Ballintaggart Farm serves to prove heaven is indeed a place on earth. This farm in the heart of the Perthshire countryside in Scotland make up for its small stature by putting on a hospitality spread that finds no real competition within the immediate area (apart from, we hasten to add, the brand’s own hotel down the road).
The renovated out-buildings surrounding the central farmhouse – where the owners live – offer up a surprisingly versatile run of experiences. Choose to stay overnight in one of the plush bedrooms (all plumped-up pillows, crisply painted panelling and little jars of homemade shortbread), take a class in the cook school where Leith-trained chefs take you through the joys of perfecting sourdoughs or quick summer suppers, join for soul-soothing breakfast and yoga in the barn or settle down to a Sunday supper in the bright and airy dining room.
Here, in the dining room, you can expect seasonal plates of Scottish sorcery that are carefully curated to bring you a taste of the region with every bite. This loyalty to homegrown fare isn’t held to at the expense of sacrificing crowd-pleasing international flavours though. Classic French flavours are found in charcuterie plates which use venison instead of the typical pork for a rich gamey twist, while perfectly shaped pithiviers prove the chefs’ far-reaching technical abilities. The menu is in a constant state of evolution, but combinations might throw up homegrown purple sprouting broccoli with leek, spring onions, almonds, shallots and curd or scallops with blood orange and brown shrimp.
Service is personal and warm, with each member of the team greeting customers old and new like friends. The charm of Ballintaggrt is found in its generosity, from the time taken over every diner to explain the menu, to details like the drinks list, which is packed with smaller indie brands that can’t have been easy to collate. Warm log fires seal the deal for a restaurant experience that will have you wishing you could stay on just a little while longer.