Glenapp Castle, Ballantrae, Girvan KA26 0NZ
Visit: August 10, 2021
Award: 3 AA Rosettes
Glenapp Castle is an 1870 Scottish Baronial-style castle on 36 acres of gardens and woodland overlooking the Ayrshire coastline and out to Ailsa Craig, situated 1.7 miles from Ballantrae and 15 miles from the town of Stranraer. The hotel is a member of Relais & Chateaux.
Apart from the magnificent gardens and well-appointed rooms, the hotel offers gourmet style cuisine.
On our visit, the dinner menu offered 6-courses plus canapes and coffee and petit fours. The canape selection included an excellent pakora, a smoked salmon mousse, and a beetroot goats cheese tart. These were served during our pre-dinner drink in the lounge area.
We started with a cup of celeriac velouté with balsamic vinegar jelly. This was very pleasant.
Next, we were served grilled Crotin goat’s cheese, beetroot, broccoli, pickled hazelnut, fried garlic and broccoli espuma.
The pan fried Orkney Bay scallop, with cauliflower puree, pickled golden raisins, and fresh apple, was served next. The scallop was well cooked, but I think a sauce would have lifted the dish.
For our main course, we had a choice of squab or cod, and we both chose the cod. The cod was pan fried, and served with lemon curd, salsa verde, tomato cous cous, and basil oil. Again, for me, I would have preferred a sauce with the cod.
The pre-dessert was a red currant compote with a brown butter ice cream. The ice cream was excellent.
We were then given the choice of a Pavlova dessert or a selection of cheeses. I chose the Pavlova. This was a “de-constructed” dessert; a meringue dome covered a spoonful of Tahitian vanilla ice cream.
Glenapp Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin Star in the review of 2011 under Adam Stokes, but lost it in the review of 2014.
All fish and shellfish are line-caught or hand-dived off Scotland’s west coast and the game comes from local estates from across Ayrshire; beef, lamb, and pork are farmed only 17 miles from Glenapp Castle.
The service was very professional and friendly. All the staff were very enthusiastic about the hotel and grounds.
We stayed overnight in a Garden View room. The room was very spacious and well-appointed. Tea and coffee were served to you fresh, 24 hrs a day. The bathroom had a bath, with a shower over the bath.
The gardens and scenery are tremendous, and there are lots of activities if you have the energy.
The Glenapp Castle grill
Head Chef, Ian Bennett joined Glenapp Castle team in June 2018.
Executive Chef Joe Gould has recently joined from a head chef role at Fishmore Hall Hotel & Spa in Shropshire. He won the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs UK Young Chef of the Year award in 2015. He was also a senior sous chef at Lainston House in Winchester until 2016 and has cooked at Coworth Park in Ascot. Joe will oversee the food at the soon to be launched Azalea Glasshouse Restaurant located in the walled garden at Glenapp Castle.