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Cromlix
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Cromlix
Kinbuck,
Nr Dunblane,
Pertshire,
FK15 9JT
01786 822 125
Lunch served from 12 noon to 2pm. Dinner served from 7pm to 9.30pm; Lounge menu is also available every day from 12 noon until 10pm.

"The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there." (Holly Golightly on Tiffany's, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote.)

Nothing very bad can happen to you at Cromlix either I muse recalling Holly Golightly's utterance as Andy Murray's five star luxury hotel recedes in the rear view window. 

Everyday stresses had begun to dissolve earlier that day on the rolling country lane that led us to Cromlix's doors. Verdant lawns and mature woodland are the setting which the landscapers have wisely left well alone. No need to gild the lily; you can't improve on the perfection of the Perthshire countryside. 

Inside, good taste prevails. The dining room has glass walls and a skylight where the clouds race above you. There is an open kitchen but no shouting of yes chef, no chef to disturb your peace, just a quiet getting on with the business of serving classic French food made with the best Scottish ingredients. 

Albert Roux's twice-baked soufflés for me and The Dowager please (£9.50), rich with double cream and gruyère, all puffed up in a soupy sauce. Louise has sweetcorn soup. Whilst The Dowager and me are going a la carte Louise has happily chosen from the daily lunch menu (3 courses, £26.50) which, it transpires is good value. Ditto  Afternoon Tea (£28.50 with champagne, £18.50 without) and bar meals (the fish and chips looked excellent). 

Main courses are Orkney trout (£17) for The Dowager (a favourite) and Scottish seafood marmite (£19) for me. Her tiniest criticism is that the boulangère-style potato with black pudding is a 'slightly rustic' accompaniment but she concedes this may be due to her 'very delicate palate'. The nutty, earthy barley in my fish stew somehow complements perfectly the cider and leek infused cream. Chablis is drunk, we don't ask for details as we know it will be the good stuff. Louise has fared very well across the table with an enormous piece of Clash Farm pork, tender and caramelised in all the right places. 

Me and the Dowager are in a groove and order exquisite cherry soufflés (£8) for pudding. Louise describes her vanilla panacotta with berries as 'lush'. 

I haven't mentioned all the little extras, 'hot from the oven' bread, canapés, amuse- bouches, the coconut sorbet palate cleanser and, to top it all, coffee and petit fours in the garden. Consider it done. Louise mentions the 'M' word, it can't be long. 

Nothing very bad can happen to you at Cromlix, it's a little cocoon of luxury. 

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