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In the heart of Scotland's magnificent Royal Deeside nestles a peach of an exclusive country house hotel.
Standing on the side of south-facing Craigendarroch, (in Gaelic this translates as the 'rocky Hill of Oaks'), Darroch Learg, a late Victorian pink granite mansion, dominates the spick-and-span town of Ballater in Aberdeenshire. An undeniably glorious vantage point provides cracking panoramic views over the River Dee and Balmoral estates to misty blue mountains including Lochnagar. Built in 1888 as a country residence and home to HRH Queen Victoria's physician, Darroch Learg belongs to the Franks family and has for over 40 years.
The lobby and entry ooze authentic Highland character retaining the charm of their private mansion days, with a plush drawing room and separate smoke room. In the bedrooms, four poster beds grace the interior with private balconies overlooking the Grampian mountains.
The hotel has been awarded three AA rosettes for food every year since 1997 so pack your appetite when you come. Cuisine is both modern and Scottish and makes the most of the provender of the north-east of the country. Dinner may include traditional Scottish fair of wood pigeon en croûte, topped with shallot, mushroom jam and pear chutney, or perhaps sea scallops with Stornoway black pudding and sweetcorn puree. Sturdy dishes like fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef with celeriac, asparagus and oxtail sauce, or pithivier of slow cooked pork and boudin with apple puree are often served. Desserts include luscious warm white and milk chocolate pudding with creme fraiche or a classic lemon tart with berry sauce.
Darroch Learg will envelop you with warmth, brimming over with charm. The friendly, hospitable owners seek to delight and provide unparalleled hospitality.
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