Sitting at Stutts bar with a glass of wine in hand, overlooking the 18th green at Murrayshall and the Perthshire countryside beyond, it felt surreal to think that a mere 90 minutes earlier I was leaving Glasgow’s city centre for such a picturesque landscape.
But it is this escapism that Murrayshall offers, the ideal location for a blend of tranquillity and “civilisation”. Those who wish to enjoy the stunning scenery that Scotland has to offer will find what they’re looking for here, with scenic walks around the grounds and a number of hiking trails nearby, while those who wish to explore Perth and its environs have an accessible base to build on.
Budget or boutique?
Having driven to the hotel with my partner, a journey that included a country road passing some inquisitive ponies, my first impression of Murrayshall was that it was like a grand stately home, and the home-like feel continued throughout the duration of the stay due to the friendliness of the staff. We were given the deluxe suite for the night, one of the 40 rooms that Murrayshall has to offer. Recently refurbished, it had a modern feel with a new TV and bathroom.
The large bed (something a 6ft 5in journalist truly appreciated) and homely touches added to the ambience of Murrayshall and were in fitting with the rest of the tasteful décor. It is worth noting that having walked through the rest of the hotel, it would appear that not every room had been upgraded – but where it had been completed, it was done to a very high standard.
Wining and dining
The restaurant is one of the areas that has been modernised, and is comfortable and elegantly decorated. It felt as if every piece of artwork had been carefully chosen and tailored for Murrayshall to enhance the atmosphere. An evening can be made by the quality of wining and dining, and the staff at the hotel made sure we enjoyed service of the highest standard. We dined at the Lynedoch Brasserie which offered a wide and expansive menu with a number of options ranging from trout to steak. My partner and I both opted for the delicious Goosnargh duck breast, before tucking into a fine crème brûlée. If you prefer to stay in your room, a host of options are also available on room service with an extra charge, but the dining areas and cosy bars were simply too appealing for us to take that option.
Worth getting out of bed for
The scenic walks around the grounds, the two golf courses and the driving and putting green, and the general surroundings of Murrayshall mean that this is not a trip for those who are looking to relax indoors. For lounging and relaxing, there is a patio with direct access to the bar.
Guests have the option to have a newspaper delivered to the room in the morning, and there are plenty of books and comfy spaces in a room just off from reception to relax and unwind. The bar attached to the restaurant has board games and is open until the wee hours, meaning you can sit and enjoy the wood fire in comfort. Bad news for those who tend to forget toiletries though, as there was only body wash supplied, so pack shampoo.
Having spent a wonderful evening in Murrayshall, my one criticism is that it was not long enough. The food was fantastic, as was the wine and the friendly staff. While the dinner was great, the breakfast was even better and set us up for a fantastic day of hiking and exploring the surrounding areas. My biggest regret was not getting a round of golf in due to the heavy showers the night before.
Double rooms start from £99, deluxe £129. Murrayshall House Hotel & Golf Courses, Scone, Perth PH2 7PH (01738 551171, [email protected], www.murrayshall.co.uk)