I didn’t have a taste but have been reliably informed that it was very tasty and the thyme shortbread was a particular highlight. The only other comment from Miss Edinburger was that it “could have been more lemony”.. although that may well be down to an unnatural enthusiasm for lemon rather than a slight on the dish itself (I can tell I’m going to regret that comment).
In summary this is easily the best Sunday lunch I’ve ever had and the tranquil setting and views are also a real bonus. Absolutely worth the distance travelled and ideal for a free Sunday afternoon. In terms of pricing three courses for £20.95 per person (or two for £15.95) is honestly a steal for this quality and amount of food.
The whole experience was excellent and we will certainly be back, hopefully on a milder day so we can take a walk around the loch.
The Four Seasons – thefourseasons.co.uk