Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas Day Lunch at The Four Seasons, Loch Earn, St Fllans- 5 Courses £48

How about Christmas Day Lunch Looking out at Loch Earn

 in the The Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Looking towards The Four Seasons from A85


Looking for Christmas Day Lunch in Central Scotland?  Check out this fabulous menu at The Four Seasons Hotel, St Fillans.  Excellent value at £48 per person for a five course lunch looking out to Loch Earn and the surrounding hills.  ook now for 12-2pm sitting.  Have a look at the website for more information and photographs here . Contact Mary or Carlotta now to secure a table 01764 685 333 or with any other questions about the hotel and its naturally beautiful surroundings.  Loch Earn Tourism Initaitive members The Four Seasons Hotel also offers accommodation, special activity holiday packages and more throughout the year.


Meall Reamhar Restaurant  - Christmas Day 2013


 Sweet Chilli and Lemon home cured Salmon
ginger sorbet, watercress and lime salad
Duck Confit, Pickled Gherkin and Coarse Mustard Terrine
toasted brioche, aubergine chutney
Parmesan and Thyme Timbale
sun blushed tomato reduction, micro herbs
Savoy Cabbage and Smoked Paprika Veloute
Baked Turkey Ballotine
festive trimmings, seasonal vegetables, natural gravy
Venison Loin Fillet Wellington
cepes duxelle, braised red cabbage, spicy pear, cocoa jus
Witch Sole and West Coast Langoustine Turban
seared scallops, wild red rice, braised baby vegetables,
saffron and champagnr beurre blanc
Trilogy of Mushrooms
stuffed with garlic and pine nuts, cassoulet with brie, ravioli and pesto
Raspberry and Cinnamon Sorbet
Traditional Christmas Pudding
warm brandy sauce, mulled wine sorbet
Heather Honey Pannacotta
orange tuille, drambuie chantilly
Raspberry and Oatmeal Cranachan
rosemary shortbread, pistachio truffle
Trilogy of Ice Creams or Sorbets
Plate of Scottish Cheeses
walnut bread, fresh fruits
(supplement of £6,95 if taken in addition to dessert)
Mysore Coffee, home made Petit Fours and Mince Pies
Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Golden Larches Restaurant With Rooms, Balquhidder Station

Alistair and Alida Buchan
Alistair and Alida Buchan have been happily running The Golden Larches restaurant with rooms, Balquhidder Station,  since October 2012. Their original intention had been to buy a ski chalet but the credit crunch intervened and a foreign venture was no longer feasible. 

Undeterred, they started to travel round Scotland from John O’ Groats to the Borders trying to find their ideal property and finally found it in Balquhidder Station.

They realised that a business, which had been running for 32 years with the previous owners, would have a regular clientele who they wanted to keep so they were a little apprehensive about “Judgement Day”. However, they soon discovered that people were interested in the new owners and willing them to succeed. 

Double Sided Wood Burner
 between main room and conservatory

They have gradually added to the menu and introduced a double sided log burner to allow them to extend their out of season opening hours. They plan to continue to be open each week between Friday and Monday during the winter. They have also started to offer Bed and Breakfast with one room at the moment and a family room planned as the next stage. 

Their first room has been very successful, offering comfortable accommodation with a “Wow” factor and en suite facilities with a great view. They are delighted that they have just had their first returning guests.

Weekends are proving to be the busiest part of the week. Sunday’s tend to be their busiest day with people out for the day, often from the Lothian area, and wanting a traditional Sunday lunch. They also know they are a very popular “comfort break “ stop for travellers venturing up to the West Highlands. Alistair has often helped people who are lost or broken down. Even helping to tie up an exhaust on a mobile home, all in a day’s work for the chef!

Golden Larches : Restaurant, Snacks, 
Tea and Cake, Take Away Menu
They continue to co-operate fruitfully with other businesses in the area as they realise that it is helpful to all in these difficult trading conditions and mutual support can be useful. 

