Knockinaam Lodge is not a restaurant to pop into. It’s a long drive from the Central Belt down increasingly minor roads and once there, tables are only available to non-residents when the hotel is quiet, so you may need to commit to an overnight stay. The four-course menu is fixed with only dessert offering a choice but likes and dislikes are taken into account when booking. Canapés are served in the lounge before staff invite you through to your table. Grilled fillet of salted cod is a beautifully presented and balanced dish, consistent with an approach that was acknowledged by a Michelin star held from 1991 until 2015. A main of salmon with spiced carrot purée and garlic beignet is also superb if slightly let down by the addition of a curiously al dente glazed pear. Lovers of toxic cheeses may let out a squeal of delight at the presence of Époisses in the British and French cheese board with walnut and sultana bread. The evening closes out gracefully with coffee and petits fours back in the lounge and it would be rude to turn down the offer of a nightcap in front of the log fire.
- High point: High class food in a setting that feels a million miles away from everyday life
- Low point: It really is a million miles away
- Provides: Children's portions, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Sophisticated laid-back rock and pop
- Capacity: 22
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 8
- House wine: £23 per bottle