Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Night in a Castle and Dinner in a Dungeon

A night in the Scottish countryside at Dalhousie Castle. Yes, we did it! We decided to splurge and spent one night in an actual Scottish castle. Really cool? Yes. Worth the price? No. Don't get me wrong, it was absolutely beautiful and comfortable, with awesome service...but I was expecting a more castle atmosphere. It is definitely castle on the outside, but the inside was gutted and just like any other fancy hotel with the exception of having a dungeon. You can have a room the in tower, and all of that, but you don't feel like you are staying in a castle. Fortunately, we are able to achieve this sensation in Ireland. Getting to the castle was fairly convenient; a 45 minutes bus ride with 1/2 mile walk south of Edinburgh.

Very cool key to our room

View from our room

Feeling royal

The chapel: The wedding was coming together

After a quick nap and cleaning up, we decided to explore the grounds. This area is well south of Edinburgh and in the middle of the country. There were hiking paths all over the property and we spent our afternoon and early evening triapsing around through the woods, by the streams, around the fields, and having a really nice time. It was so quiet and peaceful, a wonderful escape from our days in the cities.

A long afternoon walk around the grounds

A long afternoon walk around the grounds

A long afternoon walk around the grounds

Crazy in love

Dalhousie Castle

One of my favorite pictures from the trip

So one of the perks of staying at the castle is opting into a dinner in the dungeon. If we said yes to staying in the castle, it was a HELL YES to a dinner in a dungeon! Dinner actually starts in the library with some libations while you pick ahead of time what you want for your dinner courses. They make everything fresh so some of the things take some time (like the duck), so we liked this approach A L O T. So while they were preparing our dinner, we were lounging on the fine leather in front of a fire in the library, bantering with the small wedding party, an interesting waiter, and perusing the older texts...while enjoying glasses of prosecco and scotch.

Cheers to dinner in the dungeon

Overseeing our table for the evening

The foie gras and oxtail

The food was AMAZING. Seriously AMAZING. Like in the top 10 meals amazing. The amuse-bouch was pork belly with a cauliflower puree, course 1: foie gras with oxtail and smoked duck with poached pear, course 2: grouse and veal. Personally, I did not like the grouse. It was my first time ever having it, and I really wanted to like it. I tried to like it. Several bites in, I had to admit, I just didn't like it. This disappointed me. There is very few things that I don't like and I pride myself on a diverse palate. Grouse is off the good list though. Adam did enjoy it. Perfect for a romantic and quiet dinner for two.

So in love with this life of ours

In closing, I don't think this place was worth the price of the stay. The restaurant would DEFINITELY be worth the trip alone, and you can eat here without staying. Also (stay tuned for the next post, it is Adam's favorite), the falconry available here IS MOST DEFINITELY worth a visit. If you are doing both, the hotel is convenient.