Deseo at Gleneagles

Gleneagles is one of my favourite places. I was once told that when a guest asked concierge if there were any important guests staying at the hotel that evening, concierge replied “Yes, sir. You.” This epitomises Gleneagles for me. No matter who you are, you are made to feel like the most special guest in the hotel. That for me is the ultimate service.

We ate at Deseo on a Friday evening. It is an informal Mediterranean restaurant and is opened on to the kitchen so you can see the chefs at work. The service was as friendly as you would expect. We didn’t eat until 9pm and it wasn’t too busy. However, it was full on the Saturday night which gave it a vibrant atmosphere.

The food was delicious. It had the taste of a fine dining restaurant but was rustic enough to keep in with the informality of the place. The menu had a brilliant selection of tapas, pizza, pasta, fresh fish, meat and game. After we sat down, the waiter brought over a small book and placed it on the table. This had information about where the meat is sourced, the breeds of cow and the different cuts of meat available in the restaurant. The idea is that diners should be able to choose their meat in the same way that they would choose fine wine. It was a nice touch and it is always great to see locally sourced meat being used. Better still, you can even cut your own steak!

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I opted for the sea bass which was caught off Scottish coasts by George Campbell & Sons. It was served with buttered asparagus spears, samphire and sun blushed tomatoes and came with salsa verde and lemon butter on the side. The bass was perfectly cooked. It had a smoked flavour to it as though it had been cooked in a charcoal smoked grill (very Mediterranean). The accompaniments were divine in all their buttery glory and the salsa verde added a perfect freshness without being overpowering.

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My sister had gnocchi with porcini, tartufata, broad beans and peas and my Mum had a pizza with gambas pil pil (chilli and garlic prawns). They were both delicious. The gnocchi was light and flavourful and the pizza stone baked.

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Granny Smith had game of the day which was venison haunch cooked medium – rare and served with porcini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes on the vine, herb potatoes and a rich jus. Venison is one of my favourites and this was incredible. The depth of flavour in the jus pulled the whole dish together.

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The cocktails were also delicious. Afterwards, we went to the main bar for some prosecco and an amaretto. The atmosphere was great and not what I was expecting. It was like being in a classy bar in the middle of the city. The best part was that it was only a short walk back to the room and into bed!

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