Knock Cas­tle

Ul­ti­mate re­lax­ation with a side of gas­tron­omy in the beau­ti­ful Cri­eff coun­try­side...

No. 1 Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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