Boath House in Nairn to open The Dining Room restaurant

This grand house hotel in Nairn will open The Dining Room Restaurant this month - here's what's on the menu.

Published 9th Feb 2024
Updated 9 th Feb 2024

Boath House, the Scottish offering from Cabin Studio (the team behind London’s Sessions Arts Club), will open The Dining Room restaurant this month.

From its location in Nairn, Boath House is set in over 20 acres of grounds, and has nine en-suite rooms in the Grade A listed Georgian mansion, as well as a four-bedroom Boath Lodge, two one-bed cabins (The Writing Studio and The Painting Studio) and a soon-to-launch Musicians Studio complete with an analogue studio setup.

Under past owners, the hotel restaurant gained a Michelin Star, which they said they were ready to 'walk away from' ahead of the 2018 Guide.

But now a new dining experience will be available in the house.

Situated in what was once the grand house's breakfast parlour, The Dining Room's menus utilise the home grown produce wherever possible, venturing further afield around Scotland only when necessary.

At the helm of the kitchen is head chef Philip Mcenaney and sous chef Katie Austin.

Boath House dining room restaurant
Picture: Liam Black

Philip gained experience at Trinity in London working under Adam Byatt, Whatley Manor Hotel under Niall Keating, Hertog Jan in Bruges, Belgium, and Ode in Tokyo, while Katie refined her skills at Trinity Clapham over three years.

She recognised that the produce coming through their door in London originated from the Highlands, so they decided to relocate, placing themselves in the heart of the region to have first hand access and showcase its best offerings.

Following the successful launch of The Garden Cafe last year, situated within the house's 2-acre walled garden, where wood-fired pizzas and sharing plates are served, the team is now focusing on the main house restaurant launch.

They aim to create a dining experience that combines Scottish produce with the culinary techniques refined through their years in the industry, encompassing English, French and Japanese influences.

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What's on the menu at Boath House Dining Room?

The Artist menu, named in honour of the hotel's artist residency program, offers an two courses for £28 and three courses for £35.

Guests can also enjoy The Experience Menu, an 8-course tasting menu with an optional wine pairing.

The restaurant's plates, made by Cara Guthrie from Dunkeld, uniquely incorporate scraps and trimmings of vegetables taken from the kitchen’s compost.

These remnants are transformed into ash and blended into the clay used for each plate, embodying the team's 'wastenot' ethos, evident in everything from their pickles to these plates.

Boath House dining room restaurant

From The Artist Menu, 'Hogget, morel, baby gem' uses game sourced from Cawdor Estate, a 15-minute drive from Boath House.

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For dessert, the 'Beef fat bread and butter pudding' uses beef fat from Macduffs in Edinburgh, almost sweet in flavour, to soak homemade sourdough, baked with custard, and topped with pickled billberries and homemade ice cream.

The Experience Menu offers dishes such as ‘Crab, barley’, featuring crab sourced from Jimmy, the local fisherman who catches crab, lobster and mackerel from Nairn Harbour on his boat, Lady Peggy.

A dish titled ‘Beef, celeriac, moss’ is served with pickled walnuts and moss from Culbin Forest, almost candy floss in texture, dusted with mushroom powder.

‘Trout, turnip’ uses trout from Geddes Trout Fishery located 10 minutes down the road. The team receives a call when the catch is coming in, meaning it often reaches the kitchen within 30 minutes of being caught.

From there, it’s poached low and slow in burnt bay leaf oil and served with a sauce made from the bones, wine, vinegar, and cream.

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For dessert ‘Scotch pancake’ from Maclean's local bakery is toasted and dipped in cocoa butter and white chocolate.

Chef Philip said of the restaurant launch: "Opening The Dining Room at Boath House is a thrilling moment for us.

"Relocating to the heart of the Highlands has been a long-held dream, and now we have the chance to celebrate the art of food in a setting as inspiring as the ingredients we use."

Chef Katie added: "Our excitement comes from the opportunity to showcase the finest Scottish produce, collaborating with Jonny and the team to create a menu that brings together art, design, and food."

The Dining Room at Boath House will launch on 12 February 2024 and more information can be found on the website.

Boath House Restaurant & Rooms, Auldearn, Nairn, UK
Boath House Restaurant & Rooms, Auldearn, Nairn, UK, IV12 5TE
Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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