Scottish Recipes – Cranachan – Commonwealth Games 2014

By | Jul 29, 2014

It is so lovely to see so many positive comments about Scottish hospitality and food during this year’s Commonwealth Games. We decided to share a few recipes this week for those of you who were unable to join us this year but would like to try some of our dishes, treats and desserts at home.

Cranachan Recipe (serves 4)

• 60g of oats
• 300g of fresh raspberries, plus more to decorate

• 300ml of double cream
• 6 tablespoons of honey, melted and cooled
• 6 tablespoons of whisky

1. Dry-toast the oats in a frying pan over a medium heat. They are ready when the flakes are just browned and smell toasted, but should not be dark. Leave to cool.

2. In a bowl, lightly crush half the raspberries. Fold in the remaining whole raspberries and crush lightly – there should still be large whole pieces.

3. In another bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of honey with 3 tablespoons of whisky.

4. In another bowl, mix the cream and the rest of the honey and whisky. Whip until the cream thickens but is still soft.

5. To assemble the dessert, add some of the raspberry mixture, then a sprinkling of oats and then some of the cream mixture. Add two more layers in the same order (raspberries, oats, cream, raspberries, oats, cream). Top with a few whole raspberries, and drizzle with the honey-whisky mixture. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

Lady Claire Macdonald’s new cookery books

By | Jul 27, 2014

Renowned best-selling author Lady Claire Macdonald of Kinloch Lodge Hotel in the Isle of Skye has recently published two new cookery books: The Scottish Salmon Bible and The Scottish Food Bible, both illustrated by Edinburgh born Bob Dewar.

The two pocket-sized books are exciting additions to every food lover’s library, they are a celebration of Scottish produce and have unique recipes exploring some of Scotland’s most versatile ingredients.

We all know that Salmon has many health benefits but not all of us know how versatile Salmon can be and how best to cook it. The recipes found in The Scottish Salmon Bible  show a number of ways to create special dishes using creative ingredient combinations. Whether you like Salmon warm, cold, smoked, cured, raw or any other way, you will find a few options that will both amaze and delight family and guests.

Scotland attracts so many international visitors and our natural larder is appreciated all over the world. The Scottish Food Bible is a collection of very creative and exciting recipes using many of our best and most well known ingredients. From whisky and Scottish game to oats. The recipes cover starters, mains, desserts as well as side dishes, dressings and treats. This is the perfect item to take home after visiting Scotland or to gift someone who would like to take Scottish cuisine to a new level.

Both books can be found at Kinloch Lodge Hotel and they can be bought online on Birlinn‘s website and Amazon as well.

About Claire:

Claire Macdonald is the author of almost twenty best-selling cookery books, including Seasonal Cooking, The Harrods Book of Entertaining, The Claire Macdonald Cookbook and Entertaining Solo. She is Patron of Scottish Food Fortnight and The Association of Scottish Farmers’ Markets. In recognition of her contribution to Scottish food Claire was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.

 

Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014, the opening ceremony

By | Jul 24, 2014

The Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 is now open!

The opening ceremony took place last night and generated a lot of social media engagement via Twitter. Despite a number of negative tweets the overall feeling amongst all was that the ceremony was a great representation of Scotland’s culture and humour. The ceremony was not extravagant, it was tongue in cheek and it also expressed Scotland’s generosity with its unique fundraising initiative generating £2.5m for children’s charity Unicef.

For the people of Scotland it expressed what is both liked and disliked about the country’s image, it acknowledge what Scotland is known for and also what locals love most about Scotland. It was a great celebration of Scotland’s diversity and internationalism. The invited artists showcased some of Scotland’s best talents, with artists such as Scottish Classical violinist Nicola Benedetti, Scottish folk singer Julie Fowlis who sings primarily in Scottish Gaelic and world famous Susan Boyle.

Some of the most popular highlights were the Scottish terrier dogs (every nation was led into the opening ceremony by a Scottish Terrier), the Red Arrows, Sir Chris Hoy and James McAvoy are on stage as well as Billy Connolly‘s touching message on Nelson Mandela.

It’s an exciting time for Glasgow and a wonderfully exciting year for Scotland. Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels are very busy this season! May the fun begin!

If you would like more information on the Commonwealth Games 2014 please visit: http://www.glasgow2014.com

If you are looking for accommodation during or after the games, visit our website to learn about some of the best luxury hotels in the country.

 

From Gorge Scrambling to Gundog Training, Get Outdoors in Scotland

By | Jul 16, 2014

A strikingly beautiful country filled with a rich sporting history and an abundance of natural resources to explore, Scotland lends itself to outdoor adventures of all types. What better way to celebrate what Visit Scotland, the official tourism office for the country, has coined the “Year of Homecoming” than to get out and experience some of Scotland’s most unique, exhilarating and historic outdoor activities? Whether travelers are looking for relaxed pursuits like golf and road biking or the all-out adrenaline rush that comes with gorge scrambling and off-road driving, Connoisseurs Scotland properties offer a pursuit to fit any guest’s passion.

Located in the Scottish Highlands at the foot of Liathach Mountain and the shores of Upper Loch Torridon, The Torridon hotel is a natural fit for travelers seeking unique outdoor adventures on both water and land. Gorge scrambling—unquestionably one of the most thrilling adventures offered at The Torridon—is a uniquely British pursuit that involves traveling through a steep sided gorge, following the course of the river or lake by various ways and means. This can involve sliding or swimming down rapids, floating down fast-flowing chutes and waves, climbing beside waterfalls and, of course, jumping off adrenalin-pumping ledges into deep pools. A trained gorge guide outfits guests with buoyancy aids, wetsuits, wet socks and helmets. Full- and half- day excursions are available for adults and children over the age of 10.

Opportunities to try traditional Scottish “country pursuits” abound at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire. Hunting enthusiasts and dog lovers alike will want to experience Gleneagles’ Gundog School, the first of its kind in the world. Working with the school’s own Labrador retrievers, guests learn how to handle a trained gundog, beginning with basic obedience and simple retrieves. The more advanced “fieldcraft lessons” teach guests to handle a dog over a rustic agility course, with “pheasant flushes,” “rising duck” and “rabbit retrieves” over rustic obstacles and in water. This unique school takes its inspiration from Scotland’s great sporting heritage, where Labradors, spaniels and other breeds have, for many centuries, accompanied sportsmen and women in the field. A variety of packages and lessons is available.

Exploring the wild beauty of the picturesque Southwestern region of Scotland should be at the top of the list for guests at Knockinaam Lodge in Dumfries & Galloway. This region, famed for its stunning landscapes and rugged coastline, lends itself to walking and hiking. More than 1,300 miles of marked trails take visitors along coastal and forest trails, through open moorland or in and around towns. Nearby Galloway Forest Park encapsulates 24 named peaks above 2,000 feet, with ranges such as the Rhins of Kells, the Minnigaff Hills, the Awful Hand and the Dungeon Hills. The Merrick, rising up above Loch Trool, is Dumfries & Galloway’s highest peak at 2,765 feet, and forms the “forefingers” of the Awful Hand range. On a clear day, views from the top of the Merrick include some Highland ranges, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Lake District.  Other outdoor activities available at Knockinaam Lodge include clay pigeon shooting, fishing and golf.

Connoisseurs Scotland’s collection of 28 luxury accommodations includes city-center properties; country house hotels; exclusive-use properties; Scotland’s only destination health spa, Stobo Castle; the ultimate luxury train, The Royal Scotsman; and the only cruise ship in the world with a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen, The Hebridean Princess. Seven of the members boast Michelin-starred restaurants, including the only two-starred restaurant in Scotland, which is found at Gleneagles.

