Take a look around the Kirkstyle Inn and Rooms, the little pub in the country that’s perfect for a weekend getaway
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Ever wanted to take off to the countryside and hide away in a cosy little bolthole? I know that’s something that appeals to me on a fairly regular basis!
Recently I was invited to stay at the Kirkstyle Inn, an 18th century inn that lies in the village of Dunning, a few miles outside the Scottish city of Perth. And Mark came along with me for a long weekend in Scotland.
Dunning was burned to the ground by the Highlanders in 1716, and the pub that stands on Kirkstyle Square today was built after that event.
It has the thick stone walls, open fireplaces and low ceilings that you’d expect from a traditional country pub of that age. But the service and facilities that you’ll enjoy when you stay there are very much 21st century, and your stay will be as luxurious as in any hotel.
So read on to take a look around this very special little pub in the country…
How to get to the Kirkstyle Inn
The village of Dunning in the area of Perth and Kinross, and it’s very easy to get to by car.
Dunning is around an hour’s drive from Glasgow, taking the M80 and then the A9 through Stirling.
It will also take you around an hour to drive to Dunning from Edinburgh, heading northwards over the Firth of Forth, past Dunfermline and Kinross.
The village itself is easy to find, although you may find that mobile phone signal is patchy around the local area. Once you arrive in Dunning, you’ll easily spot the Kirkstyle Inn in the centre of the village.
There is some parking available in the courtyard outside the Inn. But if those spaces are taken, further parking can be found a few minutes away at the local tennis courts.
So while Mark headed off to park the car, I took our suitcase into the Kirkstyle Inn to check in.
A Stay at the Kirkstyle Rooms
Your stay at the Kirkstyle Inn will be in one of the four rooms across the courtyard in the building below.
Inside, the building is peaceful and elegant, with quirky photos and prints on the walls. We headed up to our room on the first floor.
The room was much larger than I had expected, and continues with the same elegant decor of the entrance hall.
Each of the rooms has a king-sized orthopaedic bed, which can be split into twin beds if you wish. And if you’re travelling with kids, a cot or put-me-up bed can be provided for them.
I have to admit that the bed felt too soft at first, and I was a little worried that my back would be complaining in the morning.
But I can honestly say that it was incredibly comfortable, a dream to sleep on, and I had absolutely no back pain when I woke up the next day!
As well as the comfy bed, there was a small seating area by the room’s two windows, and a collection of elegant vintage furniture which really complemented the room.
The room had a large flat-screen TV on the opposite wall to the bed, and despite the lack of phone signal, the high-speed WiFi had good signal.
The hospitality tray was laden with a selection of teas, coffee and biscuits as well as bottles of mineral water. And I loved the heavy crystal glasses, which added to the feeling of luxury in the room.
You can request a continental breakfast to be brought to your room in the morning or start your day with a cooked breakfast in the Inn. A form is provided for you to order your breakfast and there is a small room service menu as well.
Some of the rooms have en-suite shower rooms, but we had been allocated one of the rooms with a luxurious slipper bath.
The vivid blue walls and white tiles looked fresh and appealing, and the room itself was a generous size.
But that bath…definitely the sort of bath that’s perfect for a long, relaxing soak at the end of the day.
Complimentary toiletries are provided, along with a large jar of bath salts.
And the towels are some of the softest, snuggliest towels I’ve ever had the pleasure of wrapping myself in.
Everything about this room is high quality and luxurious. It’s the sort of room where you can imagine cocooning yourself up for the weekend, as the wild wind howls outside your window.
To be honest, I think I’d have been happy to spend my whole stay in our room. But we decided to pop back over to the Kirkstyle Inn to take a look around and have a drink before dinner.
Take a look around the Kirkstyle Inn
The Kirkstyle Inn is a lovely traditional country pub, with the sort of solid stone walls that keep it cosy in the winter and cool in the summer.
It sits at the heart of the village and is clearly very popular with the local population as well as being the perfect place to stop off if you’re in the area.
Once inside the front door, turning to your left takes you to the bar area.
As well as beer on draught and in bottles, and a fabulous wine list, the Kirkstyle Inn also has an extensive collection of whiskys, gins and rums.
The blackboard displays current special offers, drinks of the month and upcoming events, and the woodburning stove makes the room feel even cosier.
If you turn right when you enter the Inn, you find the part of the inn known as the Snug.
It’s even cosier than the bar, with an open fire, a large table with bench seating, and two gorgeous leather wingback armchairs.
The walls here have small windows and exposed stonework, and the lighting makes the room seem very, well…snug!
All around the Inn, you’ll find plenty of quirky vintage photos and prints, as well as other curios. You could easily spend a good chunk of your visit looking through them all.
The pub was busy when we arrived on a Saturday afternoon, with plenty of local regulars as well as people who were visiting to eat in the restaurant.
The restaurant is at the rear of the building. There are more vintage prints on the walls and low lighting on the tables gives an intimate atmosphere in the evening.
It’s cosy enough to feel intimate, but not so tightly packed that you feel like you’re eavesdropping on the next table!
