Proof isn’t just in the homemade pudding

Old Churches Housel in Cathedral Square, Dunblane
Old Churches Housel in Cathedral Square, Dunblane

When the weather turns chilly the desire for warm and filling comfort food is usually top of my agenda.

Soups and the tasty baked puddings from my childhood are what I long for.

However, my daughter and son turn their noses up at such delights as rhubarb crumble and apple tart, preferring instead to eat ice cream – whatever the weather – so I don’t tend to indulge, probably because I couldn’t trust myself not to eat a whole dish.

So when I go out for a meal I’m always quick to scan a menu to discover the delights of dessert and the homemade marmalade bread and butter pudding served up with clotted cream ice cream as on offer at Old Churches House in Dunblane immediately had me sold.

However, this new restaurant had lots more to recommend it as I quickly found.

A former row of 18th century cottages, it is now a cosy wee hotel with the restaurant on the first floor overlooking the square and the imposing cathedral.

It has been tastily renovated by the Grangemouth-based Fusion Group which has transformed the former ecumenical centre into an airy and welcoming place to either spend a few hours or days if you want to take advantage of the accommodation on offer.

It was almost full on the Saturday evening we visited with a mix of families, couples and groups, who were enjoying everything from a quick dinner to birthday celebrations.

Deciding not to turn our backs on the summer just yet, we choose a delightful goats cheese and pear salad with pesto dressing and a salt beef and apple salad accompanied with rosemary crostini. Both were a perfect way to start the meal.

Fish was the choice for mains with the generous portion of homemade salmon and smoked haddock fishcakes served with creamed savoy cabbage with bacon getting top marks.

However, I was too engrossed in my portion of salmon fillet served on savoy cabbage with a crushed potato cake and a delightful lemon tarragon hollandaise sauce to notice.

Dessert was the aforementioned bread and butter pudding which I’m still dreaming about and a creamy creme brulee. A perfect way to round off a superb meal.

And I’ll definitely be back in Dunblane – not only to get my photograph taken next to Andy Murray’s gold postbox – but to try out other dishes on Old Churches tasty menu.