Travel: Archerfield Links lodges, Dirleton, East Lothian
LESS than an hour’s drive out of Edinburgh, with the epic sweep of the Forth’s coast at Aberlady, Longniddry and Gullane accompanying your journey, Archerfield Links is tucked off the main road, tumbling down to the coastal edge of East Lothian.
We were staying in one of six wooden lodges, the best aspect of which was our first floor verandah dining area from which to soak up the pine-fresh air from dawn till dusk. If you like eating among the treetops, this is for you.
Developed around the 17th century Archerfield House, Archerfield Links brings together two golf courses, a clubhouse, spa cottage, lodges and stunning waterside villas and cottages. A private members’ club, anyone can sign up for a game of golf, use of the spa and to hire out the lodges.
DINING AND DINING? The Clubhouse restaurant is a great venue, whether there are two or 20 of you pulling up a chair. The menu is not fine dining but ticks all the right boxes for casual, family-friendly meals, with choices ranging from sirloin steaks to Scottish salmon fillet, with club sandwiches and antipasto platters for more casual affairs. Grand French doors open out on to the spectacular views, and with roaring fires and leather sofas aplenty, the lounge captures the atmosphere of a day spent at Archerfield perfectly.
BUDGET OR BOUTIQUE? The lodges are decorated in a grand scale but with traditional luxury in mind, and with one eye to the American market. We found the bedrooms surprisingly old-fashioned in their design.
Given the impressive contemporary confidence of the spa cottage and the general slick comfort in the clubhouse, however, Archerfield clearly attracts a broad customer base. The cottages and pavillions seemed to give a more in-keeping nod to the contemporary with inspiration drawn from New England.
ROOM SERVICE? Want to take full advantage of your privacy ie pretend you actually live here? For a small additional cost, Archerfield will arrange its chefs to prepare your breakfast, lunch or dinner while you relax and soak up the scenery. Whether they’ll answer when you shout through, “Put the kettle on, love,” is another matter.
WORTH GETTING OUT OF BED FOR? If you’re here for the golf you won’t be disappointed, with the famous Dirleton Links directly outside your lodge. The links have been enjoyed by the likes of Gary Player and Ian Woosnam, and honourary member Catriona Matthews hosts the annual Archerfield Links Ladies’ Day. However, if you’re more inclined to be pampered than to put, Archerfield’s jewel in the crown is its recently opened Fletcher’s Cottage Spa. Having hired international spa guru Sian Parry Jones (formerly of Aveda and Urban Retreat) to create the space from scratch, guests are provided with the most exclusive treatments and surroundings, including private bath huts, a marine steam room and a luxurious lounge and garden.
LITTLE EXTRAS? All lodges have a delicious welcome basket with sandwiches, muffins and snacks.
GUESTBOOK COMMENTS? With walkers’ access to the spectacular Yellowcraigs beach among the many local attractions, we were able to extend an overnight stay into as full a weekend as you could dream of.
• A three-bedroom lodge costs £550 per night, a four-bedroom from £650. Contact the reservations team on 01620 897050 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (www.archerfieldgolfclub.com)
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West