Welcome to Meldrum House Hotel
I’m a sucker for a good Scottish country house hotel – four poster beds, carpets to dig your toes into, wood panelled rooms, cocktails in front of huge roaring fires, leather sofas, toasting the haggis, and fine dining – and Meldrum House Hotel* deep in the heart of rural Aberdeenshire fulfilled my country house dreams and more.
Sitting within its own 240-acre estate, Meldrum House Country Hotel and Golf Course is located just outside Oldmeldrum, 30 minutes north of Aberdeen. Built as a tower house by the Barony of Meldrum in the 13th century, Meldrum House grew into the baronial home which now operates as a 4-star boutique hotel today – complete with its own wee herd of shaggy highland coos and 800 year old cave bar. Let’s check in to Meldrum House Hotel.
I stayed at Meldrum House thanks to VisitAberdeenshire.
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Rooms at Meldrum House Hotel
Checking into Meldrum House you can choose from three types of rooms:
- The Manor House – the original manor house has 10 unique rooms and suites decorated in a traditional style, stuffed full of antiques and some even have four poster beds – perfect if you fancy yourself lord of the manor.
- The Stables – across the grounds from the Manor House is the recently refurbished stables block with 13 double rooms – looking for contemporary Scottish luxury? The Stables are for you.
- The new wing – has 28 super modern bedrooms with floor to ceiling windows over the golf course. The modern wing also has a 200 capacity ballroom used for weddings and events.
- Book now – Suites – £230 / The Stables Deluxe – £190 / Standard Doubles – £160 all / all including breakfast. Packages available for golf and distilleries. Book Meldrum House Hotel*
My room in the recently renovated Stables was bright and spacious with a pitched roof and dormer windows, decorated in contemporary Scottish colours and tweedy touches – think muted tweeds and greens rather brash tartans. Other rooms in the Stables have beamed ceilings and a cosier, darker feel. All of the Stables rooms have super modern bathrooms with Temple Spa products, power showers, massive white fluffy towels and cosy dressing gowns.
Dining at Meldrum House Hotel
Cocktails by the fire are a prerequisite before dinner at Meldrum House’s 2 Red Rosette restaurant, or try a local gin; Teasmith Gin is made with black loose leaf Ceylon tea and House of Elrick gin is made with water from Loch Ness!
Located to the rear of the hotel, the Meldrum House’s restaurant overlooks the grounds and is stylishly decorated. The à la carte menu offers up Scottish favourites such as scallops and stornoway black pudding, Highland venison with sticky red cabbage, goats cheese wellingtons and stunning aged steaks from local butcher Presly’s of Oldmeldrum. Private dining rooms are available to celebrate special events – we were treated to a gorgeous 5 course fine dining menu, along with a dramatic interlude to properly toast our haggis course! Make sure you retire back to the lounge for an after dinner dram…
If you prefer a more casual meal, the hotel’s 1236 restaurant serves up dinner in what was the hotel’s original larder and storeroom. Go for haggis bon bons with a whisky glaze, 24-hour braised beef cheek pies and Glen Garioch whisky-smoked salmon.
For the morning after the night before, breakfast is served in the restaurant is and is also à la carte – be good with homemade granola or deservedly naughty with porridge with cream and a dram dram of Glen Garioch Founders Reserve, or go for a Portsoy smoked salmon with scrambled free range eggs. Make sure you try a local buttery – an Aberdonian treat – kind of like a salty croissant!
The Cave Bar
When a hotel wins the 2019 award for the best whisky bar at the Whisky Magazine’s World Whisky Awards you know you are in for a treat. Meldrum House’ Cave bar is located in an 800 year old turret and serves up 120 malt whiskies and blends. With an old and rare cabinet and a Whisky Club with 44 lockers to hide away your special stock to drink in the bar – even Sir Alex Ferguson owns a locker at Meldrum House – the Cave Bar is a real destination for whisky lovers.
The local whisky of choice is of course, Glen Garioch, made steps away from the hotel in Oldmeldrum. My favourite dram is the super rare 15 year old, Sherry Cask, or if you are feeling adventurous try the 20 year old Wine Cask.
Things to do at Meldrum House Hotel
You might be tempted just to curl up for the weekend, but outside the hotel is Aberdeenshire and it would be a shame not to explore.
- Play the Knight’s Course – Meldrum House has its own 18-hole golf course. The parkland course comes complete with challenging water features, dog-legs and bunkers and a clubhouse with restaurant and pro-shop and 24 acre teaching course. The Knight’s Course is only open to members and hotel guests.
- Visit Glen Garioch Distillery – 5 minutes from the hotel is Glen Garioch Distillery. Pronounced Glen Geery, Garioch means grain – the distillery sits in the Valley of the Garioch renowned as a barley producing region. Glen Garioch produces two regular whiskies – the Founder’s Reserve and a 12-year-old Bourbon and Sherry cask. Look out for vintage releases and a rare 25 year old. The Founders Tour takes 1 hour, and is £8.50 with one dram and the Masters Tour includes 3 drams including a taste of Glen Gariochs small batch bottlings. Visit Glen Garioch Distillery.
- Fyvie Castle – Aberdeenshire has nearly 300 castles and Fyvie Castle is one of the best. Owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland the castle has a huge portrait collection – including works by Gainsborough and Sir Henry Raeburn and the £22 million life-size Pompeo Batoni portrait of Colonel William Gordon. Entry to the castle is free for NTS members or £13 for adults.
- Peterhead Prison – visit the former H.M. Convict Prison at Peterhead to learn the history of this fascinating prison and its inmates. One of Scotland’s best quirky experiences – meet the guards and learn about the only time the SAS were used to end a domestic siege in mainland Britain. Visit Peterhead Prison Museum. Entry is £9 for adults.
- Visit Aberdeen – visit Footdee – a quirky & colourful fishing village at the mouth of the River Dee., order fish & chips at the Silver Darling and watch the bottlenose dolphins swim by and discover Aberdeen’s street art – see artworks from SmugOne and Ernest Zacharevic. Read more: Things to do in Aberdeen.
- Explore the Banffshire Coast – The Moray Firth, Scotland’s largest firth (sea inlet in Scots) stretches all the way from John O’Groats on the very north coast of Scotland to Peterhead in the east. The Banffshire section has picturesque harbour villages, waves crashing over towering sea cliffs, huge swathes of beach,and is just 40 minutes north of Meldrum House Hotel. Read more: Exploring the Moray Firth.
Then after a long day exploring Aberdeenshire, head back to the Meldrum House Hotel and head straight for the Cave Bar for your whisky of choice and snuggle in for the night….
Love, from Scotland x
Book: Meldrum House Hotel*