Scottish foodie retreat in tranquil surroundings
Set beside the eastern edge of Loch Earn in Perthshire is the pretty village of St Fillans. Mrs Foodie has fond memories of holidaying here as a child so she was very happy when we were invited to spend a night at Achray House, a restaurant with rooms, to experience the skills of Chef Patron, Ryan McCutcheon. Ryan has worked in several of Scotland’s most prestigious hotels including Gleneagles, Cromlix, Knockinaam Lodge and Chez Roux at Greywalls, so we were excited to see what would be served.
As well as winning Best Hotel & Restaurant 2018 from LUX Life Magazine, it has also been ranked one of the best small hotels in Perthshire.
Within Achray House you can dine with views of Loch Earn and the village of St Fillans. There is a real fire to warm beside after a long walk, and you can venture out to the patio on warmer days.
There is a fine dining restaurant with a seven-course tasting menu, or opt for a more relaxed dinner with tasty dishes such as Shetland mussels and Loch Duart Salmon and Scottish cheeses on offer. If fine dining isn’t for you there is also a more regular menu in the bar.
A large and airy room with plenty of space including a separate seating area with another TV and a large walk-in cupboard as well as a hospitality tray, Alexa next to the bed for playing music perhaps and there were even some binoculars and a book on birds.
A great big bath with a separate raindrop shower and Mrs Foodie’s favourite toiletries, ‘After the Rain’ by Arran.
With such a stunning location and great weather on our visit, it would have been rude to not sit out on the terrace and enjoy a pre-dinner drink.
The Lochview Restaurant at Achray House has two AA rosettes which mean that AA Inspectors have judged this to be an excellent restaurant that aims for and achieves higher standards and better consistency. You don’t have to be a resident to dine at Achray House, although you probably will want to stay so you can enjoy their range of wines. Dining is available Monday – Sunday, 12:00-20:30. You can book online, phone 01764 685320 or email email@example.com.
The 5-course Land meets Sea tasting menu is £39 per person with paired drinks an additional £29.
First on the menu was the 28-day aged beef tartare, oyster emulsion, charred homemade rye bread. We love a good tartare and this was paired with Les Vignes de l’Eglise Merlot Grenache, which has a sort of raspberry chocolate aroma – a bit like a Ruffle bar! Mildly dry cherry and black currant taste.
Next up was a rich Scottish Seafood Bouillabaise paired with Castelo de Mar, a Spanish Albarino, that has a peachy aroma and taste. Crisp. Acidic. Refreshing.
Our third course was Slow-braised Ayrshire Pork Cheek, Celeriac and Samphire. Mouthwateringly delicious pork meat with a smattering of crackling and the unusual addition of samphire. Paired with Mont Rocher Viognier from France. Tropical, stone fruit aromas with a rich taste and soft acidity.
Our fourth course was a perfectly cooked Pan Roast Turbot, Sea Vegetables, Crisp Wild Rice and Nori Jus. Paired with Bodegas Ondarre Rioja from Spain, with an aroma of leather-bound books and cassis, and a jammy dark fruit taste.
Our last dish was Sea Buckthorn Mousse, Gin Soaked Blackberries, Basil paired with Lind and Lime Gin, apple and Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic rather than sweet wine. We feel that given sea buckthorn grows in Scotland it’s under-represented on Scottish menus so it was good to see it here, in this tart, fruity dessert that had the unusual addition of fresh basil.
Not a bad way to start your day, eh?
We had this oozing eggs Benedict.
And a really tasty full Scottish fry up.
A really well-run food destination hotel. We thought that our meal was similar in style to what you get at 111 by Nico / Modou in Glasgow so it’s multiple courses of fine dining but without significant expense. 4 paired wines and a gin for £39 is pretty good value too. The views looking out onto the loch and mountains were good too, for dinner, breakfast and from our bedroom, which was spacious and well equipped. The bath and shower were also both great and we think it important to have a bath as there is a fair amount of walking that can be done on the former railway line, now a designated walking route, behind the hotel. Checking in and out was easy, the only issue was that check-in didn’t start until 4 pm but overall, this is definitely somewhere to escape to for walks, relaxation and great food. Mrs Foodie was also glad to see that the village she spent summers in as a child hadn’t lost any of its charm.
If you are still planning a staycation this year or looking for a short break in Scotland then Achray House should be on your list to consider due to its beautiful location that is easier to reach than the Highlands. Achray House makes a fantastic base for visiting towns such as Crieff, Comrie, Killin, Aberfeldy etc. (It‘s also just within the boundaries of Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park). Getting there by car is easy, at around a 90-minute drive from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. It could also make a good place to break up your journey if you are heading further north to the Highlands and islands or onto the North Coast 500.
What to do near to Achray House, St Fillans
There are lots of things to see and do near to St Fillans.
+ Excellent food
+ Big bath and raindrop shower
+ Arran Aromatics ‘After the rain’ toiletries
+ Great view from the bedroom and restaurant
+ Impressive gin selection
+ Parking right outside
– Late 4 pm check-in
For those with Electric Vehicles, they have an EV charging point in co-operation with BP Chargemaster Pulse (previously Polar) 7.2kW type 2. This will charge an EV with a 40kW battery in 4-6 hours.
Book online HERE
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Disclaimer: we received a complimentary DBB stay at Achray House.