If you have always dreamed of spending a night in a Scottish castle then head to Perth if you are looking for a warm welcome and outstanding hospitality. Upon arrival I am greeted by Owner and Chef Jason Henderson who is accompanied by his ever faithful dog Bailey.
I check in choosing to spend the first night alone, cherishing the peace and quiet. Knock Castle is the type of place that one can stay solo and without feeling out of sorts. During my stay, there is an assortment of people staying at the castle, a couple of solo guests who have brought their dogs, a few couples and some mother/daughter combos.
You are made to feel so welcome by Jason and his staff that if you want company they are on hand, by the same token if you want to wing it alone that is also possible.
Arriving at my room, I am pleasantly surprised to discover that Jason has upgraded me to a suite. As I step in, I am impressed with the luxurious bathroom, complete with a sunken bath offering views of the Perthshire countryside.
Once I have unpacked, I decide to go for a vigorous walk around the scenic gardens. I arrive at dinner suitably famished. Even though I have opted to have an early evening meal there is a lovely atmosphere and a bit of a crowd already coming together for pre-dinner drinks at the bar.
Roof top dining in the recently refurbished hotel restaurant proves a real treat, the panoramic views of the Strathearn Valley are exceptional. While I take in the views and sip my aperitif I am presented with three menus to peruse before heading to the dining room. The Bar Menu, an A La Carte Menu and the seven course Degustation Menu. Jason has devised the menus to be reflective of the local seasonal produce.
The Bar Menu is exactly what you would expect, all the usual classics from fish and chips to salmon salad. The A La Carte and Degustation menus are where Jason’s real talent is given a chance to shine. I devoured the starter of crispy goat’s cheese served with a redcurrant jelly and finished with Praline and poached pear dressing. For the main I opted for the Pan fried Sea Bass which was served on a salad of baby vegetables and finished with pickled cucumber and a caviar cream. The beauty of having three different menus to choose from enables you to pick and mix to have the dishes you most desire.
Satisfied and looking out across the treetops of Perthshire’s countryside it’s hard to imagine a more delightful evening.
Next day, I head into town to collect my mum who is joining me for my second and final night.
The drive to the city centre is spectacularly scenic. We do a spot of shopping in the city and then head back to the castle.
I check mum into the Lady Mary suite and now I am feeling a bit miffed, it’s better than mine! She has a lovely lounge area, with a stand-alone bath. And adjoining bedroom which has decor which is to mum’s taste, it is home from home.
Taking full advantage of not having to share a suite with me, she decides to relax in a soothing bubble bath so I head back to my room to have some down time before we go for dinner.
It can be difficult to find a suitable eatery as mum is Orthodox Sikh and as such is a vegan. Jason has been pre-warned and the dishes on the menu are adapted to her culinary needs. Mum opted for the vegetarian lasagne and loved it so much she insisted on having the recipe.
Knock Castle is the perfect retreat, the hospitality is exceptional, they serve outstanding food and you cannot beat the Scottish countryside for excellent views.