Hidden Places of Scotland Travel Guide

This small village hidden away in the South Lanarkshire countryside has become something of a magnet for gourmets because one thing you can certainly be assured of at Steayban at the Glassford Inn is fine dining. Its owner and controller of the kitchen is Steven Sanderson, a fully trained chef who regularly lectures on the subject of creating culinary masterpieces at nearby Anniesland College. His menus are changing all the time but amongst the starters you may well find a haggis gateau Ė layered haggis, neeps and tatties suffused with a redolent Drambuie sauce. Stevenís main dishes are based on prime Scottish produce, presented with an extra flourish; Fillet of Beef for example, cooked to your taste and accompanied with caramelised onions and Madeira jus. And how about a Delice for dessert - lemon and apple bavarois delice with apple tuille?

The Steayban is an attractively designed extension to the Glassford Inn and although it only opened in 1998 already attracts a regular clientele from as far afield as Glasgow, East Kilbride and Hamilton.

Clearly, Stevenís ambition to provide fine dining in a stylish and relaxed environment has been triumphantly realised. Steayban is open from 12 noon Wednesday to Saturday evenings until midnight, also at Sunday lunchtimes from 12.30pm to 4.00pm. Steven is always happy to cater for special dietary needs.

Eat in Scotland

Driving away from hectic city lifestyles a short drive from Hamilton or Strathaven will bring you to Steayban Restaurant, an informal dining experience that is focused around the food it serves to its customers. Proprietor Steven Sanderson is keen to emphasise his commitment in using the freshest of local ingredients cooked simply. This is good food cooked properly. Everything at Steayban is skilfully prepared in-house, from the bread to petit-fours. Individual service is paramount, if you have any special requests such as unusual seafood or local game the chefs will be more than happy to prepare it in advance.

Since opening in 1998, Steayban has established a strong band of regular customers who ensure that the weekend bookings are taken weeks in advance - a testament to their success.

A weekly Table díHote menu is available along with a regularly changed a la Carte menu. Traditional Sunday Lunch is served weekly. The restaurant may be booked for small functions, an unusual country retreat for a special occasion.

Hamilton Advertiser - Ladies Who Lunch

The weather was delightfully sunny as we approached the village of Glassford, driving the twisting road up from the exit off the A71 outside Stonehouse and this part of Lanarkshire seemed quite picturesque if a little difficult to get to. The restaurant is situated (it would appear) in an extension attached to the Glassford Inn. Sadly no outside seating and no view to speak of as the windows of the long rectangular room looked only onto the car park. However, the decor was very attractive and our waitress (Kate from Dublin) was as warm and bright as the sun outside.

We were seated at a well-appointed table, given menus, then Kate brought our soft drinks order plus a jug of iced water with lemon and lime and a plate of bread with dip. The bread looked and smelled good, but it wasn't until we tasted it that our jaws dropped! The onion and fennel bread was heavenly! The garlic dip was terrific! Did they make the bread themselves? Can we buy some? Not enough available  - then could we have the recipe? Please? Please?

We couldn\'t resist trying the two starters and both were quickly despatched with yet more of the fragrant bread. The tandoori prawns were succulent and spicy, the potato skins and sour cream very tasty, especially if you enjoy the heat of the jalapenos which accompanied them.

Our main courses from a lunch menu with daily specials (there are different menus on-line for evening, Sunday lunch, high tea etc) were grilled salmon with a generous portion of asparagus, a huge Steayban salad (think roast beef, smoked salmon and char-grilled chicken with alshings of mixed salad to accompany) and roast chicken breast with Stornoway black pudding and rumbledethump (on request this traditional potato and cabbage accompaniment was substituted with a delightful roast root vegetable medley).

We should be ashamed of ourselves but after clearing (almost) all our plates and a pause during which the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon ( areal find at £14.95) was revisited by the non-drivers we decided that we might as well try the desserts (simply for the readers\' sake of course) which were free with our mains anyway.

We should have known better, because the standard of cooking remained high and two desserts (panacotta with rhubarb ice cream and berries and chocolate pudding with honeycomb ice cream) were licked clean off their plates and the remains of the third, a huge sticky toffee pudding with a delicious light sauce, went home in a (helpfully offered) doggy bag.

Starters (apart from soup) were around £5-£6, our mains were all £10.95 and had we paid for desserts they would have been £4.90 each - and in our view worth every penny.

Complementary petit fours compensated for less-than-perfect coffee.

We weren\'t surprised then to be told by Kate that the chef/proprieter (her husband) lectures on cooking and has worked at very upmarket restaurant s in Glasgow. She also revealed the origins of the restaurant\'s name but you\'ll need to visit Steayban to find that out - not that you would need an excuse - quite the opposite!

Much as we would like this restaurant to be closer to home, it\'s probably better that it\'s not, given the effect it had on our appetites that day. But we will return with family and friends, for the service was delightful and when you have beautifully presented and delicious food on your plate you really don\'t think about looking out of the windows!

Our scores:

Location 7.5. Ambience 9.5. Menu/Food 9.5. Service 9.5. Value for Money 9.5. Overall score 45.5

And a STAR for food.

Today's tip - Don't make plans for dinner if you\'re having lunch here.