Scotts of Troon has long been on my list of places that I really must try after hearing nothing but good things about it.
When they got in touch and invited me down to Largs to experience their new menu, washed down with some Cloudy Bay wine, I absolutely couldn’t resist. The only catch was that they were whisking us out to sea on a luxury chartered boat. Obviously, this ‘catch’ (no pun intended) would be an added bonus to most people but I have a somewhat sensitive disposition when it comes to adventures of the sea, they don't call me Seasick Vic for nothin'...
This was an opportunity too good to pass up though so I popped an anti-seasickness tablet and hoped that some positive thinking would see me through. Luckily for me (and everyone else on board) Saturday was an extremely calm day aboard the Lady Lexus and our lovely Captain, Ronnie Dolan of Clyde Charters, ensured that any potentially choppy waters were avoided.
The operations manager for Scotts, Pete Govan, was the perfect host and really made us feel at home and I am very pleased to report that, despite the warning label, I managed to mix seasickness tablets with Cloudy Bay with no averse affects. Phew! (Please disregard medical advice on the box at your OWN risk though)
Anyway, onto the food. As we weren't in the actual restaurant, in either Largs or Troon, I really did assume that we would be served a few canapés or a little taster plate... But boy, oh boy was I wrong? Somehow our on board chef from Scotts, Craig Hogarth, managed to prepare the most delicious lunch for us comprising of about 27 courses (slight exaggeration but only slight), serving every item on the menu for us to try. It was all cooked and served beautifully from a tiny kitchen on board the boat - how he managed that, I will never know. The food itself was absolutely delicious; the crispy slow braised ox cheek starter was a melt-in-the-mouth taste sensation and, as an avid avocado aficionado, I was smitten with the king prawn cocktail which was served with a light and airy avocado mousse.
The Show Stopping Seafood
The Simply Seafood platter (mini prawn cocktail, garlic cream mussels, king prawn tempura, Thai spiced crab balls and smoked salmon) and Signature Seafood platter, which comprised of a whole lobster, langoustines, king scallops and king prawns (which my dad was particularly jealous of) was a real winner with everyone on board.
The Roast Pumpkin Ravioli was one of the tastiest pasta dishes I've ever had (and I'm just back from Italy) and just when I thought I couldn't face anything else, the lovely Ayden from Little Blog of Horrors forced me to try the Beef Ragu and I'm so glad she did 'cos it was hella good too!
I was slightly worried that I might sink the boat with the amount of food I consumed at this point, but, in the interest of a complete review, I simply had to try the desert selection; the key lime pie and carrot cake being my two faves.
The Cloudy Bay wine served throughout our trip worked perfectly with the food selection. Pete even sneakily managed to get me to drink Chardonnay which I wouldn't normally have tried but Cloudy Bay have somehow managed to make it less, well, Chardonnay-y and a lot more palatable. I've been a fan of the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon for years but I wasn't aware that they produced red wine; the Pinot Noir was as light and fruity as you'd expect from a good Pinot Noir and was a delicious accompaniment to the main courses.
As a self-confessed gin snob, I was keen to quiz Pete on the Scotts gin selection and, just as importantly, how they serve it. For a normally pretty laid-back person, the sight of Hendrick's being served with lime makes me irrationally angry! However, it was music to my ears to hear that Scotts have extremely high standards and know the importance of the perfect serve. Their garnish choices also passed my strict quality control too.
Despite the horrendous rain when we left Glasgow for Largs in the morning, it was dry for the whole time we were at sea. There was also hardly a breath of wind which made the whole day even better as I would have been devastated to have missed a single mouthful of food or wine for feeling too queasy if the water had been choppy.
I throughly enjoyed my time aboard the Lady Lexus and will definitely be making a return trip to Scotts in the near future. I'll also be adding a luxury boat to my vision board... but only for the calm days, obviously.
Huge thanks to Scotts for the warm hospitality and to Beattie Group for looking after us so well too.
Scotts of Largs - https://www.scotts-largs.co.uk
Clyde Charters - http://www.clydecharters.com