The Trump Organization will invest £1million on the Legendary Turnberry Resort in Scotland

By | Jul 7, 2014

The Trump Organization is pleased to announce that its transaction to purchase the legendary and iconic Turnberry Golf Resort in Scotland closed today at 2pm EST. Mr. Trump traveled to Turnberry on July 2nd to host a major press conference concerning his plans for the resort. Turnberry has already been the home of four of the greatest Open Championships of all time, including the 1977 Duel in the Sun where Tom Watson won over Jack Nicklaus. The name of the resort will be changed to Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland.  Donald J. Trump is one of the foremost real estate developers in the world.  Trump Turnberry will be solely owned and managed by The Trump Organization. The hotel will be included in The Luxury Collection brand as part of a franchise agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

“I am honored to own and manage this magnificent property, perhaps the most exciting property there is. We will be spending a great deal of time, effort and money to make it the finest resort of its kind anywhere in the world. I would like to thank Starwood Hotels & Resorts for working with us, in the best interest of property, to bring about this historic acquisition. I would also like to thank all representatives in South Ayrshire for their support and wonderful statements to the media,” stated Donald J. Trump, Chairman & President of The Trump Organization.

A minimum of 100 million pounds sterling will be spent to make the current Turnberry Hotel one of the greatest and most luxurious hotels anywhere in the world. Additionally, upon the recommendation of the R&A, Mr. Trump has retained the services of the highly respected golf architect, Martin Ebert, of the firm of Mackenzie & Ebert. Mr. Ebert attended the press conference on July 2nd.

Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels Offer Award-Winning Culinary Experiences

By | Jun 30, 2014

Hear the words “Scottish cuisine,” and the stereotypical offerings of haggis and oats might come to mind. But that was in previous centuries; today Scotland is a land of memorable dining experiences crafted by talented chefs who use the bounty of the local lands and waters in all they create. Scotland boasts its fair share of Michelin-starred restaurants, seven of which are located at members of the Connoisseurs Scotland family of luxury hotels. In short, great dining is just one more reason guests visit these properties … and keep coming back. This year, as VisitScotland celebrates the “Year of Homecoming,” is a perfect time to either start or continue a tradition of exploring all that Scotland offers … including phenomenal meals.

The culinary news from Knockinaam Lodge isn’t “new” at all … it’s been two decades in the making, in fact. Chef Tony Pierce is currently celebrating his 20th anniversary at the property, a small country house hotel located in Dumfries and Galloway in South West Scotland. This year marks the Lodge’s 23rd with a Michelin star – the longest running star in all of Scotland. Pierce, who fell into the restaurant industry when a friend asked him along to a career day at their local university, worked at three other Michelin star restaurants before bringing his culinary gifts to Knockinaam. The Lodge believes that it’s never too early to learn how to appreciate a great meal and, in that spirit, welcomes children. The culinary team is happy to arrange family dining for guests ages 8 and older at a special early seating; alternatively, guests 12 and under can partake in high tea while their parents enjoy a meal on their own.

In Edinburgh, the Connoisseurs Scotland property billed as a “restaurant with rooms,” 21212, has some news of its own. Award-winning chef Paul Kitching, who leads a culinary team of seven working in an open kitchen in the 38-seat restaurant, was recently named an official “food and drink ambassador” for Scotland. In this role, he’s part of a national campaign aimed at showcasing the country’s culinary contributions to the world’s food scene. The restaurant is named “21212” because when it opened in 2009, it featured a five-course gourmet menu that offered two starter choices, one soup, two entrée options, one cheese course and two dessert selections. Now during dinner service there’s a choice of three starters, entrées and desserts … but the restaurant confirms that the name isn’t changing to “31313” anytime soon. The lunch menu will continue to follow the “21212” formula, and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings dinner guests can choose three, four or five courses; on weekends dinner will continue to be five courses.

At Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, the favorite number is two – which is the quantity of Michelin stars that chef Andrew Fairlie’s eponymous restaurant has earned, making the establishment the only dining venue in Scotland to bear that distinction. A new development at this restaurant is the acquisition of a magnificent Victorian walled garden that includes its original glasshouses and several mature fruit trees. The garden will provide 155 varieties of herbs, edible flowers, micro-cresses, specialty leaves, heritage vegetables, and an array of fruits and berries for Fairlie and his team. The (literal) fruits of this labor are just now ready for guests to sample, making it the perfect time to book the resort’s “Michelin Star Magic” package, which includes a complimentary room upgrade (subject to terms and availability), full use of The Club facilities, a complimentary glass of champagne at the start of dinner, the six-course “du Marche” tasting menu at Fairlie’s restaurant, and the legendary Gleneagles breakfast the following morning. This package is available year-round; from now through September 19, rates start at £505 per room per night.

What are you waiting for? Experience the best Connoisseurs Scotland hotels have to offer!

 

Connoisseurs Scotland Member Hotels Are Memorable Wedding Venues

By | Jun 24, 2014

   Scottish wedding traditions such as bagpipe music, tartan clothing, kilts and Celtic rings have become popular additions to wedding ceremonies all over the world. As Visit Scotland celebrates the “Year of Homecoming,” it’s an ideal time for couples wishing to visit the birthplace of these traditions and incorporate authentic versions into their celebrations should consider Scotland as a wedding destination. Famed for its unspoiled beauty, distinctive culture and warm hospitality, Scotland is also the ideal romantic destination in which to tie the knot. From small, countryside inns to luxurious, historic manor houses, Connoisseurs Scotland offers an array of perfect locales for that special day. All properties can be booked for exclusive use, making it a true getaway for the whole wedding party.

    Intimate country-house weddings are the specialty at the quaint Airds Hotel, located in the Scottish Highlands in Port Appin. The small hotel, once a ferry inn, has just 11 guest rooms and a private, two-bedroom cottage, making it ideal for the most personal of wedding celebrations. The Airds’ award-winning cuisine (the restaurant has earned three AA Rosettes and a Gold Award with Eat Scotland) featuring fresh local seafood and produce is modern and beautifully presented, earning it an international reputation as one of the best restaurants in Scotland. Staff at the Airds can help arrange every detail of the big day, a relief for couples doing their planning from abroad. The Airds allows for exclusive use of the property for “larger” weddings—up to 38 guests—and smaller events— eight guests or fewer—can be held without exclusive use of the hotel.

    An authentic Scottish seaside wedding at the Crinan Hotel, set at the end of the famous Crinan Canal, offers a breathtaking setting with views of the islands of Jura, Scarba and Mull. The family-owned and run hotel, which features 20 double bedrooms, is just minutes away from a quaint church for couples who wish to be wed in one, or the ceremony can be performed in the hotel garden. The friendly staff at the Crinan is at the ready to help organize dancers, harpists, singers, bagpipers or a Ceilidh band—all elements of a traditional Scottish wedding. After the ceremony, the happy couple and their guests can embark on a boat trip to look for wildlife and visit the imposing Corryvreckan, the third largest whirlpool in the world. The Crinan can be booked for exclusive use for events with up to 40 guests.

    Couples seeking the romance of the Scottish countryside may wish to get married at the luxurious Greywalls Hotel, located at the edge of the Muirfield championship golf course, close to Edinburgh. This Edwardian home, built in 1901, retains the charm and character for which it was renowned and creates an impressive backdrop for celebrations. The spectacular walled garden makes a lovely setting for a ceremony or simply for photos. Golf enthusiasts will love that there are 10 golf courses located within five miles of the hotel; the staff at Greywalls can even help to arrange Mini-Highland Games in the garden. Chex Roux, the restaurant at Greywalls, was named 2011 Restaurant of the Year by the Scottish Hotel Awards and offers upscale catering menus. Exclusive use of Greywalls is available for up to 50 guests.