They were open on New Year’s Day this year for the first time in the Larches history. They were so busy that they were too exhausted to go to the party in Balquhidder Hall which they had managed to get tickets for. They plan to open on Jan 1st 2014, with additional help so they avoid making that mistake next year!

Meanwhile they hope to continue enjoying the fantastic views from their new home, especially when the larches do turn golden. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Creagan House Tastes Gold

Master Chef Gordon Gunn of Creagan House Strathyre

Gordon and Cherry Gunn have been awarded
VisitScotland's prestigious Gold Award for exceptional customer care at Creagan House. The 5 star Restaurant with rooms in Strathyre village, is one of only 4 in the whole of Scotland.

Creagan House is also one of the first restaurants to be accepted into the new VisitScotland "Taste our Best" scheme". The Gunn's attended the launch at Hopetoun House in September. 

"Taste our Best" is a new quality assurance scheme designed to recognise businesses that include and promote Scottish produce on their menus in addition to offering consistently high quality food and drink.  Quality of cooking, service, presentation skills and use of seasonal produce are all considered by assessors. A minimum of 40% Scottish produce must be identifiable to guests on the menu.

Cherry said "The assessors report commented on Gordons long standing approach to knowing the provenance of his food, which easily surpassed their benchmark. We have just celebrated 27 years at Creagan House, so would like to think these awards show we are still as passionate as ever to achieve excellence in all that we do."

Earlier this year, Gordon Gunn was accepted into The Master Chefs of Great Britain and Creagan House was singled out to be included in The Trencherman's Guide to Best Restaurants In Scotland.  So, It has been quite a year for The Gunn's and Creagan House in Strathyre!

LETI: Loch Earn Tourism Initiative businesses based in Strathyre and the neighbouring villages of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and St Fillans are proud to be associated with members Cherry and Gordon Gunn and to recommend Creagan House to visiting guests. Congratulations on 27 years and your magnificent achievements together! 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

A Case Against Bracken by Mal Dingle, Strathyre

 The biodiversity at the top of the beautiful Tyness Burn Path
Bracken is a prehistoric plant. It has survived for approximately 55 million years by 3 main specialisation methods:
  1. By being a hermaphrodite, able to reproduce by itself and then disperse its seeds by wind distribution. Each plant disperses hundreds of spores, developed on the underside of its leaves. Within a few years one plant can cover an entire hillside. 
  2. By producing a carcinogen chemical makeup, giving it an unpleasant taste to animals and causing stomach cancer to those who eat it. Farmers will clear a field of bracken before allowing grazing animals onto it.
  3. It can grow up to 6 foot tall, blocking out the light to wild plants, soon becoming a monoculture. It presents no real danger to humans, although a study is being made into the high incidence of stomach cancer in Japan linked to their appetite for the young emerging frons of bracken.

Midway down the Tyness Burn path, the bracken marches upward
Bracken therefore produces no food for either our insects or our wildlife, stifles the bio-diversity of plant life (which does provide food for insects and wildlife) and is dangerous to our animals. 

For dog owners, it is also the preferred habitat of the Tick. You may believe that bracken provides  shelter for nesting birds from the eyes of preying Hawks etc, however, I think it also gives cover to small mammals such as rats and mice who would steal the eggs.  

That is my case against bracken. There is no easy way to rid ourselves of the plant. In fact it is probably impossible to do so however I would urge you to treat this plant as a pariah and to pull out any bracken that you can (especially when inside a group of wild plants such as heather).  When out and about on walks, just be aware of this pernicious plant!  A war on this plant!

Mal Dingle

LETI. Mal Dingle is the current secretary of The Loch Earn Tourism Initiative (LETI) group of Scottish Tourism business members who live and work in the neighbouring villages of Balquhidder, Strathyre, Lochearnhead and St Fillans.  Mal is also the owner of Rosebank House bed and breakfast in Strathyre.  The Tyness Burn path runs along the back of the grounds of Rosebank House and is one of the many naturally beautiful walking routes that Mal and LETI members recommend within The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.  

