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Bistro du Vin (Glasgow)

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Address: 1 Devonshire Gardens / Glasgow / G12 OUX

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      20.10.2012 23:26
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      A lunch experience in a Michelin starred restaurant

      One Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow Before we left for our ten days in Scotland we looked through all or books in order to plan what we wanted to see and do. In our '1000 places to see Before You Die' book there are quite a few hotels and as these are mostly expensive we were not likely to stay in these hotels but we do tyr to visit to have a drink or a meal when we can. One of the hotels that is in this book is 'No 1 Devonshire gardens' in Glasgow. We booked to have lunch here on the day we drove up to Glasgow from the Lake District. We found the hotel easily and we able to park just outside the hotel at no cost which was great. We were a little early so we went for a walk around the area and tried to work up a bit of an appetite and we also went in and changed the time to half an hour earlier as we planned on walking into the University area after our meal. THE HOTEL This is part of the Hotel du Vin group of hotels and began as one of the Victorian houses in the street and now the hotel is all the street of terraced Victorian houses as they have gradually expanded and bought them all. This is a smallish luxury, boutique hotel with forty nine bedrooms and suites. It has a Bistro restaurant that is where we lunched and this has a very fine reputation for service and quality. The restaurant is open seven days a week and the head chef is Darin Campbell, a good Scottish name there. Darin Campbell earned his Michelin star at Ballachulish house so this is a Michelin starred restaurant. The restaurant prides itself in using local produce including meat from the Queen's meat supplier Donald Russell so we thought if it is good enough for Her Majesty then it is worth a visit from us. SERVICE AND WELCOME We arrived early and popped in to see if we could change our lunch booking time and cheekily used the rather luxurious toilets as we did. The gentleman who changed our time also said it was fine to leave our car parked there for the day while we walked into the University area after our lunch. When we returned for our lunch after our little walk we were welcomed and shown to our table. The waiter was delightful, very Scottish and also quite chatty when we asked him about the place and the menu. The place was quite formal in its service and presentation but we dressed in smart casual and my husband didn't have a tie but did wear a jacket. The service was extremely spot on, napkin put on our laps, drinks poured out for us even though we only had tap water as we had more driving and navigating to do after our meal to find our hotel. OUR LUNCH We chose from the set menu which was a special offer at all Hotel du Vin in the country. The fixed price menu has a smaller selection and some had a supplement. It is available at lunch times during the week and on Saturday in the evening during the week. For those eating between 6pm and 7pm or 9pm and 10pm there is a complimentary glass of house wine. The fixed price menu offers two courses for £15.50 or three courses for £19.50. We chose two courses and thought if we still had room after a starter and main then we would go on to the dessert but we were so full that we didn't get to have a pud. I was tempted to ask if they would let us have our pud after we had been for our walk into see the Mackintosh House but I chickened out. Starters There was a choice of about five or six starter one of which was a soup and another was a pate or terrine. I can't remember the rest but my husband had a salad of pickled vegetables which doesn't sound that exciting but it came beautifully presented like a piece of art. He said it was really tasty and ept on going on about how different everything tasted and we both were mighty impressed with the presentation. My starter was delicious a selection of seafood, Scottish smoked salmon, langoustines, and mussels as well as others but I forget. I do remember the smoked salmon was really so tasty and there was so much of it that I had to pass some over to my husband. It came with salad leaves too which were fresh and tasty. Mains Once again there were about half a dozen choices and one had a supplement and that was a steak. I chose a game casserole with a herb dumpling and my husband chose lythe which is another name for Pollack fish. My game casserole was served in a bowl which made it very tricky to eat as knives and forks don't work very well in high sided bowls. I was also a bit disappointed that I didn't get any vegetables on the side. There were plenty in the casserole but it meant that everything tasted very samey. It was a very rich dark casserole with venison and wine and in my mind it really needed some steamed veg with it. My husband's dish was much nicer than mine. His fish was lovely and tender and bone free and he had vegetables with it. I wished that I had chosen his meal but i wasn't sure about Pollack as a fish. I am not keen on fish that is too fishy or oily or bony. I love fish and seafood but the fish has to be just right. I ended up passing mine over to my husband as I was struggling with one rich taste and needed some freshness to balance the meal. I was disappointed with my main course but luckily my starter had been delicious and I was pretty full. When our nice waiter came back he asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu and we said we would have a look. I was hoping that there would be something light and fresh on the menu but all the choices were heavy puddings so we declined puddings and asked for the bill. AMBIANCE AND SERVICE Initially we were the only diners but we were early at 12.30. The restaurant had a green tartan carpet and the tables were laid with a dark under cloth and a lighter top cloth. The room was dark and oak lined with old fashioned frames around a variety of pictures and large mirrors. It reminded me of a dining room in a stately home or a posh house. It was posh and in keeping with the age of the building rather than modern and chic. The service was spot on with a very friendly and efficient waiter. He was helpful when we asked about the menu and was also able to tell me a bit about the history of the hotel and asked us about where we were from and what we planned on doing in Glasgow. THE BILL This was very reasonable considering the fact that this was Michelin star restaurant. I was disappointed with my meal but it was a tasty dish I just felt it needed fresh vegetables to accompany it. The bill came to £31 without service charge which we added and paid by card. Taking a card was no problem and most are accepted. TOILETS These were on the same floor which was up about ten steps from outside up the first floor. These were very nicely appointed and had lovely posh toiletries which I always think shouts 'class'! I made good use of the toilets as I went before we had our walk before lunch and then again after lunch and just before we set off after going in to see the mackintosh House I also popped back in to use them again. We had left our car outside the hotel so we walked back there and by that time I needed to check them out again. ACCESS I am not sure if there was a way of getting in to the hotel from the street without going up the steps but once in the restaurant the toilet were on the same level although most of them were quite cosy so not sure if a wheel chair would have fitted. They may well have had other facilities but I didn't notice so check if you need this information. PARKING This is free and is along the street in front of the hotel which is a dead end street so little traffic passes by. WOULD I RECOMMEND? Ye s it was a great experience and even though i found my main course a bit monotonous and rich I still thought it was tasty just too much of one taste for me. Everything else was spot on and the service great, efficient and friendly and not stuffy at all. Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same username. ©Catsholiday

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