As part of the Galloway Gazette’s search for the Tearoom of the Year for 2015, Reporter Louise Kerr visited Marrbury Smokehouse Bistro at Carsluith Castle.
The sun was glittering on the waters of Wigtown Bay as my friend Annie Hyslop and I arrived at the Marrburry Smokehouse situated beside the imposing Carsluith Castle on the A75.
The business is owned by Vincent and Ruby Marr, with Vincent in charge of the smokehouse operation while Ruby does a great job out front in the bistro. The quality of the produce from the smokehouse is well known with none other than Masterchef judge Andrew Fairlie calling Marrburry smoked salmon “the best in the world”.
That recommendation made me choose the Smoked Salmon and Hollandaise on a toasted crumpet from the extensive menu while Annie went for the equally mouthwatering Hot Smoked Salmon and Sun-dried Tomato Mayo on toasted crumpet. Even our drinks were out of the ordinary and packed with flavour. I sipped a refreshing Crabbie’s Scottish Raspberry and Ginger cordial with Annie savouring a Fentiman’s Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger.
After polishing off our main courses we turned out attention to the specials’ board for something sweet to finish our meal. What a selection of treats to choose from - Lemon and White Chocolate Cheesecake, gluten-free Chocolate Cake, White Chocolate, Strawberry and Almond Meringue Roulade were all tempting but both of us had the Chocolate Fudge Brownie with cream and a cup of Brodie’s filter black coffee - a perfect combination.
The bistro has recently been refurbished with comfortable booths inside or if you prefer to dine al fresco there are also tables outside.
The menu concentrates on fresh locally-sourced ingredients with popular dishes like fish and chips sitting alongside the more exotic smoked duck or smoked brie suppers. Kids have their own menu and senior citizens can order a smaller sized version of fish and chips or a smoked sausage supper.
The friendly staff at Marrbury will also prepare food to take away through their ‘Food 2 Go’ service and a kid’s meal box also thoughtfully contains a toy or colour book along with food and a drink - ideal to keep them occupied on a long car journey.
The best quote of the day came from my friend Annie who, coming from a family of superb cooks, is not easy to impress! Her verdict on her Marburry Bistro meal was: “That’s what food’s all about - getting something tasty.”