Killiecrankie and the Hunt for the Red Squirrel

We weren’t too sure where we wanted to visit in Scotland. So it was a huge help when Crimson Edge got in contact and suggested we visit Killiecrankie Hotel, it looked like the perfect little retreat. 

The next morning, we took the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow and picked up a beautiful motor lent to us for the trip by Infiniti. We then drove down to Killiecrankie, arriving just in time for tea. 

We tiptoed passed the feeding wildlife and met Henrietta and the ever-so-furry Beanie at the door. They led us to our beautiful room in the hotel and we made ourselves a cup of tea while we changed into warmer clothes. 

It was the most beautiful and cosy little room I’d ever seen. Filled with tartan, warm colours and flowers. 

The bathroom was nothing fancy, but sufficient for our needs, clean, smart and filled with everything we needed for our stay. 

When we had changed, we popped back down to the reception area to ask Henrietta for her suggestions on what we should do for the afternoon. Willingly, she told us about a lovely walk she suggested we take where we might see Red Squirrels. At that, my ears pricked up. Red Squirrels are an animal that I’ve wanted to see for years. Unfortunately, they’re becoming increasingly more rare due to the Grey Squirrel’s invasive nature. The Red’s are beautiful little creatures with tufty ears and bright glossy fur. We rushed off on the track in search of them. 

Ben had the map and I had the camera at the ready. 

We found the most beautiful white pebble beach past the Train Aqueduct, in the middle of the river. We were glad to be wearing our Hunters! 

Top – Boohoo | Jeans – H&M | Boots – Hunter

We sat on the beach for a while, just staring into the waters. Watching the little fish bobbing along, chasing invisible bugs, as the weeds drifted in the lazy current. 

About an hour passed, before we realised we should actually do some walking and continued along the path. 

Henrietta had told us to go across the bridge and turn right. The path looked slightly odd and unmarked, but we continued on anyway. It was slightly different to the previous groomed and marked paths, with a steep and sheer drop on the right and grown over in parts. It took us until we reached a water fall flowing straight through, to realise this might not be quite right. Before we turned around and a very nervous trek back to the bridge ensued. 

We made it and with rumbling tums, made our way back to the hotel to the warmth of the crackling fires and cosy bar. 

We chose our drinks, followed by our food orders and were lead to our table after chatting to some of the other guests. The dining room was cosy, but quiet. At first, we felt slightly awkward as everyone whispered to each other and it didn’t take much to hear your neighbours conversation. 

Eventually we got used to it and relaxed into the vibe. 

I had the Langoustine and Petis Pois Risotto, while he went for the Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Spring Onion and Stilton Cream Sauce. Both delicious and perfectly sized.  

Mains were Roasted Supreme of Gressingham Duck with Dauphinoise Potatoes, Honey-Roasted Fig, Carrot Puree and Grand Marnier Cream Sauce. An absolutely stunning dish, with beautifully succulent meant and the creamiest of dauphinoise potatoes to accompany. 

I had Roasted Best-End of Perthshire Lamb stuffed with Red Onion Marmalade Mousse Wrapped in Parma Ham, served with Pomme Anna, Grilled Stornaway Black Pudding, Fine Beans, Creamed Cauliflower and a Madeira Jus. Every single bite better than the last, it was one of those meals that I just didn’t want to end. 

Savouring every mouthful, we polished the plates as they were swiftly whisked away in exchange for pudding menus. 

Our choices were placed with the lovely staff and our drinks refilled along with a cheese plate and glass of whiskey for Ben. 

More goodies were brought out to us in the form of Warm White Chocolate Chip and Pistachio Brownie with Raspberry Sorbet and Coffee and Tia Maria Ice Cream. Originally he was supposed to have the Brownie, but when I saw it, he was ever The Gentleman and swapped with me. 

We chatted for a while after dinner and before long, all of the guests had left the dining room and we were the last remaining. We took that as our cue to head upstairs too. Little did we know there was the loveliest surprise waiting for us. 

The beds had been turned down, with the room made cosy. Tucked into the covers were hot water bottles for us, with an evening tipple on our pillows and a torch in case we didn’t want to wake the other finding the bathroom in the middle of the night. 

Such a lovely touch and totally unexpected, but we did discover at breakfast the next morning that this wasn’t special treatment. All the other guests had hot water bottles too. 

We genuinely had such a lovely stay at Killiecrankie Hotel. It’s always tricky when you review a hotel because you wonder if they’re giving you special treatment. Due to the fact that every single guest who was staying while we were, was a returning guest who had nothing but incredible words to say about the hotel, I think it was a resounding 10/10. 

Henrietta has a fantastic establishment with incredible staff and an amazing chef, I have no doubt that Ben and I will be back at some point. Plus, I never did see that Red Squirrel, so I suppose we don’t have a choice! 

You can book to stay at Killiecrankie Hotel via the website. Or if you don’t want to stay, but are in the area, please do yourself a favour and book in for a meal. Mark Easton, Head Chef, has won numerous awards and his food speaks for itself. 

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