Kveldsro Hotel - A Review

by Elizabeth Atia -

Hello! My name is Elizabeth and I have been calling these beautiful, wild and rugged Shetland Islands my home since immigrating from the east coast of Canada in 1999. I have had a lifelong passion for food and two years ago I began writing a food blog over at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary in an attempt to share the wonderful things I discover on my foodie adventures.

I feel very honoured to have been asked, on the basis of my blogging work and enthusiasm for local produce, to become a regular contributor for Promote Shetland's brand new Taste of Shetland website. This now gives me an excuse to find out even more about local produce and share even more.

The first thing I would like to tell you about is our wonderful experience at the Kveldsro Hotel last week. While everyone else was hiding indoors from the relentless January gales battering Shetland, we were busy getting married!

We chose the Kveldsro Hotel, a country home hotel located in a quiet cul de sac in central Lerwick, for our wedding reception based on two things: a) I'd heard on the grapevine that their food was superb (it's all about the food, really!) and b) they advertise a drawing room which can be used exclusively by small parties of up to 16 people. I was delighted to later discover that their decor matched our unusual Steampunk wedding theme. For those who don't know, Steampunk is a science-fiction subculture which combines the modern with the anachronistic. It's all the bits of Victoriana I love, but with a modern sci-fi twist.

Upon our windswept arrival at the Kveldsro (pronounced Kel-dro, old Norse for 'evening peace') we were greeted by the friendly and smartly dressed hotel manager and shown to the drawing room for photographs by the talented Austin Taylor and a champagne reception. Staff were aware beforehand that there were several children in our party so the chef prepared a non-alcoholic fruit punch for them, served in the same style glasses as the champagne. The children felt very grown up and posh!

I'd requested that the chef prepare his own special selection of hors d'oeuvres for our arrival, and he did not disappoint. Plates of salmon sushi, anchovy tranche, black pudding and sage beignets and spiced chicken drumettes were presented to each of the guests. Mini mozzarella and tomato pizzas and fruit skewers were also served and were specially prepared to appeal to the children's tastes. Each dish was exquisite and my father, who travelled all the way from the west coast of Canada for the wedding, is still raving about the beignets!

After an interlude where we were free to sip champagne, explore the gorgeously decorated premises and check in to our rooms with views overlooking the old Lerwick harbour, we had our evening meal. Although the Kveldsro offered to prepare a special menu for the day I thought it would be easier for them (and us) if we selected from their current dinner menu.

We selected a range of starters, all which were beautifully presented and arrived swiftly after ordering. I had a tower of Shetland haggis with mashed neeps and tatties served with a whisky cream sauce (divine!) while my new husband thoroughly enjoyed his starter of the day: gravlax - a Nordic dish of cured Shetland salmon with a mustard and dill sauce.

This dish appealed to my mother-in-law, who travelled from central Norway for the event. She usually flies when she visits Shetland, but this time she took the ferry - in gale force winds! She was a little worse for wear when she arrived in Shetland, but I firmly believe you haven't had the full Shetland experience until you've been on the ferry in a gale! (She'll be flying from now on though.)

Our main meals were also wonderful, but by this time I was full swing into eating, drinking and being merry that I didn't take any photographs. I do recall how tender and succulent my pork main was and I did take a photograph of my dessert - an indulgent white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake. After several weeks of sensible eating so I could fit comfortably into my wedding dress this cheesecake was mouthwateringly heavenly!

The champagne, dinner wines and a magnificent Muscat de Beaumes de Venise dessert wine were all specially selected by my mother-in-law and the hotel was very obliging with ordering some of these in for us, although they do have a very extensive wine list of their own.

Later in the evening the wedding cake was brought out, sliced, along with coffee. Conveniently, the hotel provided the cake stand and knife.

All in all our stay at the hotel was an extremely pleasant one, certainly one to remember in the years to come and it really helped make our wedding day extra special. Staff were very attentive and friendly, the food was absolutely perfect for a wedding feast (our compliments to the chef!) and our rooms were well equipped, clean and comfortable with lovely sea views. I can highly recommend this establishment for a special event if you are looking for something with sophistication and elegance.

Coming up next... special Burn's Night and Up Helly Aa recipe posts!

Posted in: Restaurants