Bridge of Allan is becoming a foodie destination. 2020 saw the opening of celebrity chef Nick Nairn’s namesake restaurant (to much excitement and fanfare) and in early 2022 Queen’s House opened just up the road. Tragically, Nick’s suffered a major fire, but is expected to reopen soon.
While food is key at Queen’s House, wine is also a priority thanks to its location.
The restaurant is located next to its winery partners, Woodwinters, whose shop offers a wonderful range of vintages and bottles to suit all palates, many of which can be sampled from the extensive wine list in the bar and restaurant.
Queen’s House is a collaboration between Graham Suttle, Mo Clark, the names behind Kained Holdings, who founded bands like Lebowskis of Glasgow, Porter & Rye and The Finnieston, and Doug Wood of Woodwinters.
Ahead of the site’s opening, Doug Wood of Woodwinters said, “This is a real passion project for us and having the two sites side by side will allow us to present our customers with both a retail environment and a luxury bar.
While co-owner, Graham Suttle gave a hint of what diners can expect, saying: “I originally wanted it to be simpler, but given the depth of the offering around of us and how good it was, I thought we should push the boat out and bring something to the area that hadn’t been seen before.
“In terms of food, the flexibility of our menu means we offer a global small plate menu that uses local produce in exciting and creative ways, showcasing local and global flavors and styles.
“The addition of our flatbreads means we can offer a more casual approach to mid-week family meals, and our specialty charcoal grill gives us a premium finish for meats and vegetables, from wagyu to whole fish. .”
Although there is an array of savory options available, we headed over the weekend to try the afternoon tea offering at Queen’s House.
We arrived on a sunny afternoon and decided to make the most of the weather by sitting outside and passing a large table set for a birthday lunch.
The interior of Queen’s House is a mix of old – exposed stone walls – and new – leather cabins, parquet floors and checkered seats.
If you can, head upstairs to the restroom where the restaurant’s logo, a flamingo, takes center stage in the eye-catching Albany wallpaper.
Once seated outside we enjoyed a classic (to me) pub drink of ginger beer and lime – unfortunately we were both driving so couldn’t take the complimentary glass of prosecco .
Shortly after, a traditional tiered cake stand appeared loaded with sandwiches and cakes. The sandwiches were, as was the sea bass, a twist on the traditional with egg and tomato mayonnaise, cheese, pickles and tomatoes and crowned chicken on brown and white bread.
The egg mayo was creamy, while the cheese sandwiches had a pickle kick, but it was the crowning chicken that was a bit different than you might expect.
There was no yellow curry mayonnaise, instead these sandwiches were pink in color and I couldn’t quite place the taste so I had to ask what they were. I would have guessed more sweet pepper than crowning glory, not bad, just different.
Then it was on the cakes. The middle tier had two fruit and two plain scones which were crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, and served with strawberry jam and cream.
There were also two types of mini cream pies – strawberry and banana and chocolate.
The bananas were a blast from the past as the sauce was reminiscent of something that topped an ice cream in my childhood, and the cream had more than a passing resemblance to the skooshy variety.
The strawberry pies were a bit more traditional, with more cream than the usual bright strawberry sauce.
Finally, there was a chocolate course in the form of two rich, sticky brownies.
Topped with chocolate sauce and nuts, they were very sweet and would satisfy any chocolate addict. These went well with the breakfast tea served with the afternoon treat.
Although this afternoon tea, known as Queen’s Tea, is not as fancy as what is available in five star hotels, it was a pleasant way to spend a Saturday catching up with a friend.
On our way out the birthday party had arrived and the bar was getting busier and busier. It looks like the Queen’s House is the place to celebrate. And we can all drink (tea) to this.
24 Henderson Street, Allan’s Bridge, Stirling FK9 4HP