When you expect nothing but the best, think of The Malmaison group of hotels, a collection of centres of excellence, that has firmly established itself throughout Britain. As a concept alone this is exciting, but the reality is brilliant, so that at last there is a hotel group where uniformity of standards is of the same high calibre.
Malmaison and glamour go hand in hand in this stunning converted 19th century Episcopal Church, which forms their presence in Glasgow. According to local history, for much of the 19th century this church was one of Glasgow's most fashionable places to worship; you could say it still is if you worship style, passion and flair!
The bedrooms are all that one would expect from a hotel that has genuine regard for its guests and is concerned with every aspect of their wellbeing. The Big Yin suite is a tribute to one of Glasgow's illustrious citizens, actor and comedian, Billy Connolly. With a tartan roll-top bath in your living room in front of the telly, it's a perfect place to catch up with the soaps! All you need is a few deep-fried Mars Bars for the odd snack.
Ornate wrought iron work on the staircase and the spherical chandelier create a dramatic and unforgettable entrance. In the heart of the city, it has become the place to stay, always alive with guests and locals enjoying the new Champagne Bar and Brasserie in the vaulted basement.
Amidst elegant surroundings, with spotless gleaming glassware and shining cutlery, an essentially brasserie menu is offered, where lovers of seafood will be delighted to note that their particular needs are well heeded, starting with a delightful mussel and saffron chowder or a smoked haddock fishcake.
Head Chef Graham Digweed and his team offer a range of brasserie dishes such as chicken consommé and tarragon dumplings that have always been popular choices, and can be taken here as a starter or a main course. Monkfish with chorizo and butter beans rarely fails to please, and a game terrine is served with homemade pickles and sour dough.
An inspired choice is the beef cheeks bourguignon for those seeking by this time a slightly more carnivorous approach. Which leads us neatly to the - wait for it - Mal burger, a 250 gram burger made from ground beef tucked into a floured bap to join bacon and gruyere, then served with homemade relish and some fries.
Over the years the number of outriders surrounding a good honest steak on the plate has grown to unacceptable dimensions. At Malmaison the thought and care is centred on the 35 day aged rump steak frites and that's it - except for the chips. If you want all the rest go for the side dishes, but steak and chips on its own takes some beating. Vegetarians are well looked after - the pumpkin and gorgonzola filled gnocchi sounded appealing.
Heading the desserts is the sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce, a triumph of timing and co-ordination, supported by other choices amongst which expect to find a chocolate pithivier with clotted cream. Their trio of chocolate and crème brûlée is truly dreamy.
The well travelled wine list is a symphony of its kind, clearly compiled by an enthusiast who knows his wines well enough not to disappear into a world of hyperbole when describing them. This being Scotland there is a meaningful display of single malts.
is a wealth of information that will, I predict, only serve to increase your resolve to make Malmaison your next stop in Glasgow. It is worth noting that you can also make reservations Online on their Website.