Back in vogue
The sort of hotels I usually stay in are characterised by stale cornflakes and slightly broken beds. On the eve of the Glorious Twelfth, however, I found myself somewhere rather loftier.
During the 1950s, Gleneagles was the Mecca of Scotland’s grouse shooting scene — after splendid romps with side-by-sides under their arms, blokes in breeks would have crowded round the bar and Gordon setters would have snoozed by the fire. As the years went by things changed; the hotel turned to golf, and moustachioed men in moth-eaten garb were slowly replaced by hordes of Americans in synthetic sportswear.
That was until this year, when the hotel decided to rediscover its past by inviting a bunch of fieldsports editors up for a couple of nights and a day on a local moor.
We can be under no illusion that very large, publicly visible businesses like Gleneagles think hard about the communities they align themselves with. After all, it is part of their brand identity. So, if we were really perceived by non-shooters to be an outdated, unloved, anachronistic tribe, would such an institution have decided to get back on board? Of course not — it would have simply stuck to the spa treatments.
The fact it has taken this strategic step is an endorsement of us as we know we are — a fun bunch who appreciate good food, good company and love rural landscapes like the hills surrounding the great hotel and all the creatures that make those areas the extraordinary places they are.
Patrick Galbraith, Editor