Scotland’s hottest hotel is offering guests the chance to commemorate the life of our nation’s much-loved bard on Saturday, 25 January, in a spot that’s home to an outstanding collection of Scottish art.
Since it was opened by Iwan and Manuela Wirth, co-presidents of international gallery Hauser & Wirth, The Fife Arms in the village of Braemar has quickly become one of the world’s most talked about and visited hotels north of the border.
In keeping with the couple’s decades-long dedication to contemporary art, it features specially commissioned works by internationally renowned artists, as well as an unmissable Robert Burns-themed mantelpiece in the front hall.
The huge 19th-century mahogany and pine chimneypiece, originally from Montrave House in Fife, is more than three metres high and includes scenes from Burns’ poems carved by Gerrado Robinson.
Other notable Scottish works include pieces by Archibald Thornburn, one of Scotland’s finest wildlife painters, and a painting by John Maclaughlan Milne from Dundee, who exhibited alongside the Scottish Colourists.
These hang alongside newer works by artists including Zhang Enli, Guillermo Kuitca, Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher and James Prosek, who designed the hotel’s coat of arms and the logo for the public bar.
Those looking for the perfect way to celebrate Scotland’s most celebrated poet with an unforgettable two-night stay at The Fife Arms can expect a truly authentic evening with a formal Burns dinner, including a piper piping in the haggis and the customary address to the haggis, followed by a traditional ceilidh: breakfast and a special gift are also included in your stay.
Since it opened a year ago, the hotel has established itself as a Highland hotel with a difference, from its carefully curated interior to the garden, designed by Chelsea Flower Show medallist Jinny Blom, against the stunning backdrop of the Cairngorms: it even has its own house tartan and tweed, designed by Edinburgh-based Araminta Campbell who drew inspiration from the changing colours of the local landscape around Braemar, home of the Highland games.
Each of The Fife Arms’ 46 sumptuous bedrooms has its own unique furnishings and decorations, inspired by a meticulously researched local place, person, event or theme, including Robert Louis Stevenson, who began to write Treasure Island while on holiday in Braemar; Lord Byron, who spent time in Braemar recuperating from scarlet fever in 1796 and wrote Dark Lochnagar about his stay; and Frances Farquharson, fashion editor of American Vogue; as well as homages to local characters such as The Highlander, The Stalker, The Crofter and The Mountaineer.
The changing seasons play a key part in the menus offered in the restaurant, public bar and drawing room, created by executive chef Tim Kensett; from game and fresh seafood to local whiskies, many of the ingredients used at the hotel come from local suppliers, gamekeepers and farmers.
Come Burns Night, the tasty haggis will take centre stage before guests dance the night away.
To join this celebration of the very best of Scotland’s heritage in the heart of the Highlands, visit https://thefifearms.com/whats-on/