When you ask for a luxury night away in Glasgow, chances are you will hear about the iconic Hotel Du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens.
The beautiful boutique hotel is situated in a picturesque, tree-lined Victorian terrace in the heart of the city’s West End. Every time I step in the venue, whether for an event or for an overnight stay, I instantly feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. When I received an invitation to celebrate the seasonal flavours of their Degustation Menu, of course there was only one answer.
The evening commenced with some welcome drinks in the Whisky Snug, a nice way to end a busy Thursday. As daylight turned to dusk, it felt so autumnal outside and really was the ideal setting to indulge in the new tasting menu, which changes seasonably. The venue’s sommelier, Alan Brady, was soon on hand to give us a tour of One Devonshire Garden’s very own wine cellar. With over 400 types of wine on the menu, it was quite an experience to see each and every bottle (all 50,000 of them) carefully stored. Alan spoke through the way in which he chooses wines or One Devonshire and the types he would be matching up with our food. We also could not resist a peak at their most expensive bottle – a 2000 La Tâche which would set you back over £2000 a bottle!
As we made our way back upstairs, we found our table expertly set in the Bistro and got ready for our 7 course feast. It was particularly nice to be able to enjoy the fine dining experience with no worries of allergy mishaps; the team kindly adapted my menu so there would be no hidden surprises for my nut and pulses allergy. The menu itself was created by head chef Barry Duff and his team who have been awarded Three AA Rosettes so we knew we were in good culinary hands.
We started our dining experience with a tangy amuse bouche; roasted tomato soup with just a perfect drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The taste was incredible and I looked forward to the next dishes. I will openly admit that I was slightly concerned; how was I going to eat 7 courses?! I needn’t have worried as each course was just the right amount. Nothing felt heavy or too filling which made it such a great menu and is the real beauty of a tasting menu.
For starter, we were treated to Dunkeld salmon with apple, cucumber, crème fraiche and a pear and lemongrass puree. Alan surprised us all with his wine pairing in that it wasn’t a wine! Instead, we sipped on Maeloc cider, brewed with 100% Galician apples. It was such a delicious paring, the starter was a beautiful blend of hot and cold and the cider picked out the flavours.
Next up was something I have always been a little apprehensive to eat; rabbit. Yes, I know no one’s pet bunny got sacrificed for our dinner, but I still always think it sounds like one of Snow White’s pals met their maker when I spot rabbit on a menu! Anyway, I decided tonight was the night to go for it and try new things – and I’m so glad I did (sorry rabbit friends). The confit rabbit terrine was served with poached loin, Sauternes jelly, golden raisin purée and a delicious celeriac remoulade. The textures and tastes were phenomenal, particularly with the Müller Thurgau, Kaltern, Alto Adige, Italy, 2014 picked by Alan’s expert palette.
The next course was fillet of Gigha halibut, saffron broth and mussels with wilted greens which Alan matched with a Pinot Noir. The fish dish was cooked to complete perfection and again the wine was a match made with the food.
One of my favourites had to be the breast of Gressingham duck with confit leg bon bon, Savoy cabbage, pommes Anna, sweetcorn purée Blaufränkish ‘Heideboden’, Gerhard Pittnauer, Burgenland, Austria, 2013. It was such a rich blend of flavours, it’s simply amazing how a wine can bring out even more flavour in the food.
For the penultimate course, we tasted a selection of cheeses from George Mewes with Apostoles, Palo Cortado, Gonzalez Byass, Jeréz, Spain. Admittedly, I could not drink too much of this or I would literally have been rolling out the door – seriously, it was so strong! An acquired taste, but one I’m glad I can say I tried.
Finishing the evening was a perfect dessert; mango and passion fruit souffle with toasted coconut and a coconut sorbet, served with a Gewüztraminer ’Granos Nobles’, Bodegas Luigi Bosca, Mendoza, Argentina. The perfect end to a perfect menu.
The Degustation Tasting Menu costs £59 per person, or £99 per person to add wines to match each course paired by the Sommelier. For more information on booking visit www.hotelduvin.com or call 0141 378 0385.
With thanks to Hotel Du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens for a beautiful evening*.