darroch learg, aberdeenshire


this is my final post about our trip to strathdon, and having been home for a few days it’s nice to look at some of the photos i took – as the week went on they got progressively less white as the snow melted and the landscape revealed.

we ate in all the time, apart from one lovely meal at the darroch learg restaurant. we went on valentine’s day and had the very un-london experience of the usual menu, at the usual prices and without any timed sittings. the obligatory “rose for the laydee” was provided though! we chose their taster menu and had some fabulous dishes, all in decent sized portions so there was no “oops, it’s gone and i barely got a taste.”


the taster was seared tuna with spring onion and ginger salad, with soy dressing and chilli chutney. this was followed by beautifully cooked roast monkfish with smoked bacon, crushed peas and an arbroath smokie sauce. we then moved onto quail with onion chutney, topped with a thinly-sliced piece of pear.


panfried scallops with cauliflower (both as a veloute and deep-fried crunchy florets) with smoked salmon and capers was one of my favourite dishes. the tang of the capers and shallots complemented the rich sweet scallops perfectly.


then came the star dish - fillet of beef with crushed local swede, cep duxelle, rocket and horseradish cream. the beef was fabulous – a fat piece of melt-in-the-mouth tenderness. the meat came from sheridan’s butchers shop where i wish we’d shopped for more of our supplies. next time…


the final savoury course was a goat’s cheese with a buttered red pepper sauce. sadly, pudding was a letdown – the chocolate tart with vanilla ice-cream was uninspiring and the petit fours served with coffee very mediocre.


darroch learg

braemar road, ballater, aberdeenshire ab35 5ux

telephone: 013397 55443