The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa // Great Western Road, Aberdeen

I was excited about today's foodie outing! I have never been to The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa for food before so when I knew we were heading along to celebrate my Nana's birthday, I knew it would have to feature on my blog! 

I've let the blog fall to the way side... again! I definitely find it a lot easier to share my experiences and adventures over on social media rather than on my blog, but let's try again to change that. Maybe third time lucky? 

The Marcliffe at Pitfodels is a elegant five-star Scottish country hotel set in its own grounds on the outskirts of the city of Aberdeen. Even though it's a five-star hotel, it really has a relaxed, family feeling about it which is really warm and welcoming. The atmosphere is refined yet comfortable with sophisticated furnishings and antiques that are thoughtfully mixed with contemporary details throughout. 

When we arrived we were taken through to the drawing room to have a few drinks and a read of the menu. The sofas were super comfy! If I had sat back through here after eating lunch I would of most certainly fallen asleep! I liked that they offered two separate menus, the conservatory menu and a seafood menu which had options like Jumbo Russian Red King Crab and Jimmy Buchan Amity Langoustines! Even though I had two menus to choose from these weren't crowded with heaps of options which made it a little bit easier to pick from. I say this, but I still managed to sit there for about 20 minutes deciding what I wanted to go for and landed up doing my usual thing of last minute deciding after everyone else on the table ordered. 

What I did love about the menu which made me smile was the following statement on the Chargrill section 'We don't charge extra for sauce or potatoes of your choice, NEITHER should anywhere else, so please tell them - J Stewart Spence, Owner' this! This statement is awesome! I just don't understand why restaurants charge extra for items that should in my opinion come complementary with a steak! (I will be back for a steak soon!!) 

Not long after we had ordered and had time to sip on our glasses of Prosecco (appletiser for me as I was designated driver) we were soon escorted through to the conservatory to be seated for lunch. Once seated our napkins were placed on our laps by our waiter and we were served warm bread rolls, to which you had the choice of either white or brown. And then the best part...our lunch! 

To start with I had the Duck Liver Parfait with Apricot relish, pistachio brioche and radish salad. The pistachio brioche was toasted, with the perfect amount of crunch and the duck liver parfait was smooth in texture. It's quite normal for me to order parfait if it's on a menu, it's literally one of my favourite things. I have this issue every time I order parfait in a restaurant and always feel I'd benefit from two portions of the bread or in this case brioche to evenly distribute the parfait. Maybe this is me just being a little fatty but I never feel that the proportion of bread to parfait is enough. However this starter was lovely and I feel I made the right choice and didn't get food envy with the rest of the table. My sister allowed me to try her West Coast Scallops which were pan fried and served with crispy squid, cauliflower and curry. I didn't pick this as I didn't think that the combination of cauliflower and curry would go but oh how I was wrong! 

Next I give you Cod and Langoustine! Perfectly cooked, crispy skin cod served with crispy langoustines, sitting on a bed of gnocchi, chorizo, squash, spinach and garlic butter. WOW! I was a bit unsure weather I would pick this dish or not as sometimes my tummy can be a bit sensitive to the oil in chorizo, but it was certainly worth taking the risk! This dish was beautiful! The fish was cooked to perfection, flaking apart when my knife pushed against it. The flavours in this was wonderful! 

The table was full! And after having a little breather our waiter came round with desert menus. Can the excuse of I needed pudding because I knew this meal was going to be on my blog a good enough reason to order pudding? Well I think it was! 

I give you 'Strawberry...'

How beautiful is this pudding?? Fresh and macerated Scottish strawberries with marshmallow, coconut Lamington with a white chocolate sorbet! We moved to the seating outside of the conservatory to get some fresh air. This pudding was lovely! So light and full of fresh flavours! I was stuffed from the first two courses but this desert wasn't heavy at all and I'm so glad I made the choice to add on a third course. I'm not really a big pudding person. I'd most certainly always pick a cheese board and the cheese options that the marcliffe did have were outstanding, however I knew that picking my usual option would just be too much for me and I feel it would of went to waste as I wouldn't of had the room but this little delight totally ended my meal on a sweet/sugar high. While I tucked into pudding the rest of the table enjoyed coffees and homemade fudge, which was so good my mum purchased a box to take home. 

The service today was outstanding, and the staff were super polite and professional! I loved my visit here today and I will most certainly be back! Sooner rather than later! The Marcliffe had such a welcoming and friendly environment and I can see why it get's it's five-stars and I only experienced the foodie side of things. I'm sure the hotel and spa are just as fabulous...

Until next time!! 

Sarah //

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