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Deseo at Gleneagles – A combination of Scotland and Spain, of Winter and Summer
When it comes to weather, the British are rarely happy. We yearn for Summer, only for it to arrive and it to be too hot – or too wet. Winter rolls around; and you guessed it – it’s too cold. As a result, a winter getaway holed up somewhere homely and warming can be perfect. Gleneagles Hotel and Resort in Perthshire, Scotland is one such example; and now, this winter wonderland is offering guests an all-round summer treat – Deseo Restaurant, a self-styled Mediterranean food emporium.
Opened in 2007, Deseo is a relatively new addition to this famous luxury hotel. In essence, it is Gleneagles’ principle casual dining restaurant, offering a variety of cuisines and meal experiences in disparate and relaxed surroundings.
The main room at Deseo is designed to create a vibrant dining experience; a large-yet-intimate restaurant with a striking open kitchen, the focus of which is the clay pizza oven, surely providing welcome warmth in the Scottish winter. A large antipasti station allows the hungry guest to help themselves and retire back their table to peruse the rest of the menu. Diners seeking a more intimate dinner may be interested in the ‘Quiet Area’, a plush corner of Deseo with plenty of secluded tables and nooks to enjoy a more peaceful meal.
Between the dining room and the Quiet Area is the emporium itself. Akin to a food bazaar, there are counters focusing on fresh produce with interactive explanations, inviting the more inquisitive guest (or foodie) to wander around and watch the food being prepared by chefs, right there, right then. Alternatively, guests can take up roost on one of the ‘Teppanyaki’-style food bars to taste the food, immersing themselves in gastronomic inspiration.
Much like offering the perfect mix of wintertime dining in summery surroundings, Deseo effortlessly amalgamates the virtues of Scottish produce with Mediterranean colour and flair. The tapas menu features tradition Spanish dishes such as cured meats and Southern European vegetables, though fused with Scottish touches such as local Isle of Lewis Salmon. The rest of the menu features Italian classics such as pizza, pasta, risotto and the mighty Tiramisu alongside local dishes such as Aberdeen Angus beef and Scottish seafood. The kids menu offers simplified tapas alongside staples such as burgers and pizzas. On the other end of the spectrum, the chef’s table offers a tasting menu of tapas, Mediterranean cuisine and Scottish produce, served in the emporium by a personal chef.
Deseo seemingly offers the impossible – summery Mediterranean cuisine with hearty Scottish touches, all year round, whatever the weather outside throws at you. So whether you are a fan of windy winters or the summer sun, Deseo Restaurant is perfect for any occasion.
Greg is a travel writer and food lover, he’s currently working with Gleneagles and planning his next adventure to Scotland.