    Connoisseurs Scotland’s collection of 28 luxury accommodations also includes city-center properties; country house hotels; exclusive-use properties; Scotland’s only destination health spa, Stobo Castle; the ultimate luxury train, The Royal Scotsman; and the only cruise ship in the world with a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen, The Hebridean Princess. Seven of the members boast Michelin-starred restaurants, including the only two-starred restaurant in Scotland, which is found at Gleneagles.

    Information on Connoisseurs Scotland, its member resorts, partners and special offers can be found at www.luxuryscotland.co.uk. In addition travelers can download the Luxury Scotland app, which provides news and offers from members, onto their iPhones or Androids. 

Gleneagles Hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary

By | Jun 6, 2014

Today is a very special day for us. Gleneagles Hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary!

The hotel was open on the 6th of June 1924, after Donald Matheson, general manager of the former Caledonian Railway Company spent 14 years working on his vision of creating a large country house hotel which would provide leisure and golf facilities to those traveling around and through Scotland. At the time of opening the hotel was described as ‘a Riviera in the Highlands’ and ‘the eighth wonder of the world‘.

Today, Gleneagles is owned by Diageo plc, custodians of iconic brands such as Johnnie Walker, Guinness, and Tanqueray gin and is considered by industry peers, the general public and the Media as one of the best resorts in the world.

Gleneagles had an important part in establishing Connoisseurs Scotland. In July 1994 it was one of the seven guarantors and members to create Connoisseurs Scotland, our relationship has been a long and fruitful one all these years.

In celebration to its 90th anniversary, some of Gleneagles’ staff channeled the glamour of the Roaring Twenties in a fun photoshoot. The result were the beautiful images below, as you can see, elegance is timeless.

They also gathered photographs and memorabilia shared by guests who have stayed at Gleneagles in the past, some recently, others many years ago. Ask the staff to see some of this when you visit the resort next.

Congratulations Gleneagles for bringing so much joy to so many people for the last 90 years and for thank you for your support from the very beginning.

Happy 5th anniversary to 21212 Restaurant With Rooms in Edinburgh

By | May 20, 2014

Today Paul Kitching’s 21212 Restaurant with rooms celebrate their second anniversary.

The restaurant was opened two years ago and has experienced tremendous success since then, including a Michelin Star in 2010 (which makes them one of only five Michelin star restaurants in Edinburgh and the only one with rooms), four AA rosettes and been named Catering in Scotland’s Restaurant of the Year. Paul was also awarded the Prince Philip medal for services to the catering industry. So many achievements in five years.

21212 has four, beautifully appointed, bedrooms, all very large and each with a dedicated lounge area. It offers a unique experience to Edinburgh visitors, outstanding food as well and gorgeous accommodation.

Well done Paul, Katie and team for the fantastic work you have done so far and for what is yet to come!

World Whisky Day 2014

By | May 17, 2014

 

Whisky is liquid sunshine.”
― George Bernard Shaw

Today is World Whisky Day. The event was created by Blair Bowman, a 21 years old University of Aberdeen student in 2012, it is expected that 200,000 people fro forty different countries will take part of the celebrations today.

A number of Connoisseurs Scotland properties have prepared special offers and events to celebrate this date, keep an eye on your Twitter, facebook and Google+ newsfeed for many posts, images and messages celebrating one of Scotland’s most successful and fascinating products.

RAF Leuchars Final Farewell in St Andrews

By | May 10, 2014

 

The final farewell parade from RAF Leuchars took place in St Andrews today. It was a very emotional day to many who attended, guests staying at The Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa had the chance to see a historic event,  a celebration of 100 years of historic ties to the area of Fife.

With their ‘bayonets fixed, colours flying and bands playing’, over 250 Royal Air Force personnel marched through cheering crowds as a Typhoon aircraft from Number 6 Squadron delivered a thundering salute from the air.

Air Officer Scotland and Station Commander RAF Leuchars, Air Commodore Gerry Mayhew said:

“It was a tremendous honour to exercise our Freedom of St Andrews for the last time today in front of such a large audience. The support shown to the Station by the people of Fife and Tayside, in recent times and throughout our long history, has been truly humbling. I speak for all Royal Air Force Leuchars personnel, past and present, when I say we are profoundly grateful to the community we have been proud to serve, and proud to call home, for nearly a century.”

Provost of Fife, Councillor Jim Leishman, who gave a poignant address to the personnel on parade, said:

“I speak for all Fifers when I say we have been very proud to support the RAF at Leuchars. Today has been a real celebration of a long history in Fife and I’m extremely honoured to have played a part in the final parade. I’d like to wish all RAF personnel the very best for the future, whether they are remaining in Fife, or moving on to new challenges.”

One period in history ends, a new one begins!

Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels awarded at the Scottish Hotel Awards 2014

By | May 1, 2014

On the 27th of April 2014 the Scottish Hotel Awards took place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh.

Congratulations to the nominated Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels for the awards received!

The top awards went to Cromlix (awarded Hotel of the year 2014 and luxury hotel of  the year), Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa (awarded Business Hotel of the year and Service Excellence Hotel of the Year) and The Glasshouse Hotel (awarded Style Hotel of the year).

Members of staff from different Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels were also awarded, we were delighted to see their hard work recognised! Well done to all!

 

An icon is born: Scotland’s new outdoor sculpture, The Kelpies

By | Apr 20, 2014

The Kelpies tower a colossal 30 metres sculpture above the Forth & Clyde canal is a source of amazement and delight to locals and visitors to Scotland.

Each of The Kelpies weighs over 300 tonnes. The materials of the sculptures are deliberately those of Scotland’s former industrial heartland, steel construction on an architectural scale. This stainless steel skin reflects the light of the day, and the night, and makes for an amazing sight in all weather.

Horses are the embodiment of the industrial history of Scotland and the Falkirk / Grangemouth area.  Heavy horses would once have been the powerhouse of the area, working in the foundries, the fields, farms and of course the canal itself, pulling boats along the Forth & Clyde from coast to coast.

The sculptures are a testament to the achievements of the past, a paean to artisanship and engineering and a declaration of intent for the future of Scotland.

If you have not had the chance to see them, you must go, they are truly magnificent and pictures do not do them justice!

 

Owner of The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa has received the Lifetime Achievement Award

By | Apr 6, 2014

 

Stewart Spence started his career in hospitality more than 50 years ago with a job as a trainee chef at the Station Hotel. He has been a respected member of the industry, responsible for the creation of one of the most loved and successful hotels in Scotland: The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa in Aberdeen which will close later this year following his retirement.

Last week, he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards for his contribution to the tourism industry. The award is richly deserved.

We have been working with Mr Spence and The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa for many years now and are so proud to have the property as a member. The Marcliffe Hotel will be missed when it closes, it has brought so much joy to so many all these years, we thank Mr Spence, his family and team for giving us all the opportunity to enjoy this outstanding property and experience such high quality of service.

The award reflects a lifetime devoted to hospitality and is a small token of appreciation considering all that Mr Spence brought to the area and to the industry.

Well done Stewart Spence, we could not be happier for you.

 

Tennents Whisky Beer Joined Connoisseurs Scotland

By | Mar 26, 2014

 

We are delighted to announce that Connoisseurs Scotland has a new member: Tennents Whisky Beer. This high-end product developed by Tennent Caledonian at the Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow is produced using whisky-flavoured woodchips.

