top of page
  • Writer's pictureCate Devine

Cromlix by Cate Devine

Kim and Andy Murray

The sedate drive along the tree-lined avenue in all shades of green that leads to Cromlix sets the quietly dignified tone of the boutique Stirlingshire hotel near Dunblane, owned by Scots tennis ace Andy Murray and his wife Kim.

The interior design, where every room of the former Victorian mansion is filled with gloriously dense colours and dramatic wallpaper patterns drawn from nature, underpins an all-pervading sense of cohesion. Belfast-based interior designer Suzanne Garuda worked with Kim Murray last year to help her put her stamp on the hotel after taking it out of the ICMI hotel group. Even the bedrooms are named after local plants and herbs, and aromatherapy toiletries supplied by Edinburgh-based MODM exude botanical essences. Vases of fresh mint and chive flowers by head gardener Sarah Janisch Corser add an extra feminine touch. It’s a big change from the days when the rooms were named after (mostly male) Scottish heroes.

Artworks in the entrance hallway - mainly Damien Hirst and David Shrigley from the Murrays’ private collection - prove to be an instant talking point as they do tend to deliver a jolt of metropolitan energy.

Paintings on loan from the Royal Scottish Academy include Elizabeth Blackadder, William MacTaggart, William Gillies, Ashley Cook and Albert Morocco and hang in the bar, drawing room, billiards room and private dining room. Interestingly, despite its Scottish roots, there’s not a square of tartan to be seen.

Head Chef Darin Campbell

The organic vibe continues into the Glasshouse restaurant overlooking the vast grounds (where we spotted free-range chickens roaming the croquet lawn). The quietly-spoken executive head chef Darin Campbell - recently named Chef of The Year award at the Scottish Excellence Awards 2024 - has been at Cromlix for over a decade, including the years the restaurant was

part of the Roux empire.

His new menu continues to promote local provenance and home-grown veg from his kitchen garden, now with global and Asian influences and with the

added clout of in-house forager and herbalist Lauren Lochrie: think a dish of

St Bride’s chicken with foraged nettle puree, or Scottish red snapper with

beetroot and herb cavatelli.

Grilled Mackerel Fillet

Sushi rolls with miso taramasalata and kimchi mayo with crispy octopus were gently zingy starters, as was my grilled mackerel fillet with coconut and toasted peanut chilli salad with avocado and pickled ginger. We had a wood pigeon terrine with Perthshire rhubarb and braised chicory with saffron milk bread. And the warm infusion of a spicy broth with gamey Newtonmore venison loin in a ramen from the specials menu was a delightful new experience for me (there is also a choice of Loch Duart salmon ramen on the main menu). A pink Aberdeenshire rack of lamb and shank with glazed Scottish asparagus and carrots hit the spot with my partner. At breakfast, the stand-out was the new porridge brûlée with whisky, cream and caramelized Demerara sugar.

Chef Darin, a farmer’s son from Largs, was head chef at two-star Restaurant Andrew Fairlie for over five years (earlier he worked with the late chef Andrew at Glasgow’s One Devonshire Gardens and names him as his mentor whose influence continues to this day). He also worked with Gordon Ramsay and

Marcus Wareing in London. At the new-era Cromlix, it’s clear he is relishing the freedom to develop his innovative, delicate, modern menus - in his own unassuming way.

A visit to Cromlix House is a dive into bucolic bliss. Which, for the Murray Clan, clearly comes as second nature.

91 views0 comments

Bình luận

Đã xếp hạng 0/5 sao.
Chưa có xếp hạng

Thêm điểm xếp hạng
bottom of page