Saturday, 17 August 2013

People Reflecting Waves in The Four Seasons Hotel Beach Garden Loch Earn

Have you driven past The Four Seasons Hotel and lodges in St Fillans lately thinking that you have seen ghostly men and women in the water?  

Standing Figure by Rob Mulholland at The Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillans

The Four Seasons by Rob Mulholland

Residents and guests will know that  they are sculptures standing in the water in front of the hotel's garden and jetty on Loch Earn.  

You could stare at them for hours.

The mirrored figures reflect Loch Earn whether calm or with waves.  All you see is the  outline of a standing figure. 

The sculptures are called "The Four Seasons" by Rob Mulholland, an installation artist who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1986 and is now acclaimed internationally. 

"This installation 'The Four Seasons', particularly with the pier, suggests a mood of anticipation, as if the figures are awaiting the return of others sent on a distant passage. It refers to a sense of homecoming, returning and re-connecting to our ancestral roots. The title also refers to the passing of time and natural cycle of the seasons, which are physically and metaphorically reflected in the figures."

See more of his impressive pieces and commissions here Rob Mulholland  or drive along the picturesque A85 at the east end of Loch Earn to see these examples for yourself. Stay at The Four Seasons Hotel and you can take a much closer look,  relax by the water, watch the sun set, fish from the jetty or launch a small boat and kayak 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Scotlands Top Chefs Prepare Great British Feast at MHOR Family Fun Festival 25-26 May

Saturday 25th Sunday 26th May 2013

MHOR Festival

Family Run Luxury Boutique Hotel Monachyle Mhor and chef owner Tom Lewis 

Look out for a range of exciting Balquhidder, Strathyre, Lochearnhead and St Fillans.  events this spring and summer.
Something for everyone? Be one of 100 diners experiencing the culinary delights of Gleneagles chef Andrew Fairley alongside other leading chefs from famous Scottish restaurants. Check the impressive programme of bands, children's entertainment, food stalls, races and more at the annual MHOR festival held in the grounds of  luxury boutique hotel Monachyle Mhor,  Balquhidder.  


Saturday 25th May 2013

  • 11:00  Raft Race, build your own boat or raft, life jackets + rescue boat provided
  • 12:00 Barbeque and bar opens: Barbeque, Bacon rolls, soups and refreshments , Oyster bar, Homemade Pimms, Gin and Tonics, Champagne, Beers, Mhor fish & chip food truck, Food market.  Live music.  Djs, Childrens entertainment
  • 13:00 Roman Road kick off the music with an accoustic set on the front lawn,
  • For children: planting in the garden,  face painting, bouncy castle. guided walks, boules
  • 14:00  Mini Olympics -  egg + spoon race, three-legged race, sack race, wheelbarrow race, welly throwing, tug of war
  • 14:00  Afternoon Tea –  tea, cake and finger sandwiches, gin & tonic, Pimms, champagne
  • 15:00  Cake competition – free style cake – enter by 1pm.  prize for winner
  • All day  BBQ, Bacon rolls and refreshments

Evening Entertainment

  • 19:00  The Great British Feast for 100 seats in the marquee/barn £60 per ticket,  Andrew Fairley- restaurant Andrew Fairlie - Gleneagles, Michael Smith 3 chimneys, Roy Brett – Ondine and Loch Fyne, Neil Forbes – Cafe St Honore, Tom Lewis – Monachyle Mhor
  • 20:00  Recital by acclaimed Perthshire fiddler Pete Clark
  • 21:00  Charity Auction after dinner – prizes donated to HIT Scotland and Mountain Rescue

