Some of the grandest views of pretty Scottish countryside can be seen from Ballintaggart Farm nestled in the rolling hillsides of Tay Valley at Grandtully, Perthshire. Located a 90-minute drive from Edinburgh and Glasgow, former banker turned award-winning chef Chris Rowley and his wife Rachel, have created a Scottish haven where you can relax and enjoy amazing dining with superb views.
The retreat has two-bedrooms which are extremely comfortable with beautiful vistas. Our room features a super king-sized bed that’s hard to leave, French doors to the terrace and a spacious bathroom with luxury products from Noble Isle. There’s a tasteful touch of tweed and quality furnishings. Dinner is a treat in the vibrant wine-red dining room and library where we enjoy a three-course meal where fresh local produce stars. We dine on miso-marinated mackerel with capers, pickled tartar, flowers and fennel tops, followed by barbecued Atholl Estate fillet of beef garnished with nasturtium and watercress purée, chanterelles and soft garden herbs and a sweet finale of raspberry and pistachio frangipane tart with crème fraiche ice cream and mint crumb.
After dinner we sit by our outdoor firepit for a nightcap and marshmallow toasting and watch the stars. The farm has an orchard, flourishing “kitchen” garden and chooks roam freely during the day to produce the freshest of eggs at breakfast. Chris who also runs a popular “cook” school in the well-equipped kitchen, offers Saturday masterclass, mini masterclass or you can create your own bespoke, full or half day experience. The couple has just renovated Grandtully Hotel built in 1866, a five-minute drive from the farm along a route favoured by Queen Victoria. It includes eight-bedrooms, bar, terrace and restaurant. There is lots to see and do in the area including greats walks and drives but you probably won’t want to venture far – the hospitality is so good.