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.