Places to Relax
Arts and Crafts style with tasteful furnishings and varied artwork, including a very striking painting by leading Scottish contemporary artist and RSA vice president Joyce Cairns. The antique grand piano is German, a fine instrument, and a lucky find at the Scottish Antiques & Arts Centre at Doune. The piano is tuned and available to play – guests are more than welcome to use it. The centrepiece of this most attractive and hugely relaxing room is the fireplace – another Arts and Crafts gem – which is usually ablaze with a mix of peat and logs. This is a great place for drinks, especially nightcaps, and is often used for small champagne receptions and family gatherings. Some guests opt to dine by the fire on quiet evenings. A very cosy experience. Guests are able to bring their dogs into the lounge, providing other guests are comfortable with this.
This is the ideal get away – very snug and stylish – with a feature Arts and Crafts fireplace and hugely comfortable settees. The décor and furnishings blend and suit the room perfectly. Once again, more interesting artwork including two early Joyce Cairns and a David Shepherd. The Library is often used for small private meetings – lunch and refreshments can be served there. Many guests use the Library, some for peace and quiet, some to use the hotel laptop, others to play one of the board games, cards or chess, whilst many will dig into our collection of books. We offer a diverse range of titles and are always adding to it as a result of our book buying sprees to various places such as the Book Barn near Bristol, Berrydin Books in Berwick upon Tweed and Barter Books in Alnwick. We are gradually building up an impressive section on local history, which is of particular interest to some of our guests. Contributions to our library are always welcome.
The Yew Room
Formerly a billiards room, the Yew Room can be booked for a range of activities, such as: Private Dining, Ceilidhs, Meetings, Conferences, Art Exhibitions, Receptions and Gatherings.
The Arts and Crafts fireplace takes centre stage with a log burning stove which easily warms the entire room. The tweed curtains décor and fittings are well matched. The tweed rugs can be moved to reveal a fine oak wood floor – just the ticket for dancing. The Yew Room boasts more artwork, including two outstanding Batiques from West Africa – reminders of Robbie’s time in the Foreign Service.
Again, another grand piano – French this time – just waiting to be played. It has a perfect tone and we can provide private diners and others with live piano music. You won’t catch us playing background muzak in this hotel.
The Ewe Bar
The very heart of Fortingall – the Friday night home to local farmers, gamekeepers, musicians, artists, architects, lawyers and hardworking country folk – a great mix without any snobbery. After all, we are “a’ Jock Tamson’s Bairns”! Hotel guests, with or without dogs, are welcome and made to feel at home – all enjoy Katy and her band of talented musicians. Anyone can get up to sing or borrow an instrument and play – the atmosphere is very relaxed. Friday nights often spill over to Saturdays as well – especially in the Summer months. Watch out for the Live Music banner.
The Ewe Bar features a large, open, log and peat fire which is hardly ever out during the winter months. There are pictures and photographs of Fortingall, the hotel, the glen and the yew tree, as well as old menus and Scottish pub memorabilia. Freddie our Victorian “fox in a box” looks down on the proceedings with great interest. He is, after all, a wily Glen Lyon fox.
Lunches and suppers are very popular in the Ewe Bar, so booking ahead is recommended throughout the year. You can eat from the Fortingall Bistro Menu or opt for the Restaurant Menu, which is changed on a daily basis. There is a wide range of malts – we usually stock the Classic Twelve as well as a range of Dewar’s very fine aged whiskies, and there is always a bottle of Talisker to hand – Robbie’s favourite tipple. We have one draught real ale – Timothy Taylor’s Landlord – much loved by the locals. There is also a wide choice of bottled beers – Scottish and international. Then there is Robbie’s home brewed cider and wine – definitely not for drivers!! Always take your cider with a pickled egg and crisps – that’s the Fortingall way. Or, if you drink it with your meal, it is really tasty with pork.
In the summer months – weather permitting – you can sit out in the garden and enjoy teas, coffees, cold drinks and meals. The views are superb – over to Drummond Hill in one direction and the picture postcard view of the splendid thatched cottages beside the hotel in the other direction. The apple tree is over 100 years old and the source of Robbie’s cider. We produced 14 gallons of cider in 2014 and that was responsible for quite a few “sair heids” – that’s the Scottish term for sore heads!
Robbie and Mags are gradually refurbishing the garden – new plant stock is being added and walls rebuilt. We have cleared the area at the back of the garden and will in time put in some walks, benches and shrubs. Oh, and a hot tub may well appear at some point in the future – that is in our plans!
Anyway, please feel free to wander round and soak in the atmosphere. The buzzards above, the sheep in the front fields and the golden silence – the absolute absence of noise. Don’t forget, this is the hotel where time stands still.