Murrayshall County House Hotel, Scone.
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Panoramic views from the Lynedoch Obelisk take in the River Tay, the Lomonds and the distant Cairngorms. Between it and Perth and Scone below, nestles Murrayshall Country House Hotel whose brasserie is designed around large picture windows. The setting is quiet, the views of the undulating Perthshire landscape are breathtaking.
Murrayshall is a championship golf venue but we are here to eat from menus designed around seasonal Scottish produce. The food exceeds our expectations throughout our stay never dropping the ball be it breakfast, bar snacks, afternoon tea or dinner.
On arrival we settle into a smart, spacious room with a super king-size bed that would accommodate Henry VIII (and a few wives).
Then comes Afternoon Tea. Finger sandwiches with generous fillings, a Blue Cheese and Leek Quiche and a Black Pudding Sausage Roll with a golden pastry are a taste of things to come. Scones are freshly baked, cakes are berry-heavy; a mini strawberry Pavlova is delicate and luscious.
Next morning as I am tucking into good, loose scrambled eggs I spot a George Campbell fishmonger van pulling away which explains the succulent smoked salmon also on my plate. Freshly squeezed OJ is an unexpected but very welcome touch. Breakfasts set us up for a day trip to the Perth Art Gallery and Museum. I learn later that there is a portrait of Baron Lynedoch (who inspired the obelisk) but I was distracted by the Caravaggio, Beatrix Potter paintings of mushrooms and a history of shopping exhibition.
The baron pops up again at dinner. He was a military legend and gained the nickname the ‘Lion of Barossa’ for prowess at the eponymous battle near Cadiz in the Peninsular war. An Australian admirer named a valley and misspelt a town ‘Lyndoch’ after him. Yalumba wines from the Barossa Valley further connect Australia and the fierce baron so I order one of their Viogniers to accompany my two fish courses.
My Cod main is a hearty fillet on a bed of creamed leeks with Finnan Haddie on the side. I vow I can’t eat it all but it is so deliciously put together I succumb. Mr Bite has a Fillet of Pork which comes with a foie gras sausage roll.
Dishes of hand-dived Scallops in aromatic Thai broth and crab bhaji and Panna Cotta with raspberry sorbet bookend my meal. The kitchen has a habit of giving you two dishes for one at every turn. This doesn’t mean they substitute quality for quantity though. Food at Murrayshall is pointedly a celebration of Scotland’s larder from land, sea, garden and hedgerow. Mr Bite has polished off a seasonal Broad Bean and Pea Tartlet for starter and for dessert has Chocolate and Raspberry Parfait. He is high on the hog.
Given the setting and cuisine, Murrayshall is very good value for money. Two courses at dinner are a snip for £30. A selection of tapas (just in case you find yourself inexplicably peckish at any point!) are available at the bar for £3-4 each.
We had a fabulous time only marred by the fact that we couldn’t make a week of it. I would love to explore the countryside more by kayak, bike or on foot. Meantime the area is a paradise for fishing and golf enthusiasts. Highly recommended.