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Issue 40 - Uniquely Scottish

Scotland Magazine Issue 40
August 2008

 

This article is 9 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Uniquely Scottish

Gleneagles by Auchterarder, Perthshire Tel: +44 (0)1764 662 231 Arguably the most famous of all Scotland’s hotels, Gleneagles is a five-star international resort famed for its palatial proportions, parkland setting and – perhaps most of all – its golf and cuisine.

In 2005 the leaders of the G8 assembled here and in 2014, the same year Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games, the 50th Ryder Cup will be held on the PGACentenary Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus.

Activities and attractions are almost endless, including three championship golf courses and a golf academy; superb equestrian centre; school of falconry; world-class shooting centre; gundog school; 4x4 off-road driving courses and more. The Club offers two swimming pools, outdoor hot pool, tennis courts, gym, cycle hire and running tracks. The sleek new Spa by ESPA was designed thoughtfully and every aspect of the tranquil space enhances guests’ experiences.

Extensive natural facials, body treatments and massages await.

Explore the crystal steam rooms, tropical showers, chilling ice rubs, saunas and the striking vitality pool.

After all this, enjoy superb wining and dining: Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles is a high-class boutique restaurant holding top accolades; the grand Strathearn Restaurant is a beautiful, pillared, elegant room serving finest Scottish cuisine. Deseo serves bright, informal Mediterranean food. The Bar, inspired by the jazz age, is at the hub of everything.

Glenapp Castle by Ballantrae, Ayrshire Tel” +44 (0)1465 831 212 We couldn’t possibly compile a list of ‘uniquely Scottish hotels’ without including a castle.

Cringletie Country House by Peebles, Peeblesshire Tel: +44 (0)1721 725 750 Country house hotels are a most Scottish experience. Cringletie is a mile out of Peebles in the heart of the Borders yet only 30 minutes’ drive from Edinburgh. Renowned Victorian architect David Bryce designed the house in distinctive Baronial style, all turreted towers and crowstep gables.

In recent years owners Johanna and Jacob van Houdt have invested much. The art-loving owners have sought out Scottish artwork, hung now throughout the house. Top bedroom is the Selkirk Suite: a private, very elegant set-up of sitting room, bedroom and spa bathroom. Every room is very different, each lending a particular character.

The Croquet Lawn Conservatory Bistro provides a lovely light setting for informal yet delicious lunches and much-recommended afternoon teas while the Sutherland Dining Room is one of the best hotel restaurants in Scotland. An ornate ceiling depicts cherubs and angels. Chef Craig Gibb is a coiled spring of talent and enthusiasm.

Canapés are served in the main lounge bar while you order over an aperitif by the fire. Starter and main course signature dishes include cerviche of scallop tart with apple jelly and a pumpkin and apple salad; duo of pork with caramelised apple puree, pomme maxim, anise jus and creamed savoy cabbage. One dessert not to miss is the fabulous deconstructive Jaffa Cake chocolate layered, multi-textured joy on a plate. Marvellous!

3 more ideas for you
Applecross Inn Wester Ross, The Highlands Tel: +44 (0)1520 744 262 Wester Ross is a terrific landscape of stark mountains, sea lochs and twisting roads. It’s grand and beautiful. The highest road in Great Britain twists up a pass and down to the tranquil Applecross village where Judith Fish and her team await with informal good cheer and awardwinning food centred on the superb local seafood. Relax by the open fire and meet fellow travellers who’ve made it this far Le Monde Edinburgh Tel: +44 (0)131 270 3900 This boutique hotel is in elegant George Street in the city’s truly unique New Town. St Andrew Square is a few paces away and has just opened as a stylish city oasis with reflective pool and open air café.

Bedrooms are designed after world cities such as Sydney, LA, Marrakesh and Dublin. This year much more emphasis has been put on food with the Paris restaurant bar – decadently fun – offering an excellent new menu The Ceilidh Place Ullapool, Ross-shire Tel: +44 (0)1854 612 103 Even among Scotland’s hotels, the famous Ceilidh Place stands alone.

There’s nothing quite like it.

In the pretty Highland settlement of Ullapool amidst grand scenery a row of cottages and an old boatshed somehow got joined up by the Urquhart family over many years and became a hotel / inn, arts centre, bookshop, snug bar, performing space and a musical, environmental and political point of focus