Christmas is a time for celebrating with your nearest and dearest.
It’s also a time for scratching your head as you ponder what on earth they would like to find under the tree on Christmas morning.
If you are in just such a pickle then you need scratch no more.
Snap up today’s Big Deal on a relaxing winter break at Old Churches House in Dunblane and wait for them to start singing your praises.
With vouchers valid until the end of February 2014, this offer would make for a thoughtful festive gift.
Going back to work after the holidays is less of a chilling thought when there is a cosy winter break already in the diary.
Less than a one hour drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh, Old Churches House is situated in the heart of Dunblane’s Cathedral Square.
Part of a row of 18th-century cottages, Old Churches House is a cosy hotel with eleven en-suite bedrooms and a welcoming restaurant serving fresh, locally sourced food.
Available seven days a week, option one is for two people to enjoy an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s ensuite double or twin rooms. A gorgeous cooked breakfast and two course a la carte dinner are part of the offer.
Option two is for a two consecutive night stay with breakfast and dinner while option three is for three nights with breakfast and dinner.
All the rooms have picturesque views across the cathedral square with its historic cottages, beautiful medieval cathedral and leafy kirk yard.
A cosy, welcoming hotel, the rooms at Old Churches House feature fluffy, Egyptian cotton towels; hot drinks trays and ensuite facilities. There is free WiFi throughout the building.
A £10 supplement applies to Friday and Saturday night stays.
As part of the offer, each guest can enjoy a two course dinner (starter and main course or main course and dessert) from the a la carte menu.
A charming spot with pitched wooden ceilings and views across Cathedral Square, the Dining Room serves a lovely selection of traditional Scottish and British dishes.
Wherever possible, the kitchen uses fresh, local and seasonal produce. The menus change regularly but typical starters might be the Cullen skink with crusty bread; black pudding and apple dumplings served with a whisky and mustard sauce or the pan-fried tiger prawns and mushrooms with a chilli and garlic butter.
Popular main courses include the venison bangers and mash; the beer-battered haddock and the Perthshire pork which is slowly braised in apples, tarragon and cider before being served with a topping of black pudding mash.
Lots to see and do
Old Churches House is perfect positioned for exploring The Trossachs National Park and historic landmarks such as Stirling Castle.
There are plenty of Munros to be conquered in the surrounding area and it’s ideally placed for a round of golf at Gleneagles – the setting for next year’s Ryder Cup.
At the time of writing, Old Churches House has been open for just a handful of months. Already, it has been winning fans on TripAdvisor. This is what a recent guest had to say:
‘Superb setting and wonderful food. We have just spent a night there and were very impressed. The setting was superb, just opposite Dunblane’s lovely cathedral, so the area was lovely and quiet. Our room and indeed the whole hotel had been refurbished to a high degree of comfort and cleanliness.
The dinner we had was surprisingly good especially the beer battered haddock which was exceptionally light and fluffy. The food was of very high quality throughout and the portions very generous, including the breakfast. All the staff we encountered were polite, obliging and friendly. We were sorry we hadn’t booked an extra night and shall certainly return to this little hidden gem.’