I was invited to Hotel Colessio in the heart of Stirling for a meal. Having visited the hotel before for a conference through my work, I was keen to dine in the restaurant as a normal customer.
The hotel is absolutely stunning – built in the early 1800’s, the building has seen nearly 200 years of history, serving in its time as a bank, hospital, library, office space and finally as a hotel bar and restaurant. I bet the walls could tell some stories if they could talk!
It’s worth mentioning that this building looks seriously beautiful at Christmas time!
The hotel is a very short walk from the castle as it’s perched on the hillside that leads to it. Standing outside in the grounds of The Colessio offers you gorgeous views of Stirling.
I didn’t take any pictures of the inside as it was undergoing some refurbishment when we arrived. The bar area we sat in was a very typical hotel bar, so it didn’t have a nice restaurant feel. I’m sure that once the renovation is finished, the restaurant will have a nicer vibe!
Isle of Mull Scallops, Pea Puree, Apple & Endives
My boyfriend ordered the scallops which were beautiful – fresh, plump and beautifully cooked. He highlighted an issue which we both look for and criticise in restaurants, and that is the lack of puree. We always find that you end up running out and rationing the puree towards the end of eating, and we love it when you have a delicious puree (like this one) but a decent helping of it!
Golden Beetroot, Goats Cheese, Truffle Croute, Elderflower & Champagne
This tasted nice.
What I had in my head when I read the above description, and what came out didn’t really marry up, especially in a beautiful setting like the Colessio. I had visions of some red beetroot for colour and something that looked quite delicate. This felt like a cafe version, and dare I say it, a bit thrown together. There wasn’t much dressing, so the elderflower and champagne (two things I love), were lost on me, and I really didn’t get truffle from the croutons. As I said, it wasn’t horrible or bland or anything bad of the sort…just a bit disappointing.
10oz Barbour & Co. Farm 30 Day Aged Fillet Steak
This was absolutely gorgeous. The perfectly cooked steak was served with sauteed mushrooms, charred red onion, triple cooked chips and roasted vine cherry tomatoes which are my favourite with steak! They look so elegant and taste so much better than a clumsy big salad tomato! The triple cooked chips were really impressive – they were big study chips with a really rich flavour.
Roast Cod Loin, Buttered Wild Mushrooms, North Sea Langoustine Bisque
This. Was. DELICIOUS.
Delicious, in addition to visually stunning. Whenever we are cooking in the house, I always avoid mixing seafood with mushrooms. I can’t really explain it, but to me the earthiness of mushrooms and the seaside freshness just aren’t a match. I decided to just to go for it on this occasion and I’m so glad I did. This tasted so unbelievable. The bisque was ridiculously flavoured – it was sheer decadence.
As per usual we ordered a totally pointless potato-based side. We continually do this – the most hilarious being the time we had 3 portions of fries (two of which were loaded) in a burger restaurant. Each time when the surplus potato arrives on the table, we look at each other as if “Why did you order that?” and then laugh, eat it anyway, and complain about being overly stuffed at the end! We never learn.
Bellini – Lychee puree & prosecco
Life’s A Peach – Maker’s Mark, Crème De Pêche, Sugar & Bitters
We took off up the hill to Stirling Castle for a look around, just as the early summer sun was setting. It was truly stunning. Here are some pictures!
We had a lovely meal at Hotel Colessio, and the staff were really friendly and attentive. I think the mixture of the restaurant being renovated whilst we dined, and a couple of tweaks being needed with the meal took a bit of the shine off it for us, however I would recommend eating there. If I was going to stay over in Stirling, I would consider a room here as the location is absolutely amazing, and the potential for the food is absolutely there!
Hotel Colessio, 33 Spittal Street, Stirling, FK8 1DX