One of the best meals to be found in Scotland….
A Review: Blackaddie House Hotel
In my constant search to find great accommodation to match my activity-packed Scotland travel itineraries, every now and then I’ll give a special mention to somewhere of the very highest quality. While my itineraries tend to focus primarily on the world class stretch from Loch Lomond to Skye, it’s lovely to turn the spotlight onto Dumfries and Galloway this week. I’m never disappointed with my visits to the under-ballyhooed south west of Scotland and this particular visit was more special than most.
Blackaddie House Hotel is to be found in the village of Sanquhar, tucked away on the A76 between Ayr and Dumfries. The 16th Century House has 6 rooms of varying types and sizes and also includes self-catering accommodation. The higher end of the price scale at Blackaddie is absolute luxury for those looking to be exceptionally nice to themselves and it is no surprise that many of the visitors come down from Glasgow and Edinburgh seeking to indulge and escape chaotic working lifestyles. Armed with every device known to man, my partner and I didn’t quite know what to do with ourselves when we arrived. Not much, would be your best course of action I’d suggest. Serene and relaxing, it’s a part of the country that calls for a de-frazzling of the mind.
Perfectly perched on the banks of the River Nith, it is a favourite spot for fishing and wildlife spotting. Other activities (which can be arranged in advance by the friendly Blackaddie staff) include golf, horse riding and archery. For Robert Burns lovers, Sanquhar is also a convenient base for many of the Burns’ hotspots and it is even believed that he may have visited the house as it used to belong to his best friend in centuries past. Here’s more on the great many things to do in nearby Ayrshire as well as some of my favourite outdoor highlights of Dumfries and Galloway.
What separates Blackaddie from the long list of good accommodation to be found in Scotland is without any doubt its food. Both my partner are I are foodies, we love cooking and know our stuff but we were still blown away by the quality of absolutely everything we ate during our visit. Staying as we were for the dinner, bed and breakfast option we were treated to one of our best-ever culinary experiences. Fresh and local produce, taste explosions with every dish, immaculate presentation and astonishing attention to detail….I’ll let the below photos finish this thought. One of the owners, Ian McAndrew, is a Michelin Star chef so we’ll now be joining the ranks in his fan club. In a nice added optional bonus, Ian and his staff offer cooking classes to anyone interested in learning from one of Britain’s top chefs. Blackaddie does have its own restaurant and you can dine here even if you are just passing through.
Southern Scotland is of course renowned for its abundance of superb castles and one of the most impressive is the massive 17th Century Drumlanrig. Located within 15 minutes of Blackaddie it is undoubtedly one of the best local attractions. Huge grounds surrounded by rolling hills and endless serenity make it a perfect as an activity for all ages. As part of 7 stanes country, Blackaddie is terrific as a base for cyclists and Drumlanrig also boasts several cycling trails on the Queensberry Estate.
While I was invited to stay for free as a guest at Blackaddie House Hotel, I would not be raving about it and recommending it to you good people were I not completely impressed. Off the beaten track, I think it is ideal both as an escape from city life in the Central Belt and as a base for exploring Southern Scotland. For any additional questions about the property you can drop me an email or visit their own website.
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