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Restaurant review: Spring menu put to the test at Ferryhill House Hotel in Aberdeen

Ferryhill House Hotel appeals across the generations. Image: Chris Sumner/ DC Thomson.
Ferryhill House Hotel appeals across the generations. Image: Chris Sumner/ DC Thomson.

Ferryhill House Hotel has struck the perfect balance, from the weight of history to moving with the times as I discovered on a recent visit.

Found on Bon-Accord Street, the imposing white building dates back to 1900 and was previously a rather grand family home.

Now boasting nine bedrooms for overnight stays, the venue does a little bit of everything without appearing to be trying too hard.

Ferryhill House Hotel

We popped along for an early dinner on Sunday and settled on Ferryhill in particular because it has a great children’s play area outside.

This meant our five-year-old year old could burn off some energy, while I caught up with my husband’s granny.

She knows a thing or two about good food and what she likes to eat, opting for simplicity over lavish offerings.

And with the new Spring menu just launched, although you wouldn’t think it with the weather, we had perfect timing.

I reserved a table in advance which I would advise doing as it does get busy, and we were seated in the conservatory dining area.

This is a fantastic space and as you might expect, is filled with light thanks to the glass roof.

The beautiful conservatory is ideal for dining. Image: Chris Sumner/ DC Thomson

The A la Carte spring menu was presented after we had ordered our drinks, and I opted to try a rather delicious glass of Pimms.

Rarely a drinker, I really enjoyed this tipple without finding the concoction overpowering.

Evelyn selected an alcohol free beer, whilst my husband and son both had soft drinks.

The food

Now to the menu, and the dishes have clearly been well selected by the team.

Handy categories made all the different options easy to navigate, from sharers to classics and gourmet burgers.

There’s also a gluten free menu and a vegan menu, handy to know.

My husband had already made his decision, thanks to the fact that there was a separate Sunday roast menu available.

You can also choose to eat in the bar area. Image: Chris Sumner / DC Thomson

This is on offer from noon, with some very delicious sounding sides such as maple glazed pigs in blankets.

My husband couldn’t be tempted however, instead settling for topside of beef served with roast potatoes, skirlie, Yorkshire pudding, gravy and seasonal vegetables.

Evelyn declared her love of fish, so classic scampi was a winner.

Our five-year-old decided on a kid’s cheese burger before racing off to the playground, with dad in weary pursuit.

I was tempted by sizzling fajitas, which I had witnessed getting delivered to a table on a hot plate with the aforementioned sizzle in action.

I went rogue and selected a starter with two sides,  having opted for Ferryhill House crab cakes, skinny fries and onion rings.

Our food arrived in good time, just as the five-year-old charged back to the table before tucking in with gusto.

My crab cakes were served with Bloody Mary aioli, sauce vierge and micro leaf salad.

Slightly crunchy on the outside and beautifully soft within, they were packed with flavour and the tangy aioli made for the ideal dipping sauce.

The micro leaf salad really was of the micro variety, but at least it didn’t detract attention from the delicious crab cakes.

The crabcakes were delicious, and went great with the accompanying sauce.

Across the table, and Evelyn had nothing but praise for the wholetail scampi.

I think part of the success of Ferryhill House Hotel can partly be attributed to the attention to detail.

The accompanying tartare sauce for example, home-made.

The scampi itself, succulent without being over cooked.

Classic scampi and chips is always a winner.

Evelyn also swapped standard chips for skinny fries, and finished the plate with relish.

We all tucked into the onion rings, as they were served as an impressive stack.

I consider myself an onion ring enthusiast, it’s my go to side dish but not all onion rings are cooked equal.

In this case, I am happy to report that the rings were fat and juicy, without swimming in grease or hardening in batter.

They were delicious, and we made short work of finishing the portion.

The onion rings went down well with us all.

My husband will forever be a meat and two veg Aberdonian, and I did have to remind him to breathe at several points.

The plate was swimming in gravy, which may have been best served in a wee jug on the side, but my husband had no complaints.

The beef was mouth wateringly tender, and the roast potatoes had been beautifully cooked.

Yorkshire puds also home made, and we were chuffed to discover that the vegetables were not only seasonal but grown locally.

You don’t get what I’d call a fancy roast, but not everyone wants dozens of serving dishes and a joint of meat artfully arranged on a piece of slate.

Topside of beef is available on the Sunday roast menu at Ferryhill House Hotel.

When we all felt comfortably full, the dessert menu was agonised over.

Cheesecake, raspberry clafoutis and sticky toffee pudding.

Normally a die hard dessert fan, I declined on this occasion; this was a winning selection in my eyes.

Our five-year-old of course ordered the trio of ice cream, while Evelyn settled on a Irish coffee.

I declined, having already experienced the awful disease known as eyes bigger than my belly.

The verdict

The surrounding tables filled up quickly over the course of our meal, and I noticed that Ferryhill House Hotel clearly appeals across the generations.

It’s cosy and welcoming, and the prices are fairly reasonable.

The staff clearly work hard, and we left feeling like we’d had a good feed without overdoing it.

We’ll be back, if only so I can try the brownie on the pudding menu.

Address: 169 Bon-Accord Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6UA

Contact: 01224 590 867

Price: £75.60