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“Plain...call himself a Chef?..LOL”

The Restaurant at Ardeonaig Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Restaurants in Ardeonaig
Cuisines: European, British, Scottish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Surrey
Level Contributor
51 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Plain...call himself a Chef?..LOL”
Reviewed 29 June 2010

No option for time of meal, even though staying as a guest.
Plain surroundings, dull and no atmosphere.
No option but to have 'Tasting Menu' just told that is what we were having, I thought we could chose in a restaraunt, not at this place, the Chef decides what you do, when you do it and what you have.
Tasting Menu - tiny samples, some cold, pidgeon with 'shot' still in it, not as though the portion was large, just poorly prepared.
Night 3, yes we made it to this night, not sure how, no meal, all the workmen seated before the paying guests ordered the steak and we were not given any acceptable alternative, on discussing this when we checked out the owner decided to shout at us, of course we shouted back.
Chef skill...an ability to produce any food at all, bearing in mind he is lost up his own backside ( i don't think thats rude, just observational)
Oh the Wine was good, pricey and only SA, but good.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Scotforever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
England
2 reviews
“Nice enough meal if a bit pretentious”
Reviewed 7 March 2010

Staying at Kenmore and went for a meal at the hotel. Generally speaking as long as you don't mind being told at the last minute that you can't eat at the time you booked because 'chef' decides when people eat and you are happy to drink only South African wine then it is quite a decent meal. We didn't meet 'chef' but it seemed that every query had to be referred back to him which made the atmosphere a bit stiff and formal. James the maitre d' is very pleasant if a bit stiff as well. The food is good quality but this is fine dining in the French style so don't expect meat and two veg. It is small quantities carefully prepared and fancilly presented. On the whole I found it somewhat overpriced and rather pretentious but many people love that type of meal. Probably would go back provided we could continue to hide from 'chef'.

Helpful?
Thank Joe_C_P68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Lovely building- sadly terrible owner - 3 3 2010”
Reviewed 5 March 2010

3rd March 2010
We were staying at Kenmore, and as it was my birthday wanted somewhere new to have lunch, and so as we had seen the Ardeonaig in several travel books, we decided to try it for lunch,

When we arrived, the door was opened for us, and we were shown into the study, which was great as we had our dog with us and we were delighted to be able bring him in. He was given a bowl of water and we were served drinks. We ordered, and the food came and was fine, although my partners braised lamb was actually quite fatty and with little actual meat, and was quite small. Desserts were good.
Our waitress, a young black woman was very pleasant and attentive, as was her more senior colleague .
However, as almost every review here attests to, there was a terrible feeling of being watched and scrutinised, from the minute we arrived, by the owner and the other staff on duty under his command. It was not a relaxed atmosphere and we watched several new residents booking in and being ‘taken’ on the tour, Even to us then , not having seen previous reviews it seemed that this was compulsory and very controlling by the staff for all new residents

Once we had paid the bill - £80 inc tip for a 2 course small lunch, we had also purchased 2 small jars of smoked almonds that were offered for sale on the bar at £1,75 per jar - this was as a small gift for a friend.

Neither my partner nor I had wanted to say to, nor were able to say to each other how oppressed we had both felt the atmosphere was, but we both expressed our feeling as we left and walked to the car. We then noticed Peter the owner running towards the car and I asked him had we forgotten something, or left something behind.,
He said that he could not find the glass jars we had just purchased, as the almonds were only to be eaten ‘in house’ , as they recycled the jars!!

We could hardly believe what he was saying. He actually wanted the two little glass jars - worth about 50p each, back !! - As we did not want two portions of almonds emptied into our hands - we told him to have the whole thing back. It was excruciatingly embarrassing, and quite ridiculous. We explained we had only bought them as a small gift for a friend, as they were for sale on the bar, ready packed in small jars!.

As he turned away, with the jars, he then realised that he now owed us money, but we told him very politely not to bother about it. It was really dreadful, and we just wanted to go.

My partner was furious.and started to drive away from the car park. As we passed the hotel, Peter the owner came to the front and waved us down, handed me a half bottle of S A house wine, and said ‘give that to your friend instead’ It was unbelievable, and added insult to injury!

We had just spent £80 for a light lunch, and would have been tempted to stay for a weekend break, before having visited the hotel. It should have been just what we wanted, from the Farrow & Ball paint finishes, elegant soft furnishings, to the Molten Brown in the toilets - but it wasn’t at all what we liked, The atmosphere was oppressive, and staff looked on edge, as were the guests. There is a terrible feeling of being watched, guests and staff alike, and that conversation is only to find out who and what you are - not a good trait for a hotel owner, This hotel is not what it should be, every thing is for show and not for the delight and use of the customer. I train and develop Managers in my job, and my partner was a senior manager in the city, and we stay in hotels all the time, and therefore feel justified to comment objectively. This experience should have been lovely, but sadly, it was anything but,

    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Murff1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Telford, UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“The most appalling service and expensive overated food”
Reviewed 8 December 2009

We were not actually staying in the hotel but knew of the hotel and invited some friends staying at Lochearnhead to join us for a meal at the restaurant in the Ardeonaig. It took four calls to the hotel to get a table booking because they said they were busy - when we turned up the place was almost empty! The menu looked promising if expensive but when the starters came it was obvious that nouvelle cuisine was still vey much alive in this part of Scotland with huge odd shaped plates and miniscule portions. Wine was all S African at exorbitant prices and when the main course came it was dry and looked as though it had come straight from freezer to microwave. The "cheese board " was three tiny pieces of cheese that would have failed to make a round of sandwiches. When we asked for coffee we were shooed off to what I can only describe as a "doctors waiting room" off the main hotel corridor. straight backed chairs ranged around the walls and no coffee table. The bill for six came to over £350 and included items that we had not ordered. No apology just a "are you sure you did not have them" before redoing the bill.
I will not be going there again and would advise anyone to think very carefully before venturing inside

    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank franktonflyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,064 reviews
524 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 522 helpful votes
“Confused more than impressed.”
Reviewed 21 October 2009

We drove a long way for lunch and were not staying at the hotel.
As you see from the above photo (with red phone box)you think you are arriving at"Brigadoon" or a Drover Inn.No its South Africa by Loch Tay.
Inside is very white with safari overtones.
Some interesting staff , dont think there are many Scots.
We were shown to a cool bistroish room , no table covers , very short menu and no wines by the glass except what is left from the night before.When they are hard set on selling the best wines of South Africa how odd was that?
The ?South African style chairs were very uncomfortable.
The main of rib beef was fine if a little basic , the bread and butter pudding a lot better and worth the drive.
We were shown the HUGE kitchen and the cellar . The main dining room looked more comfortable.
Great view out the back including a few round "cottages" South African style with thatch no less.
So is it worth the traveling and cost ? Make up your own mind, mine is confused.

    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank f2s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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