Art Lover's Café
- Telephone 0141 353 4779
- Opening times Daily 10am–5pm.
- Food served Mon–Sun noon–4pm.
- Average price £11.99 (set lunch); £21 (evening meal)
- Website www.houseforanartlover.co.uk
An elegant café for impressive lunching in a Mackintosh-designed visitor and events attraction in Bellahouston Park.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016, the time-delayed House For An Art Lover in Bellahouston Park was originally designed in 1901 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and is a popular attraction and events venue – although the stylish café, which looks out on the grounds, is worth a visit in its own right. The menu is ambitious, with appropriately artistic touches such as the soft onion and thyme chutney, melting potato dauphinoise with sweet confit lamb bonbons and rich rosemary jus which accompany the roast loin of lamb, tenderly cooked. A simple pork chop is made special with delicate garlic and bacon dauphinoise, apple purée and spinach and mustard cream sauce, all in perfect balance. Lighter options include carefully prepared starters and salads; desserts include terrific homemade ice-cream and the soft creamy pear charlotte looks as pretty as some of the architecture upstairs. The afternoon tea, particularly popular with Southside matrons, must be booked 24 hours in advance – as do the occasional musical events.
- High point: Great value set lunch
- Low point: Might not get a table without pre-booking
- Notable dish: Roast loin of lamb
Cafés attached to arts venues are often little more than a necessary sideline to make the main attraction more attractive. The Art Lover’s Café, however, is a culinary destination. Yes it’s sited in a beautiful park in a beautiful house, but the food is the main draw here. It’s surprising, ambitious and delicious. Good value, too, with a two-course set menu priced at £11.99, so book ahead, even for a mid-week lunch. The à la carte menu features crisp ham hough croquettes, a meaty, comforting, way to start. The duck breast with pomme galette is tender and simply cooked with a port wine jus bringing out the strong flavours in the meat. Cheesecakes may be ubiquitous and generally disappointing, but here the passionfruit and orange cheesecake has a delicious tang, balanced by the sweetness of orange sorbet. Gluten-free cakes are on offer, with the victoria sponge a light and airy classic. Pop-up evenings are planned, and with a reasonable selection of low-alcohol wines and beers on offer, drivers are looked after as well.
- Private dining: Up to 40 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: nothing
- Live entertainment: Occasional special events
- Capacity: 120 (40 outdoors)
- Largest group: 40
- Open since: 1996
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 10
- House wine: £17.95 per bottle