The Blackaddie Country House Hotel stands by the River Nith on the edge of the royal burgh of Sanquhar, a historic town in the heart of the beautiful rolling green hills of Dumfriesshire.
The Blackaddie, Photo (c) Donna Dailey
The Blackaddie is also a historic place, dating back to the early 16th century when it was built as the rectory to St Bride's Church. It has been extended over the years and, like all good historic hotels, boasts its own ghost. There are also 2 acres of gardens, and the conservatory and some of the guest bedrooms overlook the River Nith, a popular spot for fishing and walking. But Blackaddie's crowning glory is its food.
See our YouTube slideshow of our visit to the Blackaddie
All Photos by Donna Dailey
A sign that this is one of the best restaurants in Dumfries and Galloway is that the chef and recent new owner of the Blackaddie, Ian McAndrew, was immediately awarded two AA rosettes, and will surely soon achieve his ambition of the ultimate accolade of three. Ian was the youngest English chef ever to win a Michelin star, which he held for several years, along with winning countless other food awards. He has written three cookery books and, since arriving at the Blackaddie with his wife Jane, has received a Gold Plate from Hotel Review Scotland, the Five Star Excellence rating from Food Review Scotland, and a Silver Award from Eat Scotland – though the Gold Award must soon be on the way.
The Blackaddie menu not only lists the dishes, but also the producers and growers who supplied the food. Their pork comes from Sunnyside Farm just up the road, and even the greengrocer in the High Street gets a mention. Quite right too, as the food here is top class. Enjoy a drink in the Conservatory and browse the menus while listening to the sound of curlews calling and the River Nith flowing by.
The menu changes daily, and features dishes that are zinging with flavours like a Seared Fillet of Salmon with a Herb Crust, served with a Gin-Marinated Ceviche of Salmon and a Tomato Fondue. One recent dessert showcased Scottish raspberries and comprised a circle of delicious raspberries surrounded by an intense raspberry mousse, served with two pieces of white chocolate mousse, and a raspberry vodka milkshake!
The Blackaddie has just nine rooms, and all come with en-suite facilities, complimentary mineral water, homemade shortbread and Scottish tablet, flat-screen TVs, tea and coffee facilities, and direct dial phones. There are single, double and twin rooms, and one large family room. There are also several River Suites which are attached to the hotel but offer privacy and a fully-fitted kitchen for self-catering. Whether anyone would want to self-cater when a few steps away is one of the best restaurants in southwest Scotland is another matter.
The Blackaddie is about 25 miles north of Dumfries, on the A76, and about a 7-hour drive from London mostly on the M1 and M6 motorways.
Sanquhar is only about 35 miles from Glasgow Prestwick Airport, which is roughly an hour's drive as the roads are fairly slow – which is because they're really scenic. There is also a direct train service from Glasgow Central Station to Sanquhar.
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