Having dinner at Glenlaurel Inn, especially on weekend nights, is not "just another restaurant" time but a true cultural experience. It's located in the Hocking Hills area and is nestled within its own acres of woodland beauty which includes a golf course recreated to resemble a Scottish golf course from 800 years ago -- for which you will need to use the clubs and balls that date back as well. Be sure and make reservations if you're there for a weekend dinner (if you're staying at the Inn or cottage they will want to know if you plan to eat dinner there as well), and expect to dress the part as weekend guests at a Scottish manner -- men are expected to wear a sports jacket although ties aren't needed. Women can wear slacks, but need to be dressed fancy casual. You don't need to be staying in the 4 rooms at the Inn or in one of their cottages to have dinner there, and you can be part of the social hour 6-7pm downstairs in the pub rooms with free appetizers and a bar if you're dining. A bag piper (dressed in full tartan outfit) travels to the cabins to play the pipes as an announcement to come for the social hour, and then plays again at the pub as a call for dinner. Our Saturday night meal involved first a poem by Robert Burns, read by the Inn's manager, and then a 7-course meal. I was delighted with the name card printed at each table to indicate where you sit -- it had both our names, with the night's date and a short Scottish poem. The backside was the complete menu so we would know what to expect. And to make sense of all the silverware sitting there before us. While a 7-course meal sounds like you'd be overwhelmed with food, the opposite occurred. Several of the courses were small and in a 2' square dish while the soup and main meat course were average size. Everything was delicious! Scottish or Irish-type music played throughout the evening, and lively conversation was at each table. People were seated in their groups with several tables for two. We were seated in the downstairs dining room which was less formal than those upstairs. The windows looked out onto the rich forest outside. Great scotch and wine list, with the bartender recommending the wine for the meal you were having and had it waiting for you at your table. The chef came out to greet all the diners at the end of the meal, and she explained to us menu items don't follow Scottish tradition but rather take advantage of what produce is in season and good with each season, with the fall months having more Scottish fare. Dinner ended at 9pm. Our meal was $59 each, but other nights which don't involve a 7-course meal the price is less. The liquor bill was high, but that was of our own making. To be up in the hills within a true Scottish experience eating a wonderful meal and drinking good wine and scotch was worth every penny. It was a once in a lifetime for us, and reminded us of our travels to Scotland a few years ago. People we met during the social hour were there for an anniversary celebration, birthday party, retirement celebration -- a great place for a special time.
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