Boclair House – dine in style at Annabel’s restaurant
Boclair House is part of the Manorview Group who also own The Busby Hotel and a number of other hotels in the greater Glasgow area. Mr Foodie had previously visited to sample their tasting menu at the end of 2016.
The building started life in 1890 as Buchanan Retreat which was a mansion was built for the sisters Buchanan of Bellfield in Ayrshire, who wished to provide for poorer members of the Buchanan clan in their declining years.
In later years Bearsden Burgh and then East Dunbartonshire Council used the building, before being bought by Manorview who refurbished it for its new lease of life as a hotel, wedding venue and restaurant.
It’s a stunning and unusual building. Outside the red sandstone soaks up the evening sun and there are tables and chairs under the arches should you want a drink in the sun, whilst inside, the Gatsbyesque decor reminds me of a gentleman’s club or some swish Parisian club. Luxurious, decadent but also comfortable, it’s not a place to rush so relax…
…possibly with a drink from the fully stocked cocktail bar! I was reliably informed by the next table that their Espresso Martini was the business. 👌
Our visit was to taste some of the new dishes on offer at Boclair House. So some choice dishes from the menu with matched wine as well. To begin we ate an amuse-bouche of sweet potato and chilli velouté, which was creamy and slightly curried in flavour, and a cheesey garlic and cheese puff (Sorry, forgot the posh name for this!).
Salmon ¦ Cucumber ¦ Mussel
Smoked mussels, pickled cucumber and a cucumber gel with lots of ‘tanginess’ and vinegar. This was paired with a 2017 Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc which was surprisingly sweet, like grapefruit but not bitter with a peachy grapefruit aroma. A lovely wine but maybe a more acidic Sauvignon would’ve been a better match.
Mackerel ¦ Crab ¦ Fennel
Orange and fennel marinated mackerel, fennel slaw, crab mayo. Mr Foodie isn’t the biggest fan of crab but he happily wolfed this down and the mackerel wasn’t all that fishy either so this was quite a mild dish paired with a 2016 Picpoul de Pinet from Les Girelles, France, which is ideal for people who don’t like wine as it has pretty neutral aroma and taste. Not a bad wine, far from it, as it was very light and so easy to drink!
Chicken ¦ Sweetcorn ¦ Chorizo
Chicken, Parma ham, chorizo stuffing and crumb topped with chargrilled sweetcorn. A great mix of flavours with sweetcorn, which unless you’re eating Tex-Mex, is often overlooked on restaurant menus. A bit more chorizo stuffing would’ve been welcome though. This was paired with a 2017 Pinot Noir (Mr Foodie’s favourite grape variety) from Rare vineyards in France, again light and very neutral so would’ve tasted fine with any of the dishes that night.
Duck ¦ Turnip ¦ Black Pudding
Gressingham Duck, Stornoway black pudding, sweet potato purée and potato fondant. Loved it! A big meaty piece of duck with a deep-fried Stornoway black pudding ball. Matched with a 2014 Tempranillo, Vina Pomal from Crianza, Spain, so a spicier more robust red which was more suited to the meaty saltiness of this dish.
Panna cotta ¦ White chocolate ¦ Meringue
Raspberry pannacotta, white chocolate and meringue with raspberry sorbet. A perfect summer pudding, fruity, light and airy. The sorbet reminded us of Hubba Bubba bubblegum! This came with a deliciously sweet 2016 Sauternes from Garronelles, France.
Boclair House was one of my highlights of 2016 but Mrs Foodie missed out so it was always our intention to return together. Time flies so fast forward 18 months and it was great to eventually come as a couple and both experience the high quality food on offer. Head chef John Redmond, formerly of Turnip & Enjoy, is back in the kitchen and we even got to meet at the end of our meal. We have no hesitation in recommending Boclair House as the best restaurant in the area and it is absolutely worth traveling to from Glasgow or further away. Staff were brilliant and the toilets were impeccable as before!
+ Lots of delicious food
+ Attractive building, stylish interior
+ Beautiful toilets
+ Helpful staff
+ Easy to get there
– Chorizo dish would’ve benefited from more chorizo taste
Boclair House, Milngavie Road, Bearsden. They have onsite parking.
Boclair House is a 3 minute walk to Hillfoot station, the penultimate stop for trains to Milngavie. Trains are every 30 minutes from Glasgow Queen St low level costing £3.60 return (off-peak). Direct trains take 20 minutes. Trains leave Hillfoot for Queen Street at 12 minutes past and 19 minutes to the hour.
Phone: 0141 942 4278
Disclaimer: we received a complimentary meal but Fred says the review passed his honesty cat scan, plus he’d have devoured that duck!