And there’s still more to explore upstairs!
Upstairs there is a second smaller dining room with just a few extra tables.
It’s a little quieter than the restaurant downstairs and decorated in an elegant style. But it still has that quirky, vintage vibe that you’ll find throughout the Kirkstyle Inn.
There’s also another lounge which doubles as a function room. It was in use when we visited so I didn’t get any photos, but it looks gorgeous.
And you don’t need to worry about spilling your drinks as you negotiate the stairs, because there is a smaller ‘Speakeasy’ bar upstairs as well.
After enjoying a glass of wine by the fire in the snug, Mark and I headed back over to our cosy room to relax for a while before dinner.
Eat and Drink at the Kirkstyle Inn
The Kirkstyle Inn serves an excellent range of food and drink that will make your visit even more special
You’ll find a selection of hearty pub classics, some very special fancy dishes, and a selection of tempting desserts.
Coming Soon: My review of Dinner at the Kirkstyle Inn
The menu showcases some of the excellent local produce, and it changes regularly to reflect the best that the season has to offer.
And as well as light lunches and delicious dinners, if your visit to Dunning falls on Sunday, you can tuck into a fabulous Sunday Roast of the day.
Coming Soon: my review of Sunday Lunch at the Kirkstyle Inn
The food is accompanied by an excellent wine list, with several of the wines being available by the glass. You can celebrate with a bottle of Bollinger, pair your pudding with a sticky dessert wine, and there’s even an alcohol-free wine on the menu.
And you can round off your evening with one of the Kirkstyle Inn’s collection of whiskies, or their very own gin – Little Earl.
A Hearty Breakfast at the Kirkstyle Inn
We both slept incredibly well at the Kirkstyle Inn, aided in part by the fabulous meal that we enjoyed in the restaurant.
We had ordered a cooked breakfast and so we headed back over to the Inn for that. With hindsight, it might have been nice to enjoy a continental breakfast in bed, but we were looking forward to our full Scottish breakfast.
The Inn was a lot quieter than the previous evening, but the warming fires were already lit and there was a lovely relaxed atmosphere.
Our table was set out in the snug and tea, coffee and orange juice were soon brought over to us.
Before long our full Scottish breakfasts arrived, and they were absolutely fantastic.
Local bacon and sausages were accompanied by perfectly cooked eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and a tattie scone, as well as toast. A separate basket of toast was also brought out to our table.
I particularly enjoyed the sausages, which were really meaty and flavoured with herbs.
And the tomato was actually grilled properly, unlike some breakfasts where it seems like they’ve just been shown the grill from a distance!
There was a gentle bustle of activity as the Inn was prepared for the day ahead, and a fresh cup of coffee was brought over to me towards the end of my breakfast.
By the end of our breakfast, we were both feeling very full but set for the day ahead of us.
A last minute invitation to stay for Sunday lunch meant that we could return to our room to relax for a while after a quick stroll around the village.
Things to Do near the Kirkstyle Inn
The village of Dunning itself is very small, however it’s worth paying a visit to the church of St Serf which is directly opposite the Kirkstyle Inn.
This church sits on the spot where the 6th century St Serf supposedly killed a dragon, and parts of it are over 800 years old. It also houses the Dupplin cross, a carved monumental Pictish cross which dates back to the 9th century.
The church is open to visitors from 1st April to 31st October.
Dunning is around a 20 minute drive from Perth, which has a number of museums, galleries and gardens worth visiting.
And just outside Perth, you will find Scone Palace. The house that you see today has been enlarged and updated to maintain its medieval characteristics, but the site was originally an early Christian church and in the 12th century became an Abbey.
For 1000 years it was also the site where Scottish kings were crowned, and the home of the Stone of Scone (pronounced Scoon)
The state rooms are open to visitors between April and October, and there are beautiful grounds to walk around as well.
If you enjoy a drop of whisky, you might also enjoy a visit to the nearby Tullibardine distillery. They offer a number of different tours including a very tempting Whisky and Chocolate tour!
And the Inn is only 10 minutes away from Gleneagles, with its world-famous Championship golf courses.
The Kirkstyle Inn: Our Verdict
We really enjoyed our visit to the Kirkstyle Inn, and were really impressed by the high standard of the accommodation, food and service there.
The room felt very special, with that super-comfortable bed and the relaxing slipper bath. The facilities are excellent and its elegant decor makes it feel very calm and relaxing.
I also loved the vintage feel that runs throughout the Kirkstyle Inn and Rooms, thanks to all the quirky prints, photographs and curios used to decorate it.
The food and drink at the Kirkstyle Inn are also excellent, and we were warmly welcomed by both the staff and the locals drinking in the Inn.
The Kirkstyle Inn would be a lovely place to stay if you’re visiting the local area, and it would make the perfect cosy spot for a romantic weekend away.
This was certainly a memorable visit, and Mark and I have already agreed that we’ll definitely be returning in the future.
The Kirkstyle Inn and Rooms
Kirkstyle Square, Dunning, Perth PH2 0RR