The product targets a discerning audience and is a celebration of over 125 years of history and heritage.

Watch the video “The making of a legend” to learn more about this very special product and keep an eye on our newsfeed for more news ahead! http://ow.ly/uHZJD

 

The Glasshouse Hotel has been awarded five star status by Visit Scotland

By | Mar 20, 2014

 

The Glasshouse has been awarded their Visit Scotland 5 star status again for 2014, in recognition of an exceptional standard of facilities and services.

Well done to the team behind this outstanding hotel located in the heart of Edinburgh and right next to the Playhouse theatre. The property has Edinburgh’s only rooftop garden offering unparalleled views over the City and is one of the most popular venues for weddings in the capital.

If you haven’t been to the Glasshouse recently, drop by to see the result of their work and celebrate their achievement!

 

Cromlix opens on April 1st 2014

By | Mar 4, 2014

We are very excited about Cromlix‘s opening on April 1st 2014. The property owned by tennis player Andy Murray is managed by Inverlochy Castle Management International and is one of the most anticipated luxury hotel opening of the year.

The property which is already fully booked for the Ryder cup, has gone through a £2 million makeover last year and is expected to bring a lot of international tourists to the area.

It has 10-bedrooms and five suites, each of which will be named after famous Scots such as Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, Robert Burns, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Chris Hoy.

Several of the suites will feature hand-painted freestanding gold, silver and copper baths and the rooms’ 32in televisions screens are disguised as mirrors.

We are proud to have Cromlix as a member of Connoisseurs Scotland and can’t wait to see the results of the renovation when it opens.

 

Exciting news for Kinloch Lodge Hotel: New Torabhaig whisky distillery will open in the Isle of Skye

By | Feb 25, 2014

 

A new malt distillery is going to open in the Isle of Skye. Only the second in the Island!

Construction work is supposed to begin this summer, with whisky set to be produced by the end of 2015.

Now Kinloch Lodge Hotel guests will have yet another reason to visit the area, news about the new distillery has caused great excitement in the food & drinks industry considering this is a traditional distillery that will greatly benefit the area.

There could not be a better time for the project, there has been a 60% increase in whisky exports since 2000, the whisky industry has never grown faster.

We look forward to visiting the distillery when it’s open!

Whisky Month embraced by Connoisseurs Scotland members

By | Feb 16, 2014

This May, Connoisseurs Scotland properties will toast Scotland’s national drink in a month-long, countrywide celebration deemed “Whisky Month.” As part of this initiative of Visit Scotland’s “Homecoming Scotland 2014,” hundreds of events will be held across the country; Connoisseurs Scotland members will proudly showcase their unique whisky offerings as well as their luxury accommodations.

Kicking off the celebration a few days early, The Royal Scotsman train is offering a five-day, four-night Classic Whisky Journey that departs on April 28. In association with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the United Kingdom’s only luxury sleeper train will take 36 guests on a Scotch whisky adventure across Scotland. Roundtrip from Edinburgh Waverly Station, passengers will experience private distillery tours and whisky tastings at both Glen Ord and Tullibardine distilleries. They’ll also visit Glenlivet Distillery, home of the iconic malt that inspired the Speyside region (home to the most distilleries in the country). A special component of this trip is entry to the vaults at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Leith. Rates for this journey start at $6,530 per person.

Whisky aficionados around the globe flock to the Road Hole Bar at The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews. Boasting a selection of more than 300 whiskies representing every operational distillery in Scotland, the hotel even has its own label malt, “The Old Course Malt Tullibardine Oak Aged.” Bordering the 17th “Road Hole” of the world’s most famous golf course, the 144-bedroom luxury resort also features a tasting room, which plays host to private whisky tastings. As a special touch in the evenings, “whisky turndown” service is available, with a miniature Old Course Hotel whisky, shortbread and chocolate.

Not only does  Cameron House on Loch Lomond feature a whisky bar, the Great Scots Bar, but the luxury property also boasts its own whisky ambassador, whose sole job it is to raise appreciation for the malt. The bar has a selection of more than 270 whiskies, including 17 limited editions and one made especially for Cameron House. For a personal touch, visitors may purchase a “whisky locker” at Cameron House, customized with their name. A key to the locker will await guests at check-in so their preferred whisky can be enjoyed as they settle in to their accommodations. Several of the luxury suites at Cameron House are themed after particular Scottish malt whiskies, each bearing the name of a whisky as well as artwork associated with the malt.

 Boath House, located in the heart of the Malt Whisky Trail, offers easy access to a selection of some of

the finest whisky-producing distilleries in the world. More than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries are located throughout the picturesque Speyside region, making Boath House a central luxury accommodation for visitors. In addition to 20 acres of gardens and Michelin-star dining, the mansion features an intimate area in the library where overnight guests are invited to sample a selection of fine and rare malt whiskies. Boath House and two other Connoisseurs Scotland properties – Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux and The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa – are located within an easy drive of Glenmorangie Distillery, which offers tours as well as private tastings with an expert guide.

One of the best – and safest – ways to enjoy a whisky adventure in Scotland is via chauffeur-driven car. With a fleet of the latest luxury vehicles driven by full-time, experienced chauffeurs, Connoisseurs Scotland partner  Little’s Chauffeur Drive offers a whisky tour itinerary that covers the five main regions renowned for whisky-making: the Highlands, Speyside, the Lowlands, Islay and Campbeltown. A personal chauffeur will handle all the driving, leaving guests free to indulge and sample the very best that Scotland has to offer. Little’s can also assist in making hotel reservations and other details during the planning stages of a trip to the country.

The Hebrides: No 3 favourite UK travel destination amongst travel journalists

By | Jan 24, 2014

A holiday agency has conducted the biggest ever survey of the UK’s travel journalists to find their favourite cities, countries, beach resorts and airlines. The result did not surprise us!

The Hebrides was listed No 3 favourite UK travel destination and if the cities were removed, the Hebrides would be the favourite!

With white sand beaches, rugged moors and jagged peaks, the Hebrides are indeed very special, not only for its scenery but also for its friendly people and rich history.

If you haven’t had the chance to see the BBC documentary series Hebrides: Islands on the Edge we recommend you to watch it to see a little bit of the Islands’ varied wildlife and natural beauty. It’s an inspiring location for photographers and fine artists who come from all over the world to capture the best the Islands have to offer.

If you’re a book lover the annual Hebridean Book Festival, the Faclan is a must. The festival brings together readers and world-class authors in an inspiring Hebridean setting.

 

Social Hour at The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh

By | Jan 6, 2014

The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh has launched an interesting new campaign to attract wine, beer and gin lovers visiting the capital.

The campaign is called “Social Hour” and offers guests a selection of award-winning wines, premium beers such as St. Mungo’s from WEST Brewery in Glasgow and Innis & Gunn beers which feature a variety of finishes and a range of Scottish gins including Caoruun, Hendrick’s, The Botanist and Darnley’s View.

It’s a great opportunity for enjoy the lively and cosmopolitan atmosphere of One Square whilst trying a few special drinks, a number of them produced in Scotland.

Sheraton Social Hour tastings take place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 6pm and 8pm.

 

Things to do in Edinburgh during the Festive season

By | Dec 1, 2013

Edinburgh is a magical city all year-round, bustling with life no matter the weather. During winter the city offers a number of activities and experiences for locals and visitors to enjoy.

Some of our recommendations:

- Have a look at the canal when it freezes over, it’s a stunning sight and great opportunity for some quality photos.

- Enjoy drinking mulled wine and the festive atmosphere of Edinburgh’s Christimas market.

