After a stop off at Livingstone Designer Outlet and The Kelpies, we finally reached our destination - Stirling. The sun was beaming down! We enjoyed afternoon tea al fresco at our hotel before making our way up the steep hill to Stirling Castle. I think I actually prefer it to Edinburgh castle as it's a bit easier to navigate and the history is a bit more interesting. It's set up to be quite a fun and interactive experience, plus the view from the top is breathtaking!
It didn't take us long to realise that, other than the castle, there really isn't much else in Stirling. There's loads of shops but I was being kind to my other half and giving them a miss. There is a cinema but it was a beautifully sunny day and we really just wanted to find somewhere nice to sip cocktails in the sun. Turns out Stirling is suffering from a serious cocktail shortage! We nipped in and out of various Wetherspoons-style pubs, filled with locals watching the world cup, before finally giving up and heading for dinner.
Someone on twitter had recommended The Loft so that's where we headed. We had a pretty epic 3 courser which consisted of a tiger prawn cocktail starter for Gordon & the aromatic Asian pulled pork for me. Both were pretty special although I'd say mine was a bit too big for a starter portion, too much noodles - not exactly the worst complaint in the world!
Gordon enjoyed his steak and chips, while I went for, yep, more pulled pork! The hog burger was less a burger and more a big sloppy, juicy mess of succulent, melt in the mouth shredded pork belly. It was complimented by the unusual sweet sauce of apple, cider and tarragon.
We'd successfully struggled through the meat fest and thought we might as well carry on and enjoy dessert too. The chocolate orange cheesecake was a bit rich for me but Gordon loved it. Luckily I'd ordered the peach crumble which was swimming in custard and absolutely delicious.
The Loft was by far the best and most modern restaurant we found in Stirling city during our stay. Turns out they're the only ones serving real cocktails too - we were back the following night for a couple of drinks by the bar. If it sounds your cup of tea you can find The Loft at 3 Friars Street, Stirling.
Do you know of any other decent restaurants in Stirling?