Sunday 26th May 2013

  • 12:00  Food  Market/Craft stalls/Beer Festival/Demos/live music,
  • Tea & Tango – come and watch the wonderful dancers and learn how to walk the tango,  Food Demos throughout the day, Bread baking competition – bake and bring your best loaf– prize for winner, Children's entertainment
  • 17:00  £10 for A Play, a pie & a pint  -  A  musical, by Dave Anderson – Butterfly Kiss

Evening Entertainment

  • 19:30  Ceilidh, live music -  Brian McAlpine piano, Gregor Lowrey accordion and Alison Smith fiddle
  • 21.00  SHOOGLENIFTY 

NB Prices
  1. £5 day entry
  2. weekend all inclusive £100 camping, day entry, feast and Sunday night entertainment
  3. The Feast £60 per ticket 
  4. Play, pie pint £10
  5. Sunday Night Ceilidh and Shooglenifty  £15
  6. Camping £10 per pitch. Day entry £5

For MHOR information  Tel: 01877 - 384 622

Where Else Can I stay? 

 Check out our extensive range of accommodation in Perthshire and The Trossachs around 4 villages,  whether you prefer a tent, caravan, bunkhouse, cabin, lodge, cottage, bed and breakfast, guest house, restaurant with rooms, hotel, motel or luxury boutique  hotel. 
Can I book a taxi? Yes.  Pre book with LETI members Highland Glen Travel,  Lochearnhead or Kingshouse Taxis Balquhidder for transport to and from your preferred accommodation


What Else Is On in this area of The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park? 


May 16th
Event: Golf Senior Men's Open. Venue: St Fillans Golf Club St Fillans
Contact : TEL:01764 685312 Email :,,
Time : All Day
To enter please send your details along with a cheque to the club: St Fillans Golf Club, South Loch, Earn Road, St Fillans, Perthshire, PH6 2NJ. Visitors are welcome at St Fillans Golf Club which is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland surrounded by magnificent lochs and towering mountains. The terrain is quite level in spite of the imposing hills that surround the course. It is popular with beginners yet proves to be a difficult course to score well on for the more experienced player.
May 24th-26th
Event:   Birding Weekend
Venue: Strathyre Outdoor Centre
Event: Learn about the call of birds.  Watchbirds from a distance in the various habitats; woodland, marshes &  moorland,  Identify birds by sight with visual ID,  bat detection, Pre breakfast bird walks
Price £205 with food and accommodation £150 without. 
May 25th and 26th
Event: British Power Boat Water Skiing, Loch Earn
Venue: The Lochearnhead Water Sports Centre, Lochearnhead.
Price: Free to spectate
Witness up to 30 power boats pulling brave water skiers at speeds of 70 to 110 miles per hour.

June 1st/2nd
Event: Strathyre Music Festival
Venue: Various including The Inn at Strathyre, Creagan House, Strathyre Village Hall
Price (TBA)
Contact Ken Higgens
Time: All Day
Strathyre's 1st Music Festival, hosted by local group Balvaig who have invited another 100 entertainers to join them in creating a memorable music festival. Showcasing an eclectic mix of local and international musicians to suit a variety of musical tastes.


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Learn the Art of Bushcraft at The Strathyre Outdoor Centre

Firelighting and fuel collection

Loch Earn Tourism Initiative member Anthony Phillips of Natural Trossachs (an eco tourism business) is hosting a Bushcraft weekend course at The Strathyre Outdoor Centre on May 4th & 5th,  for Year of Natural Scotland 2013, lead by a qualified instructor and experienced wildlife biologist.
Build a shelter
Anthony says  "This is an excellent beginner's bushcraft weekend and a valuable consolidation for those with a little bushcraft experience. You will learn the safe use of sheath knife and saw and can use these tools to help in maintaining a bow drill set. We will also cover firelighting with bow drill and sparks, water preparation, shelter building and plant uses."

Learning outcomes:
At the end of the course you should; know how to use a knife and saw safely, be able to tie some basic knots required to string up a tarp, know how to build a leaf shelter, understand how to find water and make it safe, understand the basic principles of responsible firelighting and fuel collection,  have succeeded in lighting a fire with sparks and/or bow drill and know how to recognise some of the plants that can provide food and other valuable materials
Instructor: Leon is a qualified and experienced wildlife biologist with a BSc (hons) in Ecology and a PhD based on otter research in Scotland. He has over 13 years field experience, studying badgers, foxes, grouse & otters. In 2004, Leon formalised his bushcraft interests and achieved a nationally accredited qualification (with distinction) to teach the subject. This year long NCFE course covered all aspects of leading groups, including bushcraft skills, understanding of the natural environment, teaching ability, knowledge of legislation, health and safety.
Duration: 2 full days: starts 19.00 on Friday night and ends 16:00 Sunday afternoon. Main lessons will be from 09:00-17:00 on Saturday and 09:00-16:00 on Sunday
Cost*: £150 per weekend or £75 per day (£10 discount if booked for both days) *(This cost does not include accommodation) 
Accommodation: To book from a wide choice of accommodation in Strathyre and neighbouring villages ,Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and St Fillans,  including;  campsites, bunkhouses, cabins, bed and breakfasts, hotels and more visit 

A Tracking and Wildlife day is provisionally arranged for Monday 6th May with a cost of £75 per day or £65 if booked alongside the Bushcraft weekend.

For further information and bookings please contact Anthony Phillips, Natural Trossachs:

Email:  Tel: 07917 674967   Web: 


Monday, 11 February 2013

Strathyre's 1st Music Festival June 1-2

Locals booked to perform at the Strathyre Music Festival

100 performers have already committed to perform at Strathyre's first music festival to be held over 2 days  during summer 2013 in an historic Trossachs village on the A84. Mark your diaries for June 1st and 2nd or why not make a week of it and book holiday accommodation with local members of  The Loch Earn Tourism Initiative (LETI) who live and work in the community

LETI members look forward to assisting performers and guests with their requests for restaurants, outdoor activities, accommodation, things to see and do, history, private tours and taxis, wildlife watching, landrover safaris and cottage industry product shopping as well as the  music festival programme and venues. This applies to Strathyre  and the neighbouring villages of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and St Fillans on the A84 and A85.
Jenny McLure
The Strathyre Inn and restaurant will be the flagship venue for performers.  Resident band "Balvaig" are behind the launch of this exciting new event.  If you can not wait until the festival you might like to go along to one of Balvaigs open music sessions at the Inn every Sunday at 3pm.   Band Chairman and musician Ken Higgins told us "News of the festival has already attracted interest from over  100 musicians, singers and choir members including a folk band from Jerusalem,  a musician from Rome, an act currently performing on celtic Connections,  a local Jazz band that regularly performs at the Callander Jazz festival  and a well known choir from Glasgow with 25 members attending".
Scottish tourism businesses are celebrating and promoting "Year of Natural Scotland 2013" .This  new music event, set in Strathyre Village, combines a beautiful and popular setting at the gateway to The Highlands with the opportunity to experience; an eclectic mix of music and musicians, outdoor activities, nature, wildlife watching, locally sourced food and drink and a warm and friendly community.

Stevie Higgins
Strathyre has a reputation as a venue where walkers, cyclists and tourers stop for food and shelter and leave with so much more.  A stop over is made all the more memorable  when you experience the warmth of the locals and their stories, a plate of hot food and a drink or two by the fireside or in the beer garden accompanied by a variety of musical sounds. 

 LETI accommodation includes Strathyre's  Immervoulin camping and caravan site, The Strathyre Outdoor Centre Bunkhouse, The Strathyre InnCreagan House (an award winning five star restaurant with rooms) and other bed and breakfast and self catering options.
Visit  Balvaigs website for  updates on the festival timetable and performers and for accommodation and other activities and events in this area of The Loch Lomond and The Trossahs National Park of Scotland. 


