The sun was melting the tarmac on the city streets as we took off to the country that Sunday morning.

It was one of the hottest days of the year and we had to get away from the grime and smog.

Toots knew this snazzy place on a lake about an hour away so I fired up the Buick and off we went.

The Lake of Menteith Hotel is right on the banks and boasts stunning views across to the Isle of Inchmahome.

It wasn’t just Toots who had decided that the trip to Perthshire was worthwhile that day – when we arrived the parking lot was almost full.

We checked in first before we were invited to enjoy complimentary scones with tea and coffee – a special treat for overnight guests.

We didn’t want to spoil our dinner which was booked for a few hours later but the lure of afternoon tea in the sun was too strong.

Toots and I lavished lashings of clotted cream and raspberry jam on the cinnamon scones and picked a spot outside.

In the blink of an eye two hours had passed as we enjoyed the view, sipped tea and talked shop.

It was time to get ready for dinner and Toots went ahead as she needed time to do her hair and nails.

I knew she would also want to try on all of the outfits she had brought along in that huge suitcase that I lugged upstairs to the room earlier.

The preparation was worth it and she looked a million bucks as she drifted downstairs to be shown to our table.

We had been given a prime spot in the conservatory which provided stunning views as the sun began to set.

“This is nice,” said Toots, clearly in her element as she perused the menu.

The Lake of Menteith Hotel prides itself on serving up locally sourced ingredients.

It isn’t cheap but we were used to paying city prices.

Toots and I both wanted to try the pan-seared fishcake with corn slaw and pineapple salsa to start.

But she is allergic to corn so asked the waiting staff if they could offer an alternative.

When the starters arrived Toots was only given a plain fishcake while mine was smothered in the slaw and salsa.

As tasty as it was, Toots’ nose was out of joint.

“They should have given me something else to go along with the fishcake,” she pined.

I was tempted to suggest she might have ordered something she isn’t allergic to but I knew better.

The restaurant redeemed itself in Toots’ eyes when the braised hoisin short rib of beef with wild rice and steamed bok choy was put in front of her.

After pushing the substantial bone to one side she tucked in and I didn’t hear a peep until it was gone.

My cajun spiced breast of Perthshire chicken was perfectly cooked with a pleasant kick. The flavoursome grilled corn and skinny fries were generous and delicious.

Desert was greedy after the scones and clotted cream but we were tempted by the daily specials.

I opted for an agreeable banana cheesecake but I was more interested in Toots’ crumble.

I dived in to scoop up warm apple and bramble at every opportunity. The cinnamon ice cream was an added bonus.

For once, Toots didn’t push my spoon away – the sun was out and it reminded her she was watching her figure.

“I’ll have to look out my bathing suits soon,” she said, wide-eyed.

I suspect I was looking forward to that more than she was.

Food: Good

Atmosphere: Good

Service: Average

The Lake of Menteith Hotel, Port of Menteith, Perthshire FK8 3RA

T: 01877 385258



Pan-seared Lake of Menteith fishcake with corn slaw and pineapple salsa - £6.45

Pan-seared Lake of Menteith fishcake with corn slaw and pineapple salsa - £6.45


Cajun spiced breast of Perthshire chicken with grilled corn, skinny fries and BBQ jus - £14.75

Braised hoisin short rib of beef with wild rice and steamed bok choy - £18.25


Banana cheesecake - £5.00

Apple and Bramble Crumble with Cinnamon Ice Cream - £5.00


Apple juice and soda - £2.80

Small glass of Sauvignon Blanc - £4.95

Total – £63.65