Ex­clu­sive can­dlelit din­ers’ club is a credit to cui­sine at award-win­ning ho­tel

So­cia­ble guests can in­dulge in de­li­cious dishes of lo­cal pro­duce, dis­cov­ers Jan­ice Hop­per

The Scotsman - - Food & Drink - @sean.mur­phy@jpress.co.uk

It’s home to Aberdeen­shire’s only triple rosette restau­rant and, fol­low­ing its open­ing in June 2016, went on to win AA Ho­tel of the Year for Scot­land in 2017/18. Now Tar­land’s Doune­side Ho­tel has launched an ex­clu­sive din­ing club.

Al­ready lauded for its six course tast­ing menu, the ho­tel’s din­ing club has been set up to cre­ate a so­cia­ble ad­di­tion to its culi­nary of­fer­ing.

Cur­rently held quar­terly, the club will take book­ings for a max­i­mum of 12 guests, and while vis­i­tors usu­ally dine in the restau­rant while eat­ing at the ho­tel, mem­bers of the new club will have ex­clu­sive use of the can­dlelit li­brary, where the menu will not only out­line the culi­nary voy­age ahead, but also the food miles and ori­gins of the in­gre­di­ents used.

The in­au­gu­ral event saw dishes like a beet­root ice-cream starter, the in­gre­di­ents for which were grown in Doune­side’s own walled gar­den, and a wild rab­bit ter­rine, sourced from Royal War­rant holder Sheri­dan’s of Bal­later, which is lo­cated just 13 miles from the ho­tel.

Another unique as­pect will see the guests given the chance to meet a lo­cal pro­ducer such as Wark Farm in Alford and Katy’s Free Range Eggs of Lumphanan to learn more about their work.

Speaker for the first event was Mar­cel Wassen, the ho­tel’s gen­eral man­ager, who high­lighted Doune­side’s RHS ac­cred­ited walled gar­den, which pro­duces more than 80 va­ri­eties of fruit and veg – from the hum­ble potato to more ex­otic scor­zon­era and kohl rabi. Its team of ten gar­den­ers are key to the restau­rant’s suc­cess, pro­vid­ing fresh and sea­sonal pro­duce as close ‘to or­der’ as the el­e­ments al­low.

The chef, aptly named David But­ters, said that he is ex­cited by the space the club gives him to im­pro­vise and ex­per­i­ment, as well as meet­ing the guests – along with pas­try chef Joseph Harte – to dis­cuss their feed­back and an­swer any ques­tions about the meal or the in­gre­di­ents used.

Though num­bers are lim­ited, book­ing is open to any­one, and the ho­tel says the first event saw a con­vivial mix of lo­cal food­ies, cou­ples in­dulging on a spe­cial oc­ca­sion, and a rel­a­tively high per­cent­age of mil­i­tary per­son­nel seated around the ta­ble due to the ho­tel’s close links to the RAF.

Cost­ing £135 per per­son, tick­ets for the next event can be booked at douneside­house.co.uk/food-drink/ doune­side-din­ing-club

0 Aberdeen­shire’s Doune­side Ho­tel

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