Sam and I received a voucher for Crieff Hydro for Christmas 2016 and we only got around to visiting this winter. Scotland’s leading spa resort makes for a fantastic getaway for all ages because there’s so much to do! The beauty of Crieff Hydro is that although there’s so much to do, you can also completely relax.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on our side when we visited Crieff, but there is the option to Segway, quad bike, hop on the water in an inflatable and much more. Hiring bikes was something we had been recommended and an activity we were keen to do, but the wet weather wouldn’t have made this very enjoyable! Instead, we opted to concentrate on indoor sports and relaxation…
As soon as we arrived, we headed to the table tennis table, as this is a sport we’re quite competitive at! After beating Sam, we signed up to badminton and short tennis. Making reservations was nice and easy for us, but I’m sure in the height of summer or in the school holidays, it might not be as simple.
We managed to find a gap in the rain to head outside and try our hand at bowls. This was fun because neither of us had played before and it was good to give something new a go – even though we were terrible!
We booked an executive studio for 2 nights, which we loved. The studio was a short walk from the hotel, but gave us our own space to relax in. The studio includes a downstairs living room, with a tv and plenty of space for a small group of people, a bathroom half way up the stairs and then a bedroom at the top of the staircase.
We wasted no time in booking in to the Victorian Spa. It’s an adult only pool with a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. We got a 2-hour slot in the spa and slipped in and out of the pool between jacuzzi and sauna. It was the perfect way to spend a cold winter’s day and gave us a chance to chill out together.
We opted for the ‘Freedom Dining’ package, which gave us £26 a day to spend on food each. The package is advertised as food and drink, but drinks only include teas and coffees. With 6 eateries, we had plenty of choice over our 2 days and we managed to try 5 out of 6 restaurants. The one we didn’t make it to was the Clubhouse, which I thought had a good lunch menu.
Meikle is the most up market of Crieff Hydro’s restaurant and it serves seasonal Scottish food. This is the restaurant where breakfast is served every morning and you can find the usual hot food and continental buffets. There’s also a small menu you can order from and I chose the salmon and scrambled eggs, as a different option on our second morning.
This café feels like a big open conservatory and is a great spot for a hot drink or bite to eat in between activities. It’s a very casual restaurant, but it has lovely big windows, which let in a lot of light, even on dull winter afternoons. If you’re looking for a sandwich or tea and cake, pop in to Winter Garden and fuel up after a busy day at the spa!
The Hub was one of my favourite spots at Crieff Hydro because it’s so casual and family friendly – we kept migrating back here throughout our weekend. The sports courts are near here, and the table tennis table is upstairs, so it’s the perfect place to hang out and have food after some friendly competition. The menu at The Hub focuses on an American theme with burgers and hot dogs, but they also have a light bites section for a mid afternoon snack.
For the first of our 2 evening meals, we chose the Brasserie. It’s not as fancy as Meikle, but it means that it’s also not as expensive, but still a lovely restaurant for families, friends and couples. Being a French restaurant, the French onion soup is a great starter and they offer up a selection of classic dishes for the main course, including risotto, roast chicken, fish and steaks.
Our second evening was spent at Piccolo, which is a casual Italian restaurant. The atmosphere is more informal than the Brasserie and the menu offers a range of pizza, pasta and salads. The antipasti platters are an excellent way to start your meal because it brings the table together and includes a delicious selection of meats. I found Piccolo to be great value for money because the portion sizes are quite large – I had to take half of my pizza away. The Aperol Spritz here are yummy too!