- Visit Inverleith Park and the old town for some pretty special pictures of Edinburgh’s blue skies during winter.

- Go to the ballet.

- Take the opportunity to spend a whole evening at one of Edinburgh’s Michelin-starred restaurants, there is nothing like a memorable dining experience when it’s cold outside.

- Go to the shops not to shop but to enjoy the buzz and check what the designer shops have prepared for the festive season. Some of the stores are look gorgeous this time of the year.

- Visit the National Museum of Scotland, The Scottish National Gallery and the Open Gallery to learn more about Scotland’s artistic heritage: Past and present.

And above all, enjoy Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels and the events and activities they have prepared for you during winter!

 

Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels receive all recognition

By | Nov 12, 2013

We always get excited when Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels are recognised by the industry through awards. The last few months have been very important because a number of Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels have received some of the top awards in the industry. Amongst their competition were some of the very best hotels in the UK and in some cases, the world.

As well as awards, Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels have been in the list of recommended hotels by a number of well-known international publications as well. More and more both the Industry and Media professionals are recognising Scotland as an important international destination and luxury hotels in Scotland as examples of quality in high end hospitality.

To mention a few:

One of the latest awards was received by Inverlochy Castle Hotel at the Annual Condé Nast Johansens Award for Excellence. Inverlochy Castle has been awarded Best Destination Hotel, along renowned luxury hotels such as Coworth Park a member of the Dorchester Collection and Limewood Hotel, both in England.

Stobo Castle Health Spa has been awarded ‘Readers’ spa of the year: Scotland’ by The Good Spa Guide, competing with the best spas in Scotland such as The Carrick Spa at Cameron House Hotel, The Spa at Turnberry Resort and Kohler Waters Spa at The Old Course Hotel. They were also amongst the nominated to the national award competing with renowned luxury hotels such as Armathwaite Hall in Cumbria and Lucknam Park Hotel in Wiltshire.

Gleneagles Hotel has received enormous amount of recognition this year. ‘Best Golf Resort in the World’ at the prestigious 2013 Daily Telegraph Ultra Travel Awards for the second year running, Best UK Luxury Resort Spa at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2013, Best of the Best Family Programme at Virtuoso 2013 which took place in the USA, Best British Fixer at the Conde Nast Traveller Spa Awards 2013, amongst others.

Kinloch Lodge has deservedly received enormous attention from both the industry and the Media, featured by the Sunday Times as one of Britain’s best remote hotels, number 1 of The Independent‘s 10 Best Autumn activity breaks, recommended by The Guardian as one of their Top 10 hotel restaurants in the UK and by The Telegraph, it also retained its Michelin star and Brazilian chef Marcello Tully has been invited to do wonderful charity work overseas which was also covered by The Herald Scotland.

The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa was awarded Scotland’s Leading Hotel in the World Travel Awards 2013. The Atholl in Edinburgh was in Conde Nast’s HOT LIST 2013, as one of the best in the world, amongst some of the most luxurious venues in the planet. The Torridon Hotel was nominated Hotel of the Year at the respected Cateys Award 2013, again, competing with two fantastic English venues: Gravetye Manor in Sussex and The Pig in Hampshire.

The Airds Hotel and Restaurant was awarded three new AArosettes this year as well and as if all this recognition wasn´t enough, as many of you know, Lonely Planet has listed Scotland as the 3rd best country to visit and Edinburgh Castle was awarded top UK Heritage Attraction for the second year in a row, at the British Travel Awards 2013.

Well done to all hotels and staff, we look forward to even more celebrations and recognition to the hotels next year.

Homecoming Scotland 2014: Celebrating Scottish Ancentry

By | Nov 6, 2013

Although around 5 million people live in Scotland, it is estimated that over 50 million people all over the world can claim Scottish ancestry. 19% of ancestral tourists in Scotland come from the US, 15% come from Canada and 13% come from Australia, we welcome a large number of visitors to Scotland who have a strong connection to Scottish culture and heritage.

Luxury Scotland has once again partnered with Visit Scotland in a global celebration of Scotland’s heritage and ancestry. Homecoming Scotland 2014 is the ideal opportunity for people from all over the world to learn about their family roots. Genealogy activities will play a big part in tourist expenditure, local hotels, businesses and travel operators must be ready to inform visitors.

In 2014 Scotland will also be the host of two important international sporting events – the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup. Special events celebrating all things Scottish will take place all over Scotland, from food and drink festivals to art exhibitions and walks. Once again we are preparing ourselves not only to a great boost in the country’s economy but a significant positive impact in the local economy as well.If 2013 has been a positive one so far, 2014 will be even better!

Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels will be welcoming tourists all over the world preparing unique activities and packages to encourage visitors to explore the best of Scotland whilst learning more about their ancestors and family’s history.

If Scotland runs through your veins, this is the time for you to make special plans to return to your ancestral home and enrich your life with knowledge and experiences to pass on to generations to come.

Visit our website to see some of the special itineraries we have created for visitors to experience the best of Scotland according to their interests.

We look forward to seeing you all!

This is My Luxury Scotland

By | Jul 22, 2013

Antique Bath - Pool House Hotel, Poolewe

 

We often write about current themes, events and unique experiences one can have in Scotland. But we don’t always share with you our very own personal experiences as regular guests traveling around Scotland.

Every so often one of us working behind the scenes of Connoisseurs Scotland will open the book of our personal experiences and share with you a little chapter. To help you weave  a tartan of imagery and feelings brought by this beautiful country we live in and the wonderful places available for us all to visit.

My Luxury Scotland begins at One Devonshire Gardens Hotel in Glasgow, at the Balfour room with memories of a special Christmas lunch almost one month before Christmas. Staff were like no other, bringing a Christmas tree to the bedroom and preparing a Christmas menu so I could celebrate it before spending Christmas overseas. The journey then develops into a sunny day and a beautiful scenic drive from Glasgow to Inverness via Loch Ness, arriving at Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux to have spa treatments in my bedroom followed by a relaxing bath in an outdoor private jacuzzi, ending with  my first encounter with Chef Albert Roux’s Souffle Suisesse: Still my favourite dish of all times.

My Luxury Scotland is a mid-week break at the Boath House during Spring, listening to the owner herself and staff preparing the breakfast table in a bright private sitting room just outside the room and leaving a stunning breakfast ready to be enjoyed. One of the most romantic scenes any guest can experience. It was also a long 5 hour drive to the Pool House in Poolewe, going through some of the most beautiful and dramatic vistas in Europe, arriving at a hotel that made me feel like reaching home and being surrounded by family, staying at a glorious and lavish bedroom full of antiques (where Brad Pitt had stayed a short time before!), waking up with the sound of otters and seals by the window and making new friends while having superb wine and food in the company of unassuming ultra-wealthy strangers.

My Luxury Scotland is driving to Inverlochy Castle and stopping the car on the driveway, dumbfounded , just to admire its beauty before finally being greeted by the friendliest and most welcoming staff. It’s staying in the bedroom Queen Victoria stayed and for a moment imagining what it would have been like, years back when past was present. It’s finding the best friend of a cousin I never met as one of the waiters and learning about past guests that visited the hotel every year for over 15 years until they unfortunately passed due to old age.

My Luxury Scotland is seeing and being amazed at the size of a Russian Red King crab at the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa in Aberdeen. It’s having a sports massage that took me all the way to the shores of Thailand and reaching my car 3 steps away from a private door to my bedroom. It’s also watching a seaplane land on Loch Lomond after watching golfers play golf from a breathtaking rooftop outdoor jacuzzi at the Carrick Spa at Cameron House on Loch Lomond. It’s tasting Martin Wishart’s art in the form of dishes and being followed by ducks on my way to a bedroom so big that it took me 8 steps to reach the bathroom.

