Boath House is somewhere I go to celebrate special occasions and treat myself to a little bit of luxury. Over the years I have enjoyed afternoon tea there with friends, relaxed with a spa treatment (or two!) with my mother and sister, and celebrated Valentine’s and anniversaries in the Michelin star restaurant. I was also lucky enough to spend three nights at this luxury country house for my honeymoon a few years ago (something that I told my husband I was more excited about than the wedding day itself!). We stayed in room three, with its lovely lake views and not one, but two baths. Nothing better than a bath each.
Last night we returned to the hotel for a meal to celebrate a family birthday and the memories of spending the first few days of married life there wrapped in luxury came flooding back.
The room in which we had stayed (and which I had to eventually be prised away from) was originally the bedroom of Sir James Dunbar, for whom the house was built in 1825 (replacing a house that had been there since the 16th century). This beautiful Georgian Mansion was restored in the 90’s by Don and Wendy Matheson and is situated in 22 acres of tranquil grounds just outside Auldearn on the Moray Coast.
I had never been to Boath House at this time of year before and loved the festive decorations. From the white lights of the Christmas trees between the pillars outside to the gorgeous table decorations, the house was glowing with festiveness.
We were seated in the comfortable and cosy lounge for canapés and aperitifs, where we enjoyed the crackle of the log fire, before moving through to the restaurant for the meal. I love the size of the restaurant (which seats 26 people) and its atmosphere. During the day there are pretty views out over the grounds.
If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate a special occasion I can’t recommend this award winning restaurant highly enough. We had a 6 course meal and each dish was packed full of flavour. The kitchen gardens provide the organic herbs, fruit and vegetables, and meat and cheeses are supplied by a local organic dairy. Fresh seafood is sourced from local suppliers.
Our meal consisted of onion squash; fois gras (being pregnant my substitute was a truffle and mascarpone dish with a mouthwatering meringue and zingy apple squares); soux vide salmon (where the salmon is cooked in a water bath) followed by soux vide duck; Devonshire Ticklemore Cheese (and a scrumptious Cheddar from Snowdonia for me, the non-goat’s-cheese-eater); and a nutmeg rice pudding dish with quince to top the meal off. I am no food critic but every bite was absolutely delicious. I particularly loved the soux vide salmon served with crème fraiche. As an angler’s daughter I have always had a lot of fish in my diet and it was refreshing to taste salmon cooked in a completely different way.
We returned to the lounge for teas and coffee, and my husband and I reminisced about cocooning ourselves there in the days after our wedding; an antidote to post-wedding exhaustion. It is a lovely room in which to rest, chat and unwind.
Seated beside the Christmas tree in the restaurant I thought how wonderful it would be to spend Christmas at Boath. If you’re looking for an extra special Christmas Day lunch, Boath House has a 6 course set menu with goose, langoustine and plum pudding. Lunch costs £90 per person which includes a choice of port with cheese or sweet wine with dessert, plus tea and coffee.
They are also taking bookings for New Year meals, after which you can enjoy a fireworks display in the garden. I can’t think of a better way to see in the New Year with a bang.