This winter, spend a few days in the lap of luxury at Gleneagles in Scotland
Highland glamour at its best
Gleneagles is called “the Palace in the Glen” and “the Switzerland of Scotland” because of its location in the Scottish highlands. Spread out, over 850 acres, it has been the go-to for the swish set for decades—whether it be families on holiday or groups of friends looking to enjoy the clubhouse (with a spa and outdoor Jacuzzi), multiple bars with endless champagne or a selection of over 200 of the finest whiskies. Then, there’s its world-famous golf course. My favourite, however, was Glendevon, a grand drawing room overlooking the sprawling lawns and the hills beyond, where I spent a misty afternoon curled up with a book, hot mint tea, and scones.
The food, too, is fantastic. Over 100 chefs labour to turn each meal into a feast, coupled with spectacular service, silver cutlery and produce from the grounds. We had a decadent dinner at Strathearn, the restaurant serving Franco-Scottish cuisine, with traditional guerdon service from dining trolleys (servers attend to each table and theatrically carve fresh salmon or flambé steak). If whisky is not your tipple of choice, there’s a cellar with 17,000 bottles of wine.
Gleneagles is part of the Leading Hotels of the World. Come via London, and stay at Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street. It is one of London’s most storied spots, with art deco flourishes and preserved black-and-whