If you are in Glasgow and you are looking for one of the most relaxed yet decadent dining experiences available, then you’ll want to be smart like me (oh yes!) and make a reservation at Hutchesons.
We walked through the doorway, from the cold street, to a warm welcome. Stepping across the beautifully repaired and restored mosaic floor, through the Parisian-styled bar, and up the stairs to another place and time.
We were seated in the Grand Hall. The light filtered beautifully through the tall windows. The stained glass, rich in colour and detail.
Our drinks arrived in clear glasses etched with a simple ‘H’. We took in our surroundings, looking up at the magnificent ceiling and trying to measure the height of the room… about as tall as a modern 3-storey house.
Built in 1802, originally as Hutchesons Hospital, the building has since had many uses, including: public library, school, bank, and shops. Now owned by the National Trust this fabulous A-Listed building was damaged terribly by storms in 2008 and took a £1.3 million investment to bring it back to life. Thank goodness for James Rusk and his vision for unique dining experiences in Glasgow!
And thank goodness for soft, warm, oat-topped bread and whipped butter.
Rob and Sarah both chose the soup – a root vegetable broth that came with a big chunk of sourdough bread. The soup had a real depth to it and included lentils, barley, parsnip, peas (argh!) and other stuff… I stopped listening at peas.
Adam and I both chose the Chicken Liver Parfait. I was a little bit disappointed by it’s looks, but it more than made up for that with its flavour. Sweet, rich pate, soft brioche toast and tasty tangy onion jam. Really, really good.
Steak Frites was the main course choice all round. Steak Frites with garlic butter. It was cooked to perfection, we all agreed.
After all that delicious food I exclaimed, “I can’t move. I’m having a pudding!”
I was forced to choose the White Chocolate Cheesecake, the others all picked the Creme Brûlée. None of us were disappointed. Adam said it was in his top 3 Brûlées, and he’s pretty much a Creme Brûlée aficionado.
The service was wonderful, friendly and helpful. Everyone was so pleasant and nothing was too much for them. James even told me he would send me a glass with an ‘H’ on it, – so I am going to hold him to that!
After our truly wonderful meal, Sarah and I were treated to a special behind the scenes peak. We walked along the hallway, past the glass-walled wine store and up the winding stairs of the staff quarters, into the attic rooms, to the private dining room. With the feel of an Edwardian Gentleman’s Club, this space is a wonderful secret hideaway with a dedicated supply of aged (some over 60 years) fine malt whisky from the Glenfarclas distillery.
As Sarah worked her way round the panelled walls she spotted it – the secret compartment! I think Sarah was hoping for another room, and I was expecting body parts, but behind the panelled chimney breast was a media centre with all the mod-cons should you wish to listen to music, watch a film, hold a video conference or view exciting spreadsheets over dinner.
We couldn’t have been happier with our visit to Hutchesons. Really. We were made to feel so welcome and at ease. The Great Hall is incredibly stylish, opulent and grand, but also so friendly and relaxed. The staff were all very polite, knowledgeable and proud to be there – I like that. We could have stayed all day, but we had a party to go to, and a non-steep steep hill to find! Whether you want a drink, a dinner, or a peek at the incredible architecture and interiors, everyone is welcome at Hutchesons.
You can find Hutchesons at 158 Ingram Street, in the beautiful Merchant City district of Glasgow.
A huge thank you to the super lovely bunch at Hutchesons for having us for lunch. I loved every moment of it, and, I’ll be back!