My Luxury Scotland is also the habit of stopping by The House of Bruar every time I drive by it to stock up on Swiss chocolate that usually finishes before I reach home. It’s to be amazed at the quality and variety of local products and spending more than I should on them.

These are just chapters of a thick book of luxury Scotland memories and experiences made all the more precious by the hotels we work with and their staff.

Luxury is personal to all of us and it comes in different forms, sometimes they are moments sometimes they are experiences, this is a glimpse of what luxury scotland means to one of us.

Russian Red King Crab - The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa

Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux - Private Outdoor Jacuzzi

 

Breakfast at The Boath House Hotela, Nairn

 

Loch Lomond Seaplane at Cameron House Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

What Andy’s victory means to Scotland

By | Jul 10, 2013

 

Last weekend most of the country stopped to watch Wimbledon’s men final. Facebook reported more than 20 million posts, comments and “likes” relating to the competition and once again for a short while, Scotland and its people became the subject of conversations all over the world.

So what does Andy’s victory mean to Scotland and tourism?

Andy Murray is more than one of the world’s best tennis players (according to Ivan Lendl, he really is the best tennis player in the world now), he is a reflection of Scotland’s culture and national identity. From his background in Dunblane and overcoming  adversity to the closeness to his mother Judy, Andy is the every day Scot who’s made it big with sheer determination (and a little bit of help from luck, what happens when “preparation meets opportunity”).

Andy’s victory means a lot to Scotland, on a historic level and on an emotional level as well, numerous tweets and facebook posts expressed the public opinion, “a Scotsman lent to England for one of Wimbledon’s most historic matches”, “he is British now, he will go back to being Scottish after the win”. Timing is a very important factor, a time when Scotland is more than ever working towards independence, the Year of Natural Scotland when we celebrate all that is Scottish: the culture, the history, the wildlife, the art, the scenery, the people who made and make history.

Andy’s victory is the cherry on the cake for The Year of Natural Scotland. It’s a representation of all that we are proud about Scotland and what we want the international community to remember us by: A country of great actors (represented by the focus the Media has given to Gerard Butler at the final), of great inventors as well as great sportsmen. Andy being the latest and currently most important one.

We also need to remember that Andy now has a luxury hotel in Scotland, Cromlix, opening in April 2014. It’s the perfect circle, Wimbledon has given international recognition to Scotland’s athletes as well as Scottish hospitality. The hotel was being mentioned again in articles all over the globe, bringing attention to Scotland as a destination, now more than just beautiful, we dare to say fashionable.

Wimbledon’s result means a lot to Scotland’s tourism sector and to the next generation of sports talents. We are proud of Andy and we congratulate him for his well deserved achievement, but we also congratulate Scotland as a nation for believing in itself and for being delighted to share its best fruits with the global audience.

We can’t wait for Cromlix to open and we hope the excitement brought by Wimbledon lasts for years to come!

Connoisseurs Scotland

 

The buildings of Scotland: Past and present

By | Apr 26, 2013

Have you ever fallen in love with a building?

Buildings carry the history and heritage of the location where they are built. They interact with the landscape and when they become part of our life, we develop a relationship with them. Buildings are the background of memories, they give us both protection from the weather and privacy but they also give us great inspiration. Our home is a reflection of who we are. A country’s buildings are the reflection of its culture.

Haddo House

 

Scotland is mostly known for so many things. Our heritage, our history, our scenery, our larder, our inventors and people. The great majority of visitors don’t come to Scotland in search of buildings like so many do when visiting Prague or Rome. But once in Scotland, very soon visitors realise what a rich architectural history we have. So many different styles of buildings share the same space, each representing a different era and our different needs and influences throughout history.

Hopetoun House

 

 

Scottish castles were built to protect, Palladian mansions were built to boast wealth and entertain whilst urban housing narrate the story of Scotland’s middle and working classes. Edinburgh Georgian terraces, tower-blocks, Glasgow tenement flats, urban gardens, churches and kirks, each and every building has a story to tell. They reflect our rich history and our ability to preserve and interact with the past by adding layers to old buildings and bringing them to the present.

 

Clyde Auditorium

 

For the architecture lover, we recommended buildings such as Glasgow School of Art, The House for an Art Lover, Hill House, The Burrell Collection, The Lighthouse in Glasgow, Glasgow city chambers, Bute House, The Scottish Parliament, Duff House, Haddo House, The Scottish National Gallery, Clyde Auditorium, McManus Galleries, Glamis Castle, Culzean Castle and Hopetoun House amongst many. There are some incredibly beautiful modern buildings in Scotland, many of them have won international awards, take your time to discover hidden gems as well as famous buildings.

 

Culzean Castle

 

 

 

MacManus Galleries

 

 Learn about their history and you will learn more about us!

 

The Year of Natural Scotland is in full Swing!

By | Mar 18, 2013

It seems that nature and wildlife have decided to encourage our appreciation for ‘The year of natural Scotland’ by providing us with a few unique opportunities!

A couple of weeks ago a walrus has turned up on the shoreline of North Ronaldsay in Orkney, experts say this is a very special and unique occasion since they don’t usually appear that far south of the North Pole and Arctic Ocean.

Locals used to seeing whales and seals were ecstatic to see the healthy new visitor and a number of tourists have traveled to the area to have the chance to see Mr Walrus.

A higher number of barnacle geese has been spotted in many of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s 120 reserves around Scotland (a number of them close to Connoisseurs Scotland hotels), and more and more images of thriving Scottish wildlife have popped up all over social media platforms this winter.

 

The Year of Natural Scotland is in full swing!

If you have had the chance to capture a special image of Scottish wildlife this winter, remember that entries for this year’s British Wildlife Photography Awards are now open! The BWPA is open to all photographers practising in the UK, amateur or professional.

If you are on facebook yourself and enjoy seeing freshly taken images of Scotland’s scenery and wildlife in your newsfeed, we recommend you to check these pages:

https://www.facebook.com/MarcusMcAdamPhotography

https://www.facebook.com/mariowenphotography

https://www.facebook.com/ScotlandsScenery

There are very few things that feel more special than actually seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, get out there with or without camera and make these special memories happen!

2013: What lies ahead

By | Jan 31, 2013

 

Almost a month ago the year of 2012 came to an end. 2012 was a very important and meaningful year to Connoisseurs Scotland: We celebrated our 20th anniversary, welcomed new properties to our portfolio, attended several international travel events in France, Germany, Spain, America and Brazil and our photography competition was a great success with 357 entries and ten prize winners giving us the opportunity to learn about the work of talented professional and amateur photographers from all corners of the globe. Work on our android and I-Phone apps started and is now completed and we received 29% more visitors to our website. 2012 will remain in our history as a very special year and we must thank all Connoisseurs Scotland’s guests, members and Commercial Partners for having a great part on this.

 

2012 was also an exciting year to Scotland, during the Olympics we were busier than London in some areas, Edinburgh Festival received extra 4 million visitors spending over £261m in Edinburgh; it was the year of creative Scotland and we saw so much talent and creativity taking place in all sectors.  Glasgow was the location for Brad Pitt’s zombie movie World War Z, the movies Brave and Skyfall brought a lot of attention to Scotland and we expect their benefit to last for many years.

We look back and we feel our lives were enriched with all that took place last year. We even survived the end of the world!

