I can’t believe it has been one whole year since Mark and I got married! Cliched as it sounds, the year really has sped by and I look forward to spending many more together! We wanted to escape and celebrate for a few days by ourselves so, after extensive research, we stumbled across this little gem on the internet – The Rowan Tree Country Hotel.
However, before I go any further, let me explain that the title of this piece is key… otherwise you might get a shock when it deviates slightly from your standard anniversary story. Can I suggest, if you don’t already know the meaning of a Glasgow kiss, that you take a quick trip over to this page on Wikipedia to learn some Scottish slang! Now, with that hopefully cleared up, let’s continue…
The Rowan Tree is a lovely wee hotel, full of charm and extremely welcoming. The owners, Monique and Steven, are warm, genuine and accommodating. We chose to take advantage of their romantic package, which included two nights dinner, bed and breakfast. It also meant we were spoiled with a bottle of champagne, flowers and chocolates on arrival which you can see in the above picture. Our room was cosy and the view from the window was beautiful.
So we settled in,
gulping down sorry… sipping champagne, enjoying the chocolates and everything was just perfect. It was short lived. As a teacher, I don’t know how many times I have told children that play fighting always ends in tears and I really should have listened to my own advice in this case! A tickle fight erupted and I moved in slyly for my husband’s weak spot – the back of his neck. As my nose made contact, he flinched backwards and CRACK… I received my first ever (and hopefully last) Glasgow kiss. There was silence as we both digested the ominous noise before… I’ll admit, I started crying! Now, I don’t know how most people spend their first anniversary but I really didn’t think I would be spending mine in an out of hours doctor’s clinic receiving treatment for a bruised and swollen nose!
Thankfully, the food at The Rowan Tree more than made up for this misadventure and we were spoiled with all the delicious choices on the menu.
Whilst the rest of the hotel has a very country feel about it, the menu is surprisingly modern. It showcases a variety of local produce, which has been treated with respect and care to maximise the flavour.
The standout dish for me was the Scottish smoked salmon with red onion and capers, spiced crab cake with topped with chive crème fraiche and pan seared lightly smoked trout on a potato salad. It was a delicious dish, with the components of it working well both separately and together. For my husband, it was the home cured beef cakes topped with a lightly fried hens egg finished with home made spicy tomato ketchup and crispy onion rings. Having looked at a sample menu before arriving, he was initially disappointed that the pheasant dish he had earmarked was no longer on the menu, however, he ended up liking this dish so much he had it on both nights! Not to be forgotten though were our outstanding venison and duck main courses and the desserts which were beautiful works of art!
This hotel deservedly gets excellent reviews on Trip Advisor and is well worth a visit, either to stay or just for dinner. All in all a very memorable first anniversary, some parts more enjoyable than others!