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Restaurant review: Food and setting at Newmachar Hotel is a summer’s day delight

Newmachar Hotel offers something to suit all tastes in Aberdeenshire. Karla Sinclair and her boyfriend visited recently, and here's her review...

The chosen dishes at Newmachar Hotel. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson
The chosen dishes at Newmachar Hotel. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

I recently spent one week in the New York of the Mediterranean. Benidorm.

It was my first time in the city. And while it is known for a number of things – including its lively nightlife scene and exquisite beaches – knowing that the sun would be shining from dawn to dusk was what appealed to me above all.

My boyfriend Josh and I saw highs of 30 degrees and not one drop of rain fell throughout our stay. But like any holiday, you need to return home.

The front entrance to Newmachar Hotel. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Making our way back to Turriff and still in high spirits, we decided to keep the party going by making a pitstop at Newmachar Hotel for a spot of supper.

Newmachar Hotel

It had been a while since I last visited Newmachar Hotel, considering it was back when acclaimed north-east chef Graham Mitchell headed up the kitchen team.

Now, head chef Adam Schultz runs the fort having just returned to Aberdeen after a two-year spell working for Angela Hartnett at Murano Café in London.

The menu impressed me just as much as it did on my first visit, as did the interior.


The Newmachar Hotel, located on Oldmeldrum Road in Newmachar 📍 #fyp #foodtiktok #scotlandfood #scotlandtiktok #scotland #food #foryoupage #visitaberdeenshire #visitabdn #pasta #aberdeenshire

♬ (It Goes Like) Nanana – Edit – Peggy Gou

Guests visiting the Scullery Bar & Kitchen – the hotel’s restaurant – can expect the main restaurant space as well as a garden terrace and an al fresco area.

Adorned with artificial flowers and shrubbery as well as contemporary and stylish furnishings, its look already makes it a go-to north-east venue for locals and tourists regardless of the occasion.

Newmachar Hotel starts serving food at 5pm on Wednesdays, so the pair of us were a tad early. Happy to wait, I gave Josh a tour of the restaurant before we were escorted to our table.

Inside the Scullery Bar & Kitchen. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

The food

The weather was scorching. We had a window seat which had us both yearning for ice cold beverages to sip away at whilst awaiting our food.

For Josh, a pint of Tennants (£4.50). For me, a light and refreshing apple cooler mocktail (£6.50).

The pair of us were parched so little of our drinks were left before the starters arrived. I must add that this period wasn’t long.

If you’re after a light and refreshing alcohol-free drinks option, try out the apple cooler mocktail. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

My onion and brie tart (£7) was served with a dressed side salad. The tart was thin, yet filled with flavour.

The brie was both buttery and earthy while plentiful caramelised onions added some sweetness to the dish. Filo pastry lay underneath the ingredients, providing a crispy element.

In my eyes it was a splendid summer’s day dish, as was Josh’s mackerel pate (£8). A slightly larger portion, it too came served with a side salad. The plate also featured a quenelle of creamy smoked mackerel pate with dill, lemon zest and capers and toasted sourdough.

Newmachar Hotel currently has an onion and brie tart on its summer menu. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

The capers added a warm tanginesss to the smooth mixture that boasted plenty of citrusy flavours. These married well with the smoked fish. The seasoning was on point.

Lathered across the crunchy sourdough, I often find pate on the heavy side. This one was not.

There were several other tables full of diners. Given that it was a Wednesday, I was delighted with the number of people supporting local.

And as hoped, the sun continued to beam inside the restaurant.

The mackerel pate starter. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

We opted for a Diet Coke (£3.20) and a glass of water for our second round of drinks and our mains were placed in front of us.

On my side of the table was a short rib ragu house tagliatelle (£17), which also comes as a starter for a cost of £9.

My fork was my best friend as I proceeded to spiral strips of pasta onto it before diving in.

The short rib ragu house tagliatelle also comes in a starter portion. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

This dish screamed comfort. A hefty bed of tagliatelle had been doused in a rich sauce with a tomato-heavy flavour. On top was a blanket of parmesan cheese and a scattering of crispy croutons.

It goes without saying that cheese and tomato is a winning combination. Nutty with a slightly salty finish, the parmesan was a welcome addition to the plate.

But I couldn’t help wonder where the meat was. I needn’t fear, as I quickly discovered chunks of the tender short rib underneath several layers of pasta. This kept it both warm and juicy.

Pan seared duck breast. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

If you asked me what my favourite element in the dish was, I wouldn’t be able to answer as they were equally as divine.

Josh was tucking into his pan seared duck breast (£24) on the other side of the table. Duck is a hard meat to perfect, but we agreed the other components on his main course helped elevate it.

The duck had been covered in a stellar creamy mushroom sauce. Not only was it aromatic, but it brought both sweet and salty flavours to the plate – and included plenty of mushrooms too.

The Scullery Bar & Kitchen is the hotel’s popular restaurant. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

There were also dauphinoise potatoes and boiled vegetables, so it was a fair feed to say the least.

It was difficult to refuse a dessert, however it was time for us to make way for home having been away for some time.

Newmachar Hotel: The verdict

Newmachar Hotel is a fantastic Aberdeenshire business with its food and setting proving a delight on a summer’s day. With that said, it’s great no matter what the weather.

Multiple servers assisted us throughout the meal and all of them were a great help.

Josh and I were incredibly impressed with the high calibre of the food, too. We’ll definitely be back.

All of the dishes went down a hit. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson


Address: Oldmeldrum Road, Newmachar, Aberdeen AB21 0QD

T: 01651 862636


Price: £70.20 for one pint of Tennants, one mocktail, one Diet Coke, two starters and two mains


  • Food: 4.5/5
  • Service: 4.5/5
  • Surroundings: 5/5