 

2013 is a promising year, despite the fact that the number thirteen has mixed views and superstitions.  We will have the Scottish Open, Johnny Walker Championship, The Open Championship 2013, Ricoh Women’s British Open, Fife Jazz Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Melrose Sevens, Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Edinburgh Festivals, Perth Festival of the Arts, Dumfries and Galloway Wild Spring Festival, The Scottish Challenge, Tiree Music Festival, Snowdrop Spectacular, Scottish Food and Drink fortnight, Wickerman Festival, The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival and so many other exciting events. We are also celebrating Scottish nature and wildlife with Visit Scotland’s theme for 2013:  The Year of Natural Scotland!

 

There isn’t a better year for visitors to come to Scotland and appreciate the outdoors, we will be keeping you informed on everything that the properties have planned to encourage you to get out there, submerse yourself in Scotland’s magnificent scenery and recharge yourself at Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels.

Christmas in Scotland

By | Dec 21, 2012

Many overseas visitors ask hotel staff how we celebrate Christmas in Scotland. They wonder if the dishes and the type of celebrations we have at the hotels are very different from the ones we have at home, with our families.

Christmas holidays as we know them today, are very recent to Scottish history. Pagan Celts celebrated the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year) in a celebration called Yule which is the name of the midwinter festival of the pagan Norse and Teutonic people of northern Europe. The celebration happened to encourage the gods to allow the sun to return.

The Catholic Church took over this celebration and after the protestant reformation in the 16th century, Christmas celebrations were banned and outlawed because it was considered a papist festival.  The ban existed for nearly 400 years, until the 1950’s. Until then, Christmas was like any other day in Scotland, everyone went to work as usual and did not celebrate it. The real celebration took place on Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve), which is the true traditional winter celebration in Scotland!

A traditional Scottish Christmas has traces of both Celtic and Christian religions. It’s a powerful theme for an essay itself! Christmas trees for example are the result of an ancient pagan idea that the evergreen tree represented a celebration of the renewal of life.

Unlike what happens in many countries, Scotland celebrates Christmas Day more strongly than Christmas Eve. Same as in every other country, the celebration is an opportunity for the family to gather. The dishes are very similar to the ones cooked in other Western countries: a traditional turkey lunch, gammon, ham, chicken, Brussels Sprouts, roasted potatoes, vegetables and Christmas puddings.

Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels celebrate Christmas in different ways, some providing a traditional lunch and dinner, others developing a more elaborated gourmet experience and gala evening. Most hotels have special packages for the festive season and become incredibly busy this period of the year.

We are very proud of the level of attention and detail Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels give to their menus and packages during the festive season. It’s an exciting time to be in Scotland and the cold weather makes the whole experience even more Christmassy and wholesome.

The definition of tradition is “a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting”. What is most interesting about all Scottish traditions is that they are the result of Scotland’s history and challenges. When you spend Christmas in Scotland, you will have a glimpse of Scotland’s colourful heritage: From Celts and Vikings to Anglo-Saxons and Romans. The underlying characteristics are warmth and the unforgettable Scottish Hospitality.
To read more about  Christmas Festivities in Scotland and to learn about what Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels have prepared for their guests, please access our Christmas newsletter

 

Have a wonderful Christmas!

 

Breakfast at Connoisseurs Scotland Hotels

By | Nov 28, 2012

Breakfasts are one of the best things about staying at luxury hotels. No matter what or how much we are used to eat in the mornings (if anything), hotel breakfasts are a temptation impossible to resist. Being able to choose a varied number of items from a menu and knowing that not only they will taste good but will also be fresh and beautifully presented makes many of us guests and luxury hotel lovers want to go to bed earlier the night before so that breakfast time arrives faster.

Very few drinks taste better than the freshly-squeezed orange juice we drink at hotels in the morning. Some might even say that the glasses we drink them from make them taste better, just like a freshly brewed tea served in fine china.

Who hasn’t overeaten pastries because they smell and taste so good that you fear regretting not having enough of them later in the day? Who hasn’t had continental breakfast as well as a cooked breakfast just because they can?

We are very lucky to have produce of outstanding quality in Scotland. All Connoisseurs Scotland hotels go to great lengths to make sure they use fresh local produce. Egg yolks are yellower and taste better, berries look and taste fresher than the ones we normally buy at the supermarkets, seasoning smells stronger, salmon tastes lighter and looks like a real peachy colour fish, not something that has been coloured pink to the mass market.

The type of breakfast we have at a hotel is a reflection of the hotel’s character and personality as well. Extra items that are only available in the area, little details about presentation sometimes express the hotel’s history, their relationship with their community and with Scotland as a whole.

Turnberry Resort & Golf course in Ayrshire celebrates Scotland by offering Arbroath Smokie, Scottish Griddle Cakes and ‘Burns Breakfast’ (Arran cheddar hash potato with haggis, fried egg and hollandaise). They are a breath of fresh air to the health conscious by offering  Bircher muesli and granola, dried mango and papaya as well as rhubarb & ginger, avocado & heather honey compotes.

The Pool House in Poolewe offers one of the friendliest and most Scottish of porridges you could ever find. Soaked overnight by the owners themselves, with a touch of salt and a splash whisky.

Kinloch Lodge in the Isle of Skye encourages local producers by offering local dairy yoghurts, kippers and eggs Florentine.

The Boath House Hotel in Nairn gives credit to excellent local producers by sharing their names and a bit of their history with their guests: Golspie Mill, Hardmuir Farm, Peelham Farm, George Campbell and Sons and Uig Lodge Smoked Salmon are amongst them.

The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa offers the type of waffles with syrup that you could only find in US diners. Large, light and wonderfully sticky. You can count on one hand how many restaurants offer waffles as good as that in Britain’s largest cities.

Inver Lodge Hotel in Sutherland offers scrambled eggs with smoked salmon where the salmon is so beautifully seasoned that it’s almost spicy. It ruins every other scrambled egg with salmon you have thereafter.

These are only some of the examples of breakfasts you can try (and experience) at Connoisseurs Scotland hotels.

We might want to prepare them at home and cook them just like they do, but they simply never taste the same.

Every country’s cuisine tells a story. In Scotland, you start your day with one.

 

Good Spa Guide Awards: The Old Course Hotel and Spa & the Carrick Spa at Cameron House on Loch Lomond are amongst this year’s winners!

By | Sep 17, 2012

We are ecstatic with the news: Last week the Good Spa Guide has announced this years’ winners.

Two Connoisseurs Scotland’s members are amongst the best spas in the country: The Old Course Hotel and Spa & The Carrick Spa at Cameron House on Loch Lomond.

Congratulations to both, we are celebrating the news too!

These are some of the comments received by the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa:

“The interesting and unusual spa in this elegant hotel offers luxury combined with excellent water-based therapies.”

“With excellent and unusual treatments, the hotel is delightfully luxurious without being stuffy. Spa addicts will find something very new and different here.”

“We loved the quiet elegance and the rooftop spa garden complete with hot tub – perfect for couples!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this is the comment received by the Carrick Spa at Cameron House on Loch Lomond:

“Cameron House is a comfortable hotel on the shores of Loch Lomond. The spa offers a complete spa and thermal experience for hotel guests and day-spa visitors alike. It’s a spa with a view, and a green, soothing view, no less.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a number of outstanding hotel spas in the UK but both hotels have something that very few luxury spas do: Incredible, breathtaking views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it’s time to look at your diary and pick a date to pay them a visit to celebrate their achievement letting them do what they do best: Pamper you.

To make your booking please visit their websites:

The Carrick Spa at Cameron House on Loch Lomond

The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa

 

 

 

 

 

New Scotland & Ireland Golf Itineraries

By | Nov 22, 2011

Scotland has over 500 golf courses and several hundred golf hotels. Ireland is equally rich in challenging and rewarding golf courses. Luxury Scotland in association with Ireland’s Blue Book have created two unique Scottish and Irish Golf Tours which we believe to be one of gthe bst introduction to some of the best Golf Courses and Luxury Hotels in Ireland and Scotland.

