Atholl Arms, Bridgehead, Dunkeld Review

Dunkeld Atholl arms hotel

Atholl Arms OutsideView of the Atholl Arms Hotel from the beer garden situated right next to the Thomas Telford bridge over the river Tay in Dunkeld.

atholl arms dunkeld bridgeThe view towards the bridge and river from the beer garden (the hotel cark par is beside here too).

Atholl Arms RoomAnd the view of our room for the night – clean, bright and what we would call retro chic. 😉  Comfortable bed, variety of pillows and extra blankets at the side if required.   Considering the room was right above the restaurant and just off the main road in Dunkeld, we slept soundly.  The only thing we could think of to improve here would be thicker curtains in case you want a long lie-in as the early morning sunlight both woke us earlier than planned the following morning.

After checking-in we had a peek about the reception, lounge area and bar.  Awards and information on menus were on a sideboard – good to see the new owners getting recognition for their work!   We had visited a few years before and weren’t impressed with lunch so we were heartened to see these. Atholl_Arms_Awards We ventured into the dining room – the River View Restaurant; it has an actual view of river! A Morcheeba album was playing in background which made for a relaxing vibe. We were given water with lemon and cucumber to start which was gratefully received after our long journey, and was unprompted. We picked a bottle of red for dinner – a Pinotage  (Saam Mountain from South Africa 2011), which was recommended to us by Jody at Ballathie House.  We are fans of Malbec and this is of a similar style; best enjoyed with steak or tomato based dishes Atholl_Arms_Dinning_Room Menus available on the night we dined (regular, Specials and National Vegetarian Week menu): Atholl_Arms_SpecialsAtholl_Arms_VegetarianAtholl_Arms_Menu We decided to try both the regular and vegetarian menus. Atholl_Arms_Bread

Tomato salsa and garlic dip, pea and mint with bread and little “toasts”

We loved the pea and mint dip, it’s not often you find pea based dips but it worked really well and was very moreish.  Must try this at home! Atholl_Arms_Starter1

Tomato and avocado tower Succulent tonato and avocado with pesto. Chopped spring onion and topped with peppery watercress A very refreshing starter


Salmon, beet root and radish salad with  horseradish purée Salmon lovely – hot and cold smoked local salmon. Sliced beetroot had a good earthy flavour.


Lentil loaf bubble and squeak fennel purée Crunchy asparagus stalks Fennel purée interesting, never had that before Grilled baby tomatoes


Duck Duck skin was crisp and the meat moist Garlicky, buttery, smooth mash, perfectly cooked broccoli,  the carrot had a slight coriander hint.

Atholl_Arms_DessertsWhat to choose?


Atholl_Arms_Dessert2Chocolate tart, raspberry, mint and chantilly ice cream Brownie-like tart with a firm crunchy base


Poached rhubarb, crumble biscuit vanilla ice cream Large granola like crumble Creamy ice cream which worked well with the tart rhubarb.

Atholl_Arms_Teas Very enjoyable dinner, with an attentive waitress. Next morning came the important bit – breakfast! IMG_4433 Atholl_Arms_breakfastWe were seated promptly and given a menu, asked for tea/coffee.  The coffee came quickly and was in a huge cafetière and very strong.  Strong enough to waken Mr Foodie! Some smooth jazz was on in the background to wake us up gently.

Atholl_Arms_PorridgeVery nice porridge, unsweetened too, so some dollops of lovely jam was added.

Atholl_Arms_FryMr Foodie lapped up the lovely full breakfast.  Full marks for the black pudding, sausage and non runny or rubbery scrambled egg. Good selection of juices (pink grapefruit too), cereal and yoghurts. After breakfast we checked out the bar area as unfortunately we did not have time to visit it the night before.atholl arms bar diner atholl arms barLooked very clean and tidy, and some local beers were on draught too.

Overall, great value place to stay and eat with some stunning scenery at its doorstep.  Friendly staff too.  With the old building you don’t expect total glamour (good shower and bath though)  but thankfully it isn’t tartan cliché either. Hotel Deals




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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