It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Cairn Lodge & Hotel, Auchterarder, Scotland

The Cairn Lodge & Hotel is new, brand spanking new, so new that it's been open less than two weeks and there's not much information I can give you - except that we went there twice for dinner last week and it was lovely.   It's so new that I can't even find any photos to post - though, if I do, I'll put some up.

Those of you who know the area around Auchterarder/Gleneagles will know that your snazzy dining options are fairly limited unless you're going to lob up (with a booking, please) to Andrew Fairlie or Strathearn in the Gleneagles complex - and you'll be parting with a good amount of cash.

We've had meals at both the lovely Gleneagles restaurants, and they are great - no question about it, but if you're looking to venture less than 5 minutes away, you can have a great meal for significantly less cash in lovely swish surroundings at The Cairn.

We've been visiting the area for around 7 years and The Cairn has always looked like a family hotel - nothing wrong with that, but certainly nothing calling us in from the road.  We drove past this time, and went "WOW!".  They've done an amazing outdoor space with lovely comfy outdoor sofas and fabbo big swingy umbrellas - now you've just got to cross your fingers for the weather!

The interior is all black, silver and plush - and it's comfy, not too glam.  The staff are friendly and happy, and even though they'd only been open 4 days when we first arrived for a meal, they were in control and the food was yum.

The menu was great, with several things that jumped out, and I started with the duck bonbons (crumbed deep fried shredded duck meatball type things) with an Asian dressing and a little salad - really good.  Hubby had the scallops and pork belly starter, which was also lovely but (mine was better!).  I then selected the chicken burger (if they can't do a good burger, they aren't worth going to - that's my motto) which was also fab.  Hot chips served in a china bowl and another bowl of garlic aoili.  Hubby had the steak, cooked perfectly as requested.

The chicken and steak was perfectly cooked, yet moist, on their Josper Grill.  Josper Grill?  I can hear you asking, what the heck is a Josper Grill?  Well, I didn't know either, so I asked and it's a solid fuel charcoal broiler (more details here).

Too full for dessert, but I did note the lemon tart served with jammy dodger ice-cream, and I ordered that for dessert when we went back on the Thursday - lovely vanilla ice-cream with lumps of jam and biscuit smooshed through it - glorious!

I didn't drink on either visit (designated driver the first time, on cold and flu tablets the second), so I can't comment on cocktails or wine, but my soda and lime was delivered in a fabulous chunky glass - would love some for home!

This is the sort of place you can come for dinner if you can't be bothered cooking (but put some lippy on first), or come for a fab night out.  The food is great, and not too pricey (burger and chips under 10 quid).  I can see a group of friends spending an afternoon outside on those lovely sofas on a sunny day - perfect.  

Oh, and they also have rooms - I think they have 10 plush hotel rooms available at the moment, but more are coming shortly.

The Cairn Lodge & Hotel
Orchil Road
Phone:- 01764 662 634

A dramatic and daring re-invention, The Cairn Lodge & Hotel has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment to offer a brilliant fusion of traditional and modern, with sleek lines and gloss finishes seamlessly married with original features.

Step over the threshold of The Cairn, a beautiful Victorian hunting lodge just minutes from Gleneagles and some of Scotland’s most famous golf courses, and discover Perthshire’s newest and deliciously decadent 5-star rooms, bar and restaurant. This spectacular hotel provides an inspiring atmosphere for the discerning visitor. Suffused with energy, vitality and magic, it is an ideal venue for a casual get together, an intimate rendezvous or simply an escape from every day life.

The focal point of this stunning new 5-star venue is the restaurant, The Grill Room.  The unrivalled service and attention to detail, perfectly complement the exquisite food, make every dining experience a special one.
The Grill Room is one of the few venues in the UK to feature The Josper Grill, the latest oven to take the culinary world by storm and acclaimed by world renowned chefs including Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver. With dishes inspired by the grand grill rooms of London, we use local sourced ingredients to offer our guests an inspired menu of timeless classics with a modern twist.

Contemporary elegance and modern sophistication are the hallmarks of this exquisite restaurant, with a chic yet welcoming bar to ponder menus or continue your post-prandial conversation. Flawless yet friendly service and hospitality. Fantastic food and drinks. Ideal whether you are dressing up or dressing down. Make every occasion a celebration at The Cairn.

Perthshire’s newest five star boutique hotel is the vision of award-winning hotelier, Steven McLeod and the latest addition to his luxury Aurora Hotel collection

Call now to book on : 01764 662 634

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