Silence in St Fillans

Gazing out our hotel room window at the picturesque waters of Loch Earn, I thought to myself, this must be one of life's hidden gems.

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The Four Season at St Fillans has been welcoming visitors since the 1800s. Even The Beatles once enjoyed a night's stay
The Four Season at St Fillans has been welcoming visitors since the 1800s. Even The Beatles once enjoyed a night's stay

Even though the sky above was grey and filled with drizzle, it only added to the romance.

I turned to my wife and asked: "Can you hear that?" "Hear what?" she replied. "Precisely," I said. "Nothing, not even so much as a peep, this is my kind of break."

After passing through the village of St Fillans, the hotel is located on the banks of the loch, right at the point where it opens up to reveal all its glory, looking straight down its length towards Lochearnhead.

Built in the 1800s, with a later 1900s extension to house 12 main bedrooms, the hotel also now boasts six chalets and an apartment with self catering facilities.

Famous past guests include The Beatles, who stopped off for a night on their 1964 Scottish tour.

The interior of the hotel has recently undergone a makeover, keeping the traditional fittings to form a pleasing mix of old and new.

Another good feature is, it's pet friendly.

A further bonus for lovers of peace and quiet is that, in certain parts of the hotel, the owners request that mobile phones are put on silent mode, their annoying ringtones finally put in their place for once.

There are two restaurants, one fine dining, the other a more casual pub grub affair.

There is a full afternoon tea menu, and the freshly made sandwiches are simply exquisite.

We were only there for one night, so decided to push the boat out with a full, four-course blow-out.

The award-winning menu offers a variety of culinary treats, with a strong shopwing for locally sourced meat, game and fish. Our dinner was cooked to perfection and the presentation and service was of the highest standard.

After coffee, and with the rain still falling outside, we retired to a snug corner of the bar. Once ensconced, it didn't take us long to fall into easy conversation with some of our fellow guests.

The next morning, following a very good night's sleep, we decided to try one of the many outdoor activities the hotel offers. While the more adventurous might go clay pigeon shooting, go-karting or 4x4 off-roading, my wife and I decide to go on one of the hotel's mystery tours.

Obviously, I can't go in to too much detail, but it was rather mystical. Our driver was full of local knowledge and it turned out to be a really interesting journey. We spent almost the entire day visiting wonderful locations. The weather was also kind to us, with the early summer sun bursting through the glens and up and over mountains. The tours can be amended or tailored to personal requirements. And, especially if you are sharing the cost between four or six people, they're not very expensive.

Our one-night break was the ideal pick me up from the normalities of everyday life. The next time we go, we'll take our dog, as the walks in the area are just never ending. He will be able to run his wee legs off.

Overall, this was an ideal getaway. Being just over an hour's drive from Glasgow, with stunning views, great food and excellent staff on hand to make your stay a very comfortable and welcome one (and no ringing from mobiles). It's just perfect.

Prices start from £61 per person, bed and breakfast, or £94 for dinner, bed and breakfast. Booking online is an option, and look out for special deals.

The Four Seasons Hotel, St Filllans, Perthshire, PH6 2NF

Tel: 01764 685 333

E-mail: www.thefourseasonshotel.co.uk

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