With summer on the horizon, we decided to spread our wings and head further afield this week.
Arran is always an old favourite when it comes to staycations for southsiders, and it’s easy to see why.
Just a short drive and a ferry away and, if the weather is right, Arran offers the feel of being away without much of the expense.
During a recent visit I stopped in at the newly renovated Douglas Hotel — and I will definitely be back.
It is a beautifully presented, classic building that has a relaxed, comfortable and modern boutique feel— and inside it is the perfect environment for a stay or dinner.
Last year, the hotel was awarded a Gold Laurel Award for Good Food . The food is traditionally Scottish with a modern twist but you wouldn’t really expect, or want, anything else in this environment.
The outlook is quintesentially Scottish as the hotel is situated at Brodick port, so dinner comes with a sea view too.
To start, I had an old favourite to see how it stacked up — black pudding and scallops. This came with crispy bacon and quail eggs, and it would be impossible to fault a classic done very well.
I continued down the same road for my main when I opted for fish and chips. It wasn’t just any fish and chips, however — it was Arran Beer battered pollock with calamari, scampi and chunky chips. You could taste the difference. It was fresh as could be and the Arran Beer batter was more than just a gimmick.
To finish, I decided to wait the advertised 15 minutes and try the dark chocolate fondant pudding with salted caramel ice cream. The pudding melted in the mouth and tasted pretty special.
My visit to Arran may have been a washout in terms of weather, which is always the risk — but there were absolutely no complaints when it came to a stay at The Douglas . Rating: 9/10
The Douglas Hotel
KA 27 8AW