Glenfarg, Perthshire, PH2 9PY
(01577 830216, www.beininn.com)
If your idea of entertainment in the countryside doesn’t go further than a Young Farmers ceilidh, prepare to be rocked by the Bein Inn. Over the past five years, David Mundell has built up his hotel into one of the music venues in Scotland. Through persistence and sheer chutzpah, he has persuaded great names, from Glen Tilbrook to Curtis Stigers, to come to Perthshire and play to an audience that never tops 50.
HOW TO GET THERE
It is about a 45-minute drive from Edinburgh. Take the M90 towards Perth, turn off at junction 9 and then follow the very helpful (and frequent) Tourist Board signs through Glenfarg and to the Bein Inn. From Glasgow take the M73/M80/M9(A9) - the road changes from one to the other - towards Perth. Take the Dunning turn-off and then turn on to the B935 to Abergargie and follow the signs for the Inn.
FOOD AND DRINK
The Balvaird Restaurant offers a varied menu, which makes great use of local produce. The McGregor Bar has a lighter snack menu and a children’s selection. During gigs, the Rock Bistro also serves food, and has a great range of malt whiskies - apparently, more than one band has ended up drinking half their fee at the bar after a gig.
WHAT THE ROOMS ARE LIKE
All the bedrooms are en suite and there are four family rooms, each with its own sitting area. David’s pride and joy, however, is the Rock Gallery Room, which is covered with music memorabilia. There are autographed scratch plates on the ceiling and signed posters and gig tickets all over the walls. There is even - much to my husband’s joy - a Stratocaster signed by Jimmy Paige. If you can shake off the feeling that you are in a 17-year-old’s bedroom, it makes for a highly entertaining experience. Fittingly for a Rock Bedroom, there is a great sound system and some rock classics are helpfully supplied on CD.
Perth is only ten minutes away by car, and there are some beautiful walks in and around Glen Farg. There are also nearly 50 golf courses in the region. The real attraction, though, is the music. Where else would you get to see Lindisfarne in such an intimate setting? Not only that, but the artists also stay at the Bein Inn, so you may even meet one of your musical heroes in the Rock Bar.
VALUE FOR MONEY
The Rock Gallery Bedroom costs 45 a night for bed and breakfast. Double rooms are 35 and the family rooms are an extra 10. There are special rates available for Gig, Bed and Breakfast.
WHY IT’S WORTH A VISIT
The Bein Inn has become such a favourite with many bands that it’s now the only gig they’ll do in Scotland. If you’d prefer not to hear your favourite artist in a huge, impersonal hangar, here’s a chance to see them up close and really personal.