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Themed Short Breaks in a Country Hotel with views over Loch Earn

The Four Seasons Hotel, St Fillans on Loch Earn
Planning to get away for a well earned rest or do you prefer to be stimulated by themed activities on holiday.  Whatever your idea of a holiday break is, you dont have to travel out of the UK to try out these stimulating themed holiday breaks in Perthshire,  Scotland.  The Four Seasons, a luxury Hotel in St Fillans, Scotland, is offering something for everyone.  The country hotel sits in a picturesque village amongst mountains looking over Loch Earn.  Choose the hotel or its self catering accommodation and enjoy a short break with themes that include The  Beatles, whisky, valentines weekend, The Ryder Cup 2014,  a microlight experience and more.  Contact the Four Seasons Hotel St Fillans for prices and more information.

Special Breaks ,  Four Seasons Hotel,  St Fillans  2013
  • As Time Goes By : Ruby wedding anniversary break.  DBB in Four Poster, 40 Red Roses, bottle of personalised Glenturret for arrival. Champagne Breakfast in your room and late check out.
  • Beatles Break: Three  nights DDB staying a one of the two chalets the beatles stayed in in 1964 while playing in Dundee plus a copy of  ‘The Beatles in Scotland’ Book 
  • Capture/Cook/Eat it:  Two night BB plus 1 nt Dinner with Venison main course  plus full day photography tuition, lunch on the  shooting day and all equipment
  • Easter Break: 2 nights Dinner, Bed and Breakfast including Fizz on arrival 
  • Gardens Break , three nights Dinner, Bed & Breakfast including Garden Pass (11 gardens)
  • Golf Breaks :9 Hole Ticket  Three Day DBB plus 3 day Perthshire Golf Ticket   OR Six Day DBB plus 5 day Perthshire Golf Ticket  18 Hole Ticket  Three Day DBB plus Three Round Green Card  6 Day DBB plus Five Round Green Card  
  • Pet Butler  :Doggy Menu, Walking Service, Pet Sitting, Pooches Parlour.  Tailor- made to suit the pampered pet All year (or borrow Sham or Pagne). Pre booking required.
  • Photography Break:  Four Days DBB, light packed lunch plus all tuition
  • Romantic Break: Three nights DINNER, BED & BREAKFAST plus Champagne) All year       
  • Ultimate Girlie: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast (chalet), plus clay pigeon shooting, Minimum 5 pax, boat ride and getaway & chocolate tasting.(Mini Bus hire £100 )
  • Stag “do” :As Girlie Getaway, but max 8 pax, and Whisky tasting instead
  • Walk on Wild Side: 1 night DBB plus White Water Rafting or Canyoning on/near Loch Tay. Adrenalin Break Can also have canoeing/kayaking in killin
  • Walking Breaks : A three day break with hill walkers packed lunch, and D,B&B. 
  • Warming Whisky:Two nights B&B, 1 night Dinner, comp dram digestif, Famous Grouse Tour Break – All year   
  • Wine Tasting  1& 2 : Friday 8th March – and 15th November 5 Course Dinner-  wines matched to each course Included.  
  • Wine Tasting 3 :  Friday 29th & Saturday 30th November St Andrews Nights Whisky and Wine Gourmet
  • Seize the day Breaks :  Gravity assisted downhill cycle trip - includes cycle hire and 17 mile cycle from Lawers Dam 1nt DBB, 1 nt BB   through Glen Lyon to Fortingall. 
  • Micro light flying : includes 60 mins flying from Balado airfield, Kinross. 
  • Gliding: includes a  beginners mini course introduction to gliding from Scotlandwell, Kinross -No Experience required
  • Off Road Driving or Quads: includes an hour on each
  • Ryder Cup Break 2014:   Four Day Break  to include 2 night DBB and 2 night BB 26th Sept 2014         
 If an overnight stay with accommodation is simply not enough for you then contact The Four Seasons Hotel St Fillans 01764 685333 for more details of themed breaks and find out whats on in Perthshire and The Trossachs .