By Carol Sorgen
David Henderson and Laurent Moller haven’t had a day off in three years. With the success of their elegant bed and breakfast in Perth, Scotland, it may well be quite some time before they can actually get some well-deserved rest!
I was looking for a midway point between Glasgow and St. Andrews to spend the night and stumbled across The Townhouse website online. With glowing reviews and enticing photos, I emailed and fortunately snagged the last remaining reservation for the night I had in mind.
The drive from Glasgow to Perth was pleasant, especially with a stop along the way to see The Kelpies (more about that in a bit). We followed the directions to the car park behind The Townhouse and David–who must have seen us driving up–personally met us at the car and carried in our luggage.
Our high-ceilinged spacious room overlooked not only the B&B’s own front garden, but the manicured South Inch Park across the street. A sitting area in front of the window with makings for tea along with fruit, cookies, and chocolates was a wonderful way to unwind from the ride before heading out.
David and Laurent spent 26 years in the hospitality business in the Caribbean before buying the Georgian property and completely remodeling it. Their experience shows in every detail, from the attention to interior design to thoughtful touches such as bottled water at the bedsides, business cards of nearby restaurants, umbrellas to be loaned for the asking, and a made-to-order breakfast in the morning.
If you can tear yourself away (and it was hard!), the center of Perth (also know as “the fair city”) is just steps away. We found an excellent Indian restaurant, Tabla, for lunch, and then went exploring, finding our way to the pedestrian-only High Street (the Scottish Information Center not only has a wealth of tourist brochures and helpful staff, but also a well-stocked gift shop).
For dinner, David recommended Sante Wine Bar and Restaurant, just a short walk away, where the informal, lively atmosphere was complemented by the menu that had both a French and Scottish flair.
After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast of fresh fruit salad, toast (with Scottish marmalade and raspberry jam), and omelette the next morning, it was time to say goodbye to David–who seemed like a good friend at this point!–and his generous hospitality. If you’re anywhere near Perth, The Townhouse is the place to stay.
Worth a stop…
On our drive from Glasgow to Perth, we stopped to see The Kelpies. You should too! These 30-meter high horse-head sculptures, located next to the Forth and Clyde Canal, in The Helix, a new parkland project, were designed by sculptor Andy Scott and were completed in October 2013 and opened to the public in April 2014. Despite a morning of wind, rain, hail, and chilly temperatures, this was definitely a must-see!
After leaving Perth, on our way to St. Andrews, we stopped first at the village of Birnam, once a popular vacation spot for Beatrix Potter. The Beatrix Potter Garden and Exhibition Center will charm you, even if you’re well past the Peter Cottontail and Jemima Puddleduck age. From there it was on to Dunkeld, with its beautiful Gothic Cathedral and village center. And then off to Glamis Castle, childhood home of the late Queen Mum and said to be the most beautiful castle in Scotland. Still privately owned, the castle is open for guided tours and offers an up-close-and-personal glimpse at Scottish aristocracy and royalty (and the guide will explain the difference!).
If you go…
The Townhouse, http://www.thetownhouseperth.co.uk/
The Kelpies, http://www.thekelpies.co.uk
Glamis Castle, http://glamis-castle.co.uk
Sante Wine Bar and Restaurant, http://www.sante-winebar.co.uk/