The 12 Day Scotland & Ireland Golf Tour is an exciting and well planned itinerary featuring Gleneagles Hotel and the PGA Centenary Course which will be the venue for the 40th Ryder Cup Matches in 2014. the tour continues on to the Old Course Hotel at St Andrews and the opportunity to play the legendary Open Championship course and Kingbarns, voted one of the top 100 golf course in the world by Golf Magazine. The itinerary then moves to Ireland and includes play at The K Club, the classic Killarney golf course, Doonbeg – designed by Greg Norman and a round at one of the world’s top links courses, the infamous Old Course at Ballybunion Golf Club.

For further details including Luxury Scotland’s Whisky tour itineraries >>

Kinloch Lodge joins Luxury Scotland

By | Oct 25, 2011


We are delighted to welcome Kinloch Lodge into Luxury Scotland.

Kinloch Lodge is the highland home of Claire and Godfrey Macdonald. Located on the Isle of Skye. Voted one of the world’s top 25 small hotels in Condé Naste Traveller Magazine, Kinloch Lodge is renowned for its marvellous food and is Skye’s only Michelin-starred restaurant. It is also one of only seven restaurants in Scotland to be awarded the Michelin Guide’s Red Grape for their wine list.

To help celebrate their latest Michelin star and red grape awards, Kinloch are hosting a champagne evening in November – full details >>

http://www.luxuryscotland.co.uk/kinloch-lodge-hotel/index.html

Luxury Scotland Welcomes The Torridon

By | Oct 19, 2011

The Torridon, one of Scotland’s most romantic hotels, has joined the ranks of Luxury Scotland.

The Torridon is one of Britain’s foremost retreat hotels with a reputation built on superb food and pampered luxury with a personalised touch. Set in 58 acres of parkland at the end of a magnificent sea loch, has one of the most spectacular and idyllic locations in the country. One of The Torridon’s unique features is the Torridon Boathouse – an idylic two bedroom hideaway on the shores of the Loch Torridon.

Whether you are looking for a reviving outdoor escape, a relaxing family holiday or that romantic breaks for two – The Torridon has the answer.

http://www.luxuryscotland.co.uk/torridon-hotel/index.html

Discover Castles Galore in Scotland

By | Oct 12, 2011


Scotland is a country rich in reminders of an exciting and colourful past. There are literally hundreds of castles, tower houses and fortified houses in prominent and sometimes foreboding settings – beacons on the landscape that beckon us to find out more.

Our resident travel writer has chosen Castles as the subject for the October newsletter from Luxury Scotland. Today the castles throughout Scotland are well worth a visit. Just choose any region in Scotland and within a few miles you’ll come across the remains of a stronghold built on a cliff edge, a well-preserved fortress sitting on a loch-side or a magnificent castle fully functioning and open to visitors.

To discover more step back in time and enjoy our latest newsletter article – Scotland’s Countless Castles

NOTE: This is a 10Mb PDF file viewable online or downloadable for viewing and printing.

http://www.luxuryscotland.co.uk/scotlands-castles-article/scotlandscastlesoct2011.pdf

The Luxury Scotland mouse mat could be yours

By | Sep 22, 2011

Our Luxury Scotland’s custom mouse mats have arrive!

With a unique illustrated map by Michael A Hill,  this ultra thin and very stylish mouse mat will add a touch of luxury to any desk. Ideal for travelling it is thin and light enough to be stored inside a diary, note book or even under a laptop lid.

The mat is a quirky reminder of all things Scottish with our member properties and selected Scottish icons incorporated into Michael’s delightful illustration. A novel gift for that someone special or as a something to brighten up your desktop.

If you would like a chance to have one of these mouse mats just send an email to mousemat@luxuryscotland.co.uk telling us why you should have one – and we’ll send a mat to the first 100 interesting respondents.

ED: Whisky and mouse not supplied!

Go Green to Experience Scotland’s Natural Magic

By | Sep 18, 2011

According to our resident travel writer, there’s no better way to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of Scotland than to escape to the country and explore Scotland’s National Nature Reserves and National Parks. Go Green in Scotland and there is a veritable feast for your senses awaiting you amongst those green and pleasant landscapes

For lovers of the outdoors there is the promise of undisturbed wildernesses, waddling puffins, seabirds and seals, and carpets of wildflowers on woodland floors. Take a Scottish nature break or ecoholiday in Scotland and you could bring back memories of wonderful discoveries, new sites and sounds as well as discovering the joys and luxury of some of Connoisseurs Scotland’s hotels and destinations.

Full details on our monthly Luxury Scotland newsletter – now in downloadable PDF.

Airds Hotel joins Luxury Scotland

By | Aug 29, 2011

Luxury Scotland is delighted to announce that Airds Hotel at Port Appin has joined Connoisseurs Scotland and is featured on our Luxury Scotland web site. The Airds Hotel is a delightful family hotel run by Shaun and Jenny McKivragan. Winner of the 2011 Small Luxury Hotel Award at the Scottish Hotel Awards, Airds is famous forstunning views, fine dining and understated luxury.

Voted Scotland’s Small Luxury Hotel of the Year for 2011, this renowned 4-star hotel sits in a the romantic setting on the west coast of Scotland overlooking Loch Linnhe. The atmosphere and ambiance at Airds Hotel is one of relaxed elegance with a hint of country house style.

The hotel’s three AA rosettes confirm that only the best will do for Chef Robert MacPherson who has developed a reputation of international acclaim. Guests at Airds delight in the dishes inspired by our chef’s enthusiasm for Scotland’s wonderful larder.

In contrast to the laid back luxury and gourmet dining, guests will find a host of activities and sightseeing options at Airds Hotel. Sea safaris, sailing and even surf boarding are all available here and nearby Lismore Island is a particularly popular for cyclists. For mountain bikers the Nevis range just 45 minutes drive from Airds offers 60km of off road trails suitable for all abilities. Whether your preference is fishing, sight seeing or simply soaking up the fresh air, Airds Hotel can arrange it.

Then, after all that activity, it’s back to the comfortable, relaxing accommodation of Airds and an opportunity to indulge in some of the best of Scotland’s larder.

For more details and a chance to check out some special promotions visit:
http://www.luxuryscotland.co.uk/airds-hotel/

Editor: One the best kept secrets at Airds is the small luxury cottage in the grounds of the hotel. Ask discreetly for details quietly.

Get on Your Bike and Enjoy Scotland

By | Jul 4, 2011

 

Whether your choice is for relaxed cycling in Perthshire or challenging downhill trails in the Glencoe Mountain, there are biking trails in Scotland and cycling holidays throughout Scotland to suit every kind of cyclist.

This month our Luxury Scotland Article covers a range of cycling breaks and biking holidays in Scotland. For gentle family cycling holidays in Scotland there are rides through lush forests and natural parks, along old railway lines, and beside picturesque lochs. For the adrenalin seekers there are active mountain bike holidays in Scotland hurtling down the UK’s longest purpose-built downhill descent in Sutherland, along red-graded biking routes in the Carron Valley in Stirlingshire and for real addicts, the epic Glen Sligachan ride on the Isle of Skye.

More details of cycling in Scotland can be found in our July newsletter:
‘The Ups and Downs of Cycling in Scotland’.

So get on your bike and enjoy Scotland!

© 2007 The Luxury Scotland Blog, - WordPress Themes by DBT