Saturday 20 November 2010

Weekend break

As well as spending the childrens' inheritance at Gleneagles, Sharon and I also stayed a couple of nights at the Adamo Hotel in Bridge of Allan. On the plus side it was only 45 minutes from our house, in case it all went wrong for Olivia back at the ranch minding the four boys. It was also a comfortable room but the decor was rather masculine; all greys and blues and wood. Downstairs, the copper framing the opening from the bar to the dining room was impressive.

The two main things I look for in a hotel room are: 1. a decent night's sleep and 2. a decent shower. Friday night delivered the good sleep: a comfortable bed and peace and quiet and the room just the right temperature. Saturday night wasn't so good, as were woken by a party of women chatting and laughing in the corridor, a spring seemed to have gone on Sharon's side of the bed causing her a bit of grief, the room was very warm and there was a constant throb of bass eminating through the hotel, even when we woke up in the morning, like an externalised headache.

And the shower was just baffling. The bath had a central plug and tap but a shower at one end so you couldn't get close to the shower because of the slope of the bath. We couldn't fathom out how to get the bath taps on. The shower also had jets on the wall which projected the length of the bath and so were impossible to turn off without putting your arm across the jets. You needed to turn them off as there was nothing to prevent the water hitting the far wall and rolling off to the floor. The normal shower also had the same effect, leading to a pool of water on the floor, unless you mopped up the run-off every other minute with the sodden bath mat. This did not make for a relaxing shower! And I didn't mention the random jacuzzi!

Apart from that it was a decent stay. Breakfast was OK, although rather delayed one morning, and we enjoyed the peace and quiet of getting ready to go out at our own pace, rather than having to get the boys to bed at the same time. They also had wifi access (adamobofa) which came in handy.

On the Saturday we drove up to Killin (a misunderstanding, as Sharon thought we were going to Kippen, which I had said was about 15 minutes' drive) and pulled in by the ever-impressive and rain-swollen Falls of Dochart. From there we embarked on a walk through the Acharn Woods which was a bit of a slog along typically unpretty forest access roads rather than an enchanting meander through trees sporting a variety of autumnal colours. Still, it got us out in the fresh, and wet, air for a couple of hours and the views north and east over Killin and Loch Tay opened up as we climbed the road.

Heavy showers of rain left us rather damp on our return, but we warmed up with bowls of soup by the fire in Capercaillie in Killin before driving down to Callender. Sharon got stuck into the winter wear shops. I can remember the surprise of first seeing a fleece jumper in a shop in Banff in the Canadian Rockies in 1995. Now, that exotic, luxury, incredibly warming garment is ubiquitous.

On Saturday evening we did head for the village of Kippen, to another table by the fire, at the Cross Keys Inn. The food was hearty and home-cooked and, in its own way, as appropriate to the day and location as our meal at Andrew Fairlie's the night before. Sharon had a beetroot risotto with horseradish cream to start with followed by [can't remember!] while I had a chunky terrine followed by a hearty chicken, chorizo and chickpea stew. And chips. Just the job after our walk.

We were home by Sunday lunchtime. The boys had a great time with Olivia who wanted to take Angus home with her!

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