The Scottish countryside can be a magical place for a romantic getaway.
Especially when you are staying somewhere special, and there’s hope of sunshine.
Make the most of the summer months with today’s Big Deal on a stay at the elegant and historic Friars Carse Hotel near Dumfries.
Whether you want a romantic getaway; fancy a few country strolls or simply want a refreshing change of scene, Friars Carse will provide a comfortable stay in beautiful surroundings.
It has inspired poetry in the past. No pressure to write a sonnet; just enjoy your stay.
With its origins in a 13th-century friary, Friars Carse was the home of the Riddell family who regularly hosted a lively local bard called Burns, despite his penchant for rowdy behaviour. The house was remodelled in Victorian times and became a hotel in 1938.
It’s an imposing and classically-elegant building, set in a woodland estate close to the river Nith, ideal for a romantic break.
Under two hours from Glasgow or Edinburgh, Friars Carse combines historic character and atmosphere with all the contemporary comforts of a country house hotel.
Individually styled rooms
Available seven days a week, the Big Deal is for two people to enjoy an overnight stay in a standard double or twin room at Friars Carse.
As well as a full Scottish breakfast, guests will also enjoy a three course dinner from the daily table d’hôte menu with tea or coffee to finish.
Option one is for stays from Sunday to Tuesday. Option two is for stays from Wednesday to Saturday.
Friars Carse’s 21 ensuite bedrooms are individually styled and many have views over the surrounding fields, gardens or down to the river.
This is a historic building so rooms vary in size and layout, giving each a unique character. All guest rooms have WiFi.
Dining in style
We don’t recommend you emulate Burns’ notorious drinking contest in the dining room at Friars Carse, but the Whistle Restaurant is nevertheless the perfect location for a memorable evening.
The offer includes a three course dinner chosen from the daily table d’hôte menu. Chefs at the hotel use fresh, locally-sourced produce.
A typical starter might be the warm salad of wood pigeon and black pudding with beetroot & port puree, pea shoots & William pear sorbet, or the blue cheese and vine tomato brûlée with baby leaf salad, plum tomato sorbet, salt & pepper crack Parmesan tuille.
Main course options might include the pressed slow cooked pork belly, Dauphinoise potatoes, swede fondant and braised red cabbage & peppercorn cream, or the potato and celeriac rosti stack layered with creamed spinach and roast pepper, curried lentils, celery & apple salad and coriander pesto.
The menu is seasonal so is subject to change. Dinner will be finished with tea or coffee for each guest.
See & do
If you want to pursue the Burns theme, there are plenty of local associations with the poet in the vicinity, including a Burns Trail; an easy walk taking in the Hermitage, within the hotel grounds, and nearby Ellisland Farm where he wrote works including Tam O’Shanter and Auld Lang Syne.
Swapping stanzas for salmon and trout, anglers may want to take advantage of the Friars Carse lengthy fishing beat on the Nith, accessed by paths direct from the hotel.
Previous visitors have been generous with their praise for Friars Carse, with recent TripAdvisor reviews including the following, edited for length:
‘Very nice hotel. Accommodation lovely. Staff are lovely also. Full of character and history. Great for touring Dumfries. Also good for fishing. The river Nith is on the door step. Would recommend to anyone.’
‘Fantastic short break… old style hotel with pleasant relaxed atmosphere. Staff were friendly, helpful and always available. We ate at the hotel, great Scottish breakfast with lots of available extras. The evening meal was a small but varied menu and the quality of the food was first class, especially the game… I would thoroughly recommend a few days here, nice surroundings, nice walks and a bit of history thrown in.’
Romantic gift idea
A short break in Dumfriesshire is a treat any time of the year, but summer time will look stunning if the sun comes out.
Today’s Big Deal stay at Friars Carse would be the perfect romantic gift, offering a dreamy atmosphere and some great local cuisine.