Last week we were lucky enough to spend the week at Blairmore Farm, which provides luxury self-catering accommodation in the Perth and Kinross area of Scotland. The purpose of our stay was for me to review Blairmore Farm, but since coming home I’ve been putting off writing my review. Why? Because I have no idea how my words or photographs could possibly do justice to such an amazing place.
Booking a stay at Blairmore Farm
I was asked to review Blairmore Farm by Embrace Scotland – the premier resource for booking self-catering holidays in Scotland. From that point on, I was in touch directly with Ailsa who owns Blairmore Farm and I went through the usual booking process.
Booking was incredibly simple. I chose the week I wanted to stay and she emailed me a quote. There was a direct link on the quote for me to go onto her website, select any extras I needed and pay online. When I decided I wanted to bring additional people and dogs and order more meals, I just dropped Ailsa an email and she sent me an amended quote, which again took me directly to the website, allowing me to pay online.
Blairmore farm is situated in a beautiful rural area near to the village of Fowlis Wester and not far from Crieff or Perth. You approach the property via a long country lane, then turn down onto Blairmore’s private drive, which takes you through a beautiful little wood before you reach the cottage. As soon as we saw that view, we knew we were going to love it.
We stayed in West Cottage, a large stone cottage that comfortably sleeps eight people. The rooms can be laid out as either twin or double beds and we went for a combination of the two. The master bedroom is en suite, there is a family bathroom upstairs and a shower room downstairs.
The large farmhouse kitchen is equipped with everything you could possibly need. By this I don’t just mean that it has enough to make basic meals – it is actually notably better equipped than my kitchen at home. As well as all the crockery, cutlery, pots and pans you would expect, there was a bread maker, coffee machine, weighing scales and children’s cutlery. There was also a fan oven, American style fridge freezer, dishwasher, microwave, washing machine and tumble drier.
The lounge / dining room is a huge room with beautiful, vintage style décor and a large log fire. The comfortable sofas and smart dining room chairs make it the perfect area for entertaining guests. We had some visitors who came for dinner with us, and we all spent a very relaxing evening eating dinner and then relaxing by the log fire.
Outside, there is a small, enclosed patio and lawn area with a table, chairs, parasols, a barbecue and a fire pit. The view from that area is quite spectacular and we spent a lot of time in the garden. There is also a gate that opens onto the next field, which we were able to walk through to visit the beautiful Highland cattle.
On arrival, Ailsa came and met us and showed us around the house. She was incredibly friendly and welcoming and put us at ease straight away. On the kitchen table, there was a welcome hamper full of fabulous goodies including fresh eggs, home-made jam and chutney, tea, coffee, a fabulous chocolate fudge cake and a fresh loaf of bread.
Another fantastic touch was that we were able to order a Tesco shop and have it delivered to Blairmore Farm the day we arrived. By the time we got there, Ailsa had packed everything away for us. This meant that we had everything we needed for the week and it felt like home as soon as we arrived.
Whilst Blairmore Farm is fully equipped for self-catering, you can also pre-order cooked meals from Ailsa. These are prepared freshly for you and delivered in dishes ready to go in the oven whenever you want them. We just popped ours in the fridge until we were ready to heat them. There is an extensive menu including vegetarian options. We went for a steak pie for four, a vegetarian moussaka for four and a raspberry and elderflower cake.
The steak pie contained meat from Blairmore Farm and they use their own produce where possible. It is great to know the origin of the animals and that they are treated well. In the future, Ailsa and James will be increasingly using the farm to sustain the food requirements of the holiday cottages.
The meals were huge and easily fed ten of us – two small children, two older children and six adults – there was even some left over for the next day, despite most of us having several portions.
When I’ve stayed in self-catering accommodation before, I’ve pretty much been let in and ignored. Blairmore Farm is completely the opposite. Ailsa is on hand to help with anything you need, from jugs of beer to punnets of strawberries to an off-road vehicle that allowed my husband to have a look around the farm despite being on crutches.
Things to do at Blairmore Farm
Our holiday didn’t quite go to plan – for no other reason that we had no idea how much fun we’d have simply being at Blairmore Farm. One morning, James the farmer took the time to show everyone around the farm while I caught up with some work and chatted to Ailsa over a cup of tea.
The girls were lucky enough to watch James feeding the cows and tagging the new calves. They were even allowed to collect eggs from the chickens and have a ride on the off-road vehicle with my husband. I loved the fact that James was kind enough to let everyone get involved, despite the restrictions of small children and crutches!
We also spent quite a lot of time just enjoying the area. Walking the dogs, seeing the animals, having water fights and painting pieces of slate. We didn’t end up eating out at all, because eating at the cottage or preparing a picnic was so effortless due to how well equipped the kitchen was.
Despite Blairmore being a working farm, dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on leads around livestock. We had three dogs staying in the house with us and had no problem at all with taking them out for walks on the lead. It was great being able to stay in such luxury accommodation with the dogs – we usually end up camping so that we can take them with us.
Whilst we thought Blairmore Farm was pretty much perfect, it is in fact a work in progress. There are several other holiday cottages that are either available to rent now, or due to be available within the next few months. I was lucky enough to have a look around the new eight-person holiday cottage and if anything, it is even more luxurious than West Cottage. There is also a two-bed cottage that sleeps four, and other cottages are still under development.
The local area
We spent a couple of days exploring the area around Blairmore Farm, including visits to both Loch Leven and Loch of the Lowes. I have written about these in a separate post, but suffice to say there is plenty going on locally, especially if you love nature and being outdoors.
As I said at the start of my post, I am certain that I haven’t managed to portray quite how wonderful Blairmore Farm is. Perhaps the only way to explain it is by saying that not only would I recommend it to anyone, but I would book another stay there myself without a moment’s hesitation. In fact, the family who joined us have already booked a week there for 2017, and we fully intend to do the same.