Glenapp Castle, a 21-bedroom Relais & Chateaux Hotel in Ayrshire, Scotland, is a leading destination for delicious cuisine with its fine dining and 3 AA Rosettes. With the introduction of the new The Azalea, Glasshouse & Bothy Restaurant opening in May 2022, the hotel plans to take their F&B offering to new levels with this unique informal dining venue.
Situated in the centre of the Castle’s Walled Garden, The Azalea, Glasshouse & Bothy Restaurant are adjoining, giving guests the choice of the surrounding gardens or picturesque views of the Azalea Pond. These two spaces can be kept separate for private dining experiences and more intimate events, or they can be combined and offered exclusively, for private events or weddings and can seat up to 100 guests.
Having originally been built in the late 1800s, The Azalea Glasshouse provides guests with a truly historical dining experience in one of the UK’s most impressive and distinctive venues, which is 130 years old. The Victorian Mackenzie and Moncur Victorian Glasshouse is one of only a few remaining in Scotland, including a similar Glasshouse situated on the Queen’s Balmoral Estate.
The Earl of Orkney, who first created the Estate, was an avid collector of trees and plant life, and another historic owner was May Stock, a wealthy aristocrat, philanthropist and keen horticulturist who spent a great deal of time in the Bothy, the Estates’ former potting shed. It seemed only fitting that years later, the current Proprietor of Glenapp Castle, Paul Szkiler would sit in this beautiful, yet dilapidated structure, pondering how it could be made sustainable and become a real asset beyond a propagation unit for plant life for the Castle. The Azalea, Glasshouse & Bothy Restaurant was therefore born to combine all the horticultural aspects of Glenapp Castle together with dining.
The Azalea Glasshouse offers five individual dining compartments. The Fruit Room features fig and peach trees that produce an abundance of fresh fruit; The Vine Room contains 100-year-old vines that still produce succulent grapes; The Pond Room showcases a charming little pond for goldfish. Full of colour and unique plants, The Atrium is the heart of the Glasshouse and is full of colour and the May Stock Room is light, spacious and welcoming, with a botanical theme throughout. Each different compartment provides the perfect spot for intimate dining, a delicious afternoon tea, or to spend time reading a book, surrounded by flourishing plant life that beautifully reflects the changing seasons.
The Bothy Restaurant overlooks a Monet style landscape, especially the Estate’s charming Azalea Pond. With bi-folding glass doors, and outdoor seating, The Bothy provides a peaceful spot for guests to spend time, surrounded by stunning nature. Indoors, the restaurant features flagstone floors, a wood burning stove and magnificently high ceilings, measuring 25 feet in height to offer local artists a space to exhibit their art. Currently, The Bothy showcases artwork by talented local artists, including Allan McNally, William Neil and Roddy McKenzie. In keeping with the surroundings, the artists have a variety of specialisms which reflect the best of Ayrshire and its spectacular coastline. The Bothy Restaurant will not only feature local artists, but the restaurant will also celebrate other local talent, including musicians treating guests to a traditional Scottish fiddler and other musicians throughout the year.
The Azalea, Glasshouse & Bothy Restaurant is the centrepiece of the Walled Garden where much homegrown produce finds its way from the garden to plate. The concept of restaurant is to beautifully blend horticulture and dining and this magical kitchen-garden relationship is echoed in the menus. 80% of the herbs such as: curry plants, marigold leaves and rhubarb, are grown a few feet away and all feature on the food and drinks menu in some shape or form capitalising upon the hotel’s location surrounded by the freshest of Scottish produce. The hotel’s Executive Chef, Joe Gould is delighted to be overseeing the operation. Indeed, Joe and the full Glenapp team believe that sustainability is the bedrock of what the Glasshouse dining is all about and he is excited to be working closely with the garden team to nurture this relationship.
Jill Chalmers, Managing Director, Glenapp Castle, comments – ‘’We are so excited to launch The Azalea, Glasshouse & Bothy Restaurant and we are confident that it will transform our already flourishing business and take it to the next level. Whilst we are extremely proud of our fine dining at the hotel, we recognise that beautifully fresh ingredients and a local cuisine of a less formal nature is also very attractive to our guests. With its breathtaking position, surrounded by nature, wildlife and plant life, and the option to dine under the stars, there is no doubt that The Azalea, Glasshouse & Bothy Restaurant offers our guests, and the local community, a unique and tranquil dining experience in the heart of the estate’’.
In addition to The Azalea, Glasshouse & Bothy Restaurant,the hotel continues to invest and develop its business having launched The Endeavour, its new Penthouse Castle Apartment (the first of its kind to open in Scotland) and through expanding its Activities & Experiences programme. All of this ensures that the hotel, and indeed, the area is becoming a ‘must visit’ destination. It is no surprise that Glenapp Castle is now one of the main drivers of luxury travel to the South-West of Scotland.
HOW: Main courses at The Azalea, Glasshouse & Bothy Restaurant start from £18.50 or stay from £470 per night in a Garden View Suite –www.glenappcastle.com – 01465 831212