The Udny Arms Hotel has been on my list of places to try ever since it reopened, and not just because I learned it was the “birthplace” of my one of my favourite desserts — the glorious sticky toffee pudding.
After it was bought in March 2020 the hotel underwent a major refurbishment, and only just reopened in October last year.
I had heard so many good things about it, and after checking out the menu and scanning pictures of everything else they had on offer, my boyfriend Doug and I were excited to visit.
But first, we headed to Newburgh beach to spend the day watching the colony of seals resting on the other side and exploring the nature reserve.
Despite the blue skies, it was a blustery day in Newburgh, and as the sun began to set we were both grateful to have a table booked at the nearby hotel.
Udny Arms Hotel
Situated on Main Street, the Udny Arms Hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the beach.
We arrived a little early, but that wasn’t a problem for the friendly staff and we were pointed in the direction of a comfy seat in the bar lounge.
I had a botanist gin and slimline tonic (£6.40), while Doug opted for a ginger beer (£2.40) because he was the designated driver for the day.
It was the most lovely way to relax after a beautiful walk as we waited for our table.
And as we enjoyed our drinks and chatted away, we were surprised to be brought a treat from the chef. It was a warm, creamy goat cheese tart and it left us both excited for what more was to come.
Juicy lobster and ravioli bursting with cheese to start
Soon enough, we were shown to our table in the restaurant where there was a plate of freshly warmed bread and butter waiting for us, and we ordered a bottle of sparkling water to share (£3.95).
Because we had ordered our food while we were sitting in the bar, there was no real waiting around for our meal once we sat down, which we both thought was a nice touch.
I had been tempted by the homemade spinach mushroom and mozzarella ravioli (£12) to start. Meanwhile, my boyfriend picked the buttered poached lobster (£15.50).
Doug’s dish was just so vibrant, with large pieces of juicy lobster resting in the broth. He was impressed by the generous serving, with plenty of fresh meat on his plate.
Meanwhile, I was surprised to see one, very large, ravioli in my dish, smothered in a creamy garlicky sauce. But, when I cut into that fresh pasta parcel I was so happy to see it was stuffed full of stringy mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, and spinach.
Generous portions and comforting mains
There wasn’t a long wait between the courses, but we were given just the right amount of time to savour the starters.
It probably wasn’t very adventurous of me, but I was really in need of some hearty, comfort food so I went for the wild mushroom risotto (£17).
While my dish wasn’t the most vibrant looking, it was rich, creamy, and definitely comforting, but perhaps just a bit salty. And there was plenty of it.
Across the table, my partner was tucking into a coq au vin (£18.50), that looked just as comforting and certainly more colourful.
There was a large chicken breast cut in two, served with creamy mash, crispy bacon and plenty of roast vegetables. The whole dish was pulled together nicely by the rich, flavourful sauce.
He said the chicken was cooked perfectly, juicy and succulent — not at all dry.
The famous sticky toffee pudding
I’m not ashamed to admit before we even pulled into the car park I had claimed the sticky toffee pudding (£9) as mine.
I’d heard such great things about it, and the claims that the treacly pudding was created right here was all the justification I needed to be so greedy.
It arrived with lashings of thick toffee sauce and had a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top to cut through the rich, dense treat.
The pudding quite honestly melted in the mouth, leaving behind a wonderful buttery, sweet taste.
Meanwhile, my boyfriend went for the poached pears which he said was an interesting combination, especially when paired with the mint sorbet.
Using fresh, local ingredients, the team work their magic to make every dish stand out — the portions are very generous too.
And the service was second to none, and considering the Udny Arms has only been open for just over three months it felt seamless.
All the little touches, like the chef’s snack and fresh, warm, bread waiting for us on our table made the whole experience feel special.
My one piece of advice: order the sticky toffee pudding. You won’t be disappointed.
Address: 50 Main Street, Newburgh, Ellon AB41 6BL
T: 01358 747210
Price: £93.75 for two starters, two mains, two desserts, a gin and tonic, one ginger beer, and a 750ml bottle of sparkling water.
Disabled access: Yes
- Food: 4/5
- Service: 5/5
- Surroundings: 5/5