Last week, the husband and I were lucky enough to take a wee visit to Loch Tay Lodges up by Killin. The weather was crisp, the car was full to overflowing with Phil’s clothes – off we set on an adventure.
We weren’t sure what to expect we had booked a premium wigwam and knew it came with a hot tub, that was it. We arrived just as the Sun was going down and arrived straight at reception to collect our firewood and keys.
From the outset, we were hugely impressed. The Loch Tay Lodges shop was stocked with only the finest of produce: candles, unique blueberry marshmallows for toasting, eteaket teabags… the list goes on. We collected our keys and all the goodies we bought and headed on up to our hut.
To say it was incredible is an understatement. Although the hut was small, it comfortably accommodated two and was designed so expertly there seemed to be loads of room. Consisting of a shower-room, full kitchen, bedroom, dining room and living room, every element was spotless; not a hint of mould in the bathroom which I was most impressed about. Although there was little in the way of storage, Phil and I were able to use under the bed and his car to hold his fifty-two bags of clothes he didn’t wear.
We arrived and got straight to work – blasting the heating on and stoking the wood-fired hot tub. We decided after the long drive we would head to the onsite Italian restaurant for dinner and then come back and get that hot tub used. We were expecting the food and interior to be good, but they have a proper fine dining experience going on at Loch Tay! The food was exquisite and we walked into a roaring fire in the heart of the restaurant that was simply stunning. After a good feed, we embraced the cold and headed back to our little home for the evening.
Phil, being the man, insisted on taking full responsibility for all things fire related. At close to 10pm, we ran outside and jumped in the hot tub with a bottle of wine and some candles. It might have been freezing, but the water was the perfect temperature (I wasn’t so happy coming OUT the water I can tell you). The bed was one of the comfiest things I stayed in and we had a lovely toasty warm night.
Next day, we were ready to explore. I headed down to pick up our daily firewood and the receptionist recommended we visited Glen Lyon on our way to Aberfeldy. It was a detour that took around an hour and a half but in that time, we went off the grid and explored a truly remote part of Scotland that was out of this world.
We saw nothing short of fourteen rainbows, that followed us on our way through the Glen; red squirrels, pheasants, highland cattle, horses…. the best was the solitary stag strutting down the road towards us without a care in the world. He stopped for a quick photoshoot and meandered on his way. We saw every season – rain, hail, sun, wind – we climbed steep mountains and sailed into lush valleys. By the end, we felt calm and at peace with the world – our country truly is beautiful.
We exited the Glen close to Fortingall which I have probably been to but don’t remember anything about. To be fair, it is the smallest little village in the world but it was amazing. Consisting of a few homes, a lovely hotel and the Fortingall Yew of legend in a graveyard, we can’t wait to stay in the middle of nowhere and relax again.
The next stop on our journey was Aberfeldy. It was bitterly cold by this time and even with coats, hats and scarves we both spent most of our day indoors. If you find yourselves passing through, you must visit the Three Lemons. Not only was the food to die for, the decor was out of this world. We rave about it wherever we go.
We spent the rest of our afternoon meandering round the shops which were beautiful – their Scotmid was like nothing we had seen before (well seeing its an affluent part of the world). Everyone said hello to each other and walked their dogs in their tweed – it was just lovely. Next on the list was a trip to the Aberfeldy Distillery – a five-star visitor services attraction. I wasn’t too enthralled about going, given I really don’t like whisky but they deserve every one of their stars – it is probably my favourite thing we did all weekend.
We were just in time for a tour which lasted about an hour and was brilliant. The centre and shop were really interactive and there was such careful attention to detail we were really impressed. The tour concluded with a nip for me and a goodie bag for (the driver) Phil which was a make-your-own Mamie’s cocktail kit. One shot of whisky down and I was ready to head home, so with a few pit stops on the way, we trundled back to the lodges.
Our second night, we ended back at the delicious on site Italian restaurant and ended up seeing some fireworks in nearby Killin on our walk back to our hut. The hot tub sprung to life again and we enjoyed the end of Saturday with some more wine and watching the huge Beaver moon (in the sky not the tub!).
On Sunday morning, we woke to ice-cold weather – the mountains were covered in snow and we could see our breath in the air. But inside our wee weekend home, Phil and I were toasty warm… and at my constant pleading, made our way to Gleneagles for brunch. We waved goodbye to Loch Tay Lodges and arrived an hour later at the five-star hotel. Although we didn’t spend long, we had an amazing meal in the Clubhouse and decided we would absolutely be back as soon as we can save the pennies for one night. It was truly magical – a place I have dreamed of staying in for years.
From there, our journey home was pretty quick and we were back into the routine of tidying, washing, cooking…. but whenever I get stressed or tired, my mind slips back to probably the loveliest weekend and look forward to doing it all again.
Next stop: Newcastle. Stay tuned for our adventure.