Find out how we celebrated St Andrew’s Day at the Four Seasons hotel in St Fillans with plenty of good food and good music!
Although I only travelled to Scotland for the first time in 2017, since then it’s become one of my favourite places to visit. I love the landscape, the cities, the people and of course the food!
So I was over the moon when I received an invitation to travel up to the Four Seasons hotel in St Fillans to celebrate Scotland’s patron saint day.
St Andrew was crucified on 30th November 60AD, and probably never set foot in Scotland while he was alive. But when the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320, he was named as the newly independent nation’s patron saint.
St Andrew’s Day is a great way to welcome in the winter with plenty of Scottish cheer – good food, good music and of course a wee dram or two.
How to find the Four Seasons, St Fillans
Mark and I travelled by car up to St Fillan’s, a small town on the edge of Loch Earn in the Trossachs National Park. It was Mark’s first trip North of the border, and our stay at the Four Seasons was a fabulous introduction to this beautiful part of the world.
It takes around 1 hour 15 minutes to drive from Glasgow, and 1 hour 40 minutes from Edinburgh. But if you’re not in a hurry, why not take a little longer and head into the Trossachs to take in the beautiful surroundings on your way?
Travelling by public transport to the Four Seasons is more complicated, requiring a combination of trains and buses. The journey will take around 2.5-3 hours from either Glasgow or Edinburgh.
A Stay at the Four Seasons
The Four Seasons is a small hotel that offers a big welcome to its guests. You can enjoy comfortable accommodation in both the hotel and its cute wooden chalets, and there are beautiful views out over Loch Earn.
Dogs are very welcome at the Four Seasons, and the location makes it ideal for walking holidays through the surrounding area.
But if you’re looking for a less energetic holiday, then the Four Seasons is the perfect place to relax and get away from it all.
A St Andrew’s Day supper
We were invited to visit the Four Seasons on St Andrew’s Day, to join in with their celebrations. After relaxing in the hotel’s ‘wee bar’ in the afternoon, we got ready for the evening and headed down to the Tarken Bistro.
This is a cosy little bistro, which has one area which is suitable for guest with dogs and another area where dogs are not allowed. Our table was right on the edge of the ‘no dogs’ area, but I couldn’t help popping over to say hi to some of the canine guests for the evening. They were all so cute and so well behaved!
Usually the Tarken Bistro and the hotel’s main restaurant both offer a tempting menu which showcases the delicious local produce. But on this special occasion, we were being served a set menu supper of traditional Scottish favourites.
Our meal started with a bowl of cock-a-leekie soup. This is known as Scotland’s national soup, and the recipe dates back to the 16th century.
It consists of a clear chicken soup with plenty of finely sliced leeks, and a little white rice added to thicken it. And though it may seem like an odd addition, the recipe traditionally calls for prunes as well.
Our starter was served with freshly baked bread, and the soup was packed full of flavour. We both really enjoyed it, and looked forward to what was coming next.
I was particularly looking forward to the main course, because it was a traditional Scottish dish that I had never tried before.
Stovies is a hearty Scottish dish, and while it may not be the most photogenic dish, it makes up for it with masses of flavour.
It’s one of those traditional dishes where every family has their own preferred recipe, and no two versions are quite the same.
The version we ate at the Four Seasons on St Andrew’s Day was a mixture of mashed potatoes with large chunks of tender lamb. But other people may choose to cook stovies with beef or add other root vegetables into the mix.
A rich, meaty gravy was poured over the stovies and a garnish of fresh chopped parsley added a touch of lightness to the flavour.
We both really loved this dish, and it’s one that I would definitely love to try cooking at home. It’s the perfect comfort food, and a great way to use up leftovers from the Sunday roast.
But it’s also very filling and we struggled to eat the whole portion, especially as there was still dessert to come.
And dessert was this fabulous Cranachan, topped with a swirl of spun sugar.
Cranachan is another traditional Scottish dish, and is a mix of whipped cream, toasted oatmeal, fresh raspberries, honey and whisky.
It was a deliciously sweet finish to our meal, but cheese and biscuits were also on offer for anyone who fancied them.
Accompanied by wine from the hotel’s bar, this was a delicious, hearty meal and a great celebration of St Andrew’s Day.
A St Andrew’s Day Celebration
We spent the rest of the evening being entertained by The Midgies, a fabulous ceilidh band.
I was a little concerned that Mark and I wouldn’t know any of the songs, but I needn’t have worried.
They filled the evening with a fantastic mix of traditional Scottish folk songs and more modern music, together with a healthy dose of banter. Mark and I were teased about being from South of the border, and guests from other areas of Scotland came in for a gentle ribbing as well.
The music was brilliant, and I was able to join in with some of the songs. There wasn’t much dancing, which was a shame because the music was so good.
And the evening was rounded off with a rousing rendition of ‘The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond’. Even I could join in with that one!
Other Events at the Four Seasons, St Fillans
Our St Andrew’s evening at the Four Seasons was a fantastic celebration, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
The hotel holds various events throughout the year. Upcoming events include a Leap Year Birthday party and of course there are plenty of celebrations lined up for Hogmanay.
It’s well worth checking out the Four Seasons’ website to see what events and special offers are coming up!