Ultimate relaxation with a side of gastronomy in the beautiful Crieff countryside...
When it comes to staycations, we are spoilt rotten in Scotland. With endless beautiful scenery and luxurious accommodation, the perfect location for you is never far away. For this trip, I was on the hunt for a destination that would provide ultimate relaxation and I certainly found it at Knock Castle Hotel & Spa. Located in Crieff, the hotel is just over an hour from both Glasgow and Edinburgh making it the perfect spot to retreat to for a weekend away from the city. Nestled in lush woodland, Knock Castle is a striking building with fairytale turrets and a dramatic entrance. On arrival we were welcomed warmly by the receptionist who showed us where the spa and swimming pool were before taking us up to our accommodation in the Drummond Suite. Occupying one of the hotel’s turrets, the room offers period appropriate décor (including a large four poster bed – bliss!) as well as all the modern facilities you could hope for. The en-suite bathroom was something of a showstopper with a huge bath tub as well as a stand alone shower. There are few things I love more than a hot bubbly bath so this was another major tick for me on the relaxation front. After settling in, we decided to take a wander down to the bar – it was Friday after all. The walls throughout the hotel are adorned with paintings by local artists which lends a gallery feel to the corridors and complements the grand yet welcoming lounge areas. Feeling suitably chilled, it was time to hit the spa. After a consultation with my therapist, I opted for the hot stone massage. Like many of us, I spend much of my week at a desk which can cause tension in the back and shoulders and this treatment was absolutely perfect for relieving aches and pains. First my therapist applied oils before using smooth heated stones to knead away the tension. Focusing on my back, legs and arms, the combination of the warmed stones and the manipulation left me feeling as though I had been on holiday for a week and I may or may not have had a brief nap during the treatment. Having worked up quite an appetite from doing remarkably little, we headed to the rooftop restaurant for dinner. We were both looking forward to this as the hotel’s owner and head chef, Jason Henderson, was recently awarded Chef of the Year at the Scottish Food Awards. The restaurant also won 2018’s Hotel Restaurant of the Year at the Creative Oceanic Food Awards Scotland and the room offers panoramic views over the rolling Perthshire countryside. Finding that we were both really quite hungry, we decided to tackle degustation menu. For those who generally avoid tasting menus for concern over minute portions, fear not. Every one of the seven courses was generous and delicious. Highlights for me included the fillet of beef, which came with a black pudding laden bubble and squeak, and the fondant which was every chocolate lover’s wildest fantasy realised. Having eaten ourselves into a coma, it was time to hit the hay in our giant four poster – it would be very easy to get used to this... The next morning we both enjoyed cooked-to-order breakfasts. Unable to resist a tattie scone, I went for the cooked breakfast while across the table, my husband was digging into an Arbroath smokie with aplomb – the perfect way to round off the relaxing break we had been searching for.
Knock Castle Hotel & Spa, 40 Drummond Terrace, Crieff, PH7 4AN W: knockcastle.com T: 01764 650088