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The Steak House at The Inchyra Hotel, Falkirk.
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The Steak House
The Inchyra Hotel,
Grange Road,
Falkirk

Falkirk may not spring to mind as the ideal destination for a weekend break but Mr Bite and I had a very pleasant overnighter at the Inchyra Hotel recently.

It’s about a 30-minute drive from Fife, less from Edinburgh. As we approached the hotel we passed Andy Scott’s giant equine sculptures The Kelpies and saw signs for the Falkirk Wheel which connects the Forth & Clyde and Union canals. Both attractions celebrate the area’s industrial heritage whilst ahead of us the billowing chimneys and giraffe-shaped cranes of the Ineos oil refinery dominate. Nestled in the countryside is our hotel. 

Our room is luxurious and I note the tennis courts outside the window but December was far too bitter; a spa and 25-metre heated pool more tempting. Floor to ceiling windows around the pool allowed me to watch the approaching Storm Sheila whilst comfortably cocooned. I took a turn in the sauna, steam room and tropical shower and then relaxed blissfully on a heated lounger.  

Of course we were really here for the food so I had a peek at the menu before heading to the restaurant. The drinks list is disappointing. There is no choice of Scottish ales worth mentioning so Mr Bite is reduced to whisky, poor soul. The list of classic cocktails has nothing to tempt me, ditto the wine by the glass except for one expensive Malbec which I ordered.  

I am pleased to report however, that the food was excellent.

I had taken a quick scan of Trip Advisor and the reviews were pretty damning so either something had changed recently or the reviewers simply don’t know what they are talking about.  Smoked salmon from John Ross in Aberdeen was thick and sumptuous, a great example of one of our signature national foods. Mr Bite had tasty mushrooms on a slice of toasted brioche. Garnishes on both plates were thoughtful and complementary.

Then Mr Bite has a sirloin and I chose my usual rib-eye. Both came with hand cut chips tasting of real potato. I silently challenged myself to leave at least one and failed. We ordered a house salad which was fresh and lightly dressed.  The medium-rare cooked steaks were juicy with a velvety texture. Grass-fed flavour is carried by fat and ageing so that the taste can be truly savoured in the mouth.
 
For dessert the waitress recommended Dark Chocolate and Green Tea Sacher Torte and as if that wasn’t enough it came with a quenelle of ganache and macarons. If I am splitting hairs the macarons could have dissolved in the mouth quicker but I am not going to complain about an overall exquisite chocolate plate.  

Mr Bite and I are always pleased to see a cheese board comprising exclusively Scottish cheeses and we took ‘The Bonnet Toun’, Arran Blue and Aiket up to our room and watched 'The Big Short'.

Breakfast didn’t let the side down either. I judged my scrambled eggs and smoked salmon the second best I could recall eating.  

So full marks all round for the food at the Inchyra the indulgence of which we tried to mitigate with a marvel at the Kelpies and a walk along the canal to enjoy the wildlife the next day.  Scotland is endlessly beautiful and interesting and even its post industrial/industrial pockets contain gems. (S. Wilson)  

 

 

 

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