Last weekend, Ross and I were kindly invited to Hotel Colessio (33 Spittal St FK8 1DX) in Stirling to try their lunch menu. I have to admit, I haven’t visited Stirling in years, not since my best friend attended university there, however, we had a lovely day and some much-needed respite from the kids. This beautiful Victorian landmark has been transformed into a contemporary boutique hotel and grill which features menus inspired by traditional classics with a modern twist. The hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the shops and arcade, and a mere 8 minutes walk from both Stirling Castle and the train station. The contemporary open-plan dining room is situated on the right of the main entrance and features cosy plush white booths, however, we opted to sit by the window as we were lucky enough to visit on one of Scotland’s rare but gloriously sunny days. The decor is rather simple but the mirrored wall and fresh flowers added a modern touch to an otherwise traditional and elegant set-up.
We were greeted and served by the wonderful staff that couldn’t do enough for us during our visit and routinely checked on our meal and drinks. We ordered from the table d’hôte menu which is available Monday to Saturday, 12-7pm; two courses for £16 or three courses for £20. As well as fresh orange juice, I took full advantage of having a child-free day and ordered myself a Rasperry Royal with Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur from their cocktail bar, which also offers a bar menu that includes nibbles such as sweet chilli halloumi fries, sharing boards, sandwiches and larger plates such as omelettes, vegetarian noodle dishes and a 30 Day Aged Ribeye.
For our starters, I couldn’t resist ordering the Applewood Smoked Macaroni and Cheese and it was just as creamy and comforting as I was hoping for. Ross went for the slightly more sophisticated option of North Sea Mackarel Oaties with Lemon and Olive Oil, Bacon and Shallot Jam. Which came in a significantly smaller portion than mine did but he loved nonetheless. The shallot jam was his favourite aspect of the dish as the sweet onion chutney with the fish worked brilliantly. Other options included Scottish Asparagus and Ayreshire Ham Hock & Pistachio Terrine. The full table d’hôte, à la carte and Sunday lunch menu can all be found online here as well as booking information and information regarding current events and offers.
For our mains, we both opted for the Gen!us Beer Battered Fish and Chips with peas and chunky tartare sauce. It was quite simply the best fish and chips I have ever tasted. Ross also agreed and he’s quite the chippy connoisseur. The batter was so light, crispy and seasoned perfectly and the buttery fish flakes actually melted in my mouth. I wasn’t expecting such a large portion either and I could barely finish the dish despite how disappointed I was in myself. The chips were also perfect. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. The peas and deliciously tangy tartar sauce were fresh and light. I don’t know how the chef managed to elevate such a simple classic into actual perfection but I’d return again in a heartbeat just for that dish alone.
As I mention, we were so full we couldn’t even squeeze in a dessert, although my cocktail was incredibly sweet and light so it was the perfect compromise. We had a lovely time at Hotel Colessio. Our host even took us on a quick tour of the Grand Ballroom which was in the process of being decorated for an event. The twinkling chandeliers, fully stocked bar, dancefloor and private terrace would make for a beautiful wedding location. After our meal, we took a short walk into town where we were passed by the cutest miniature train leading up to the castle and treated ourself to an ice-cream in one of the many pretty independent cafes that were crammed full of tourists taking full advantage of the glorious sunshine.
To book a table or room at Hotel Colessio (33 Spittal St, Stirling FK8 1DX) and browse both the table d’hôte and à la carte menus visit their website here or contact 01786 448880 or enquires@hotelcolessio if you have any additional enquires.
* This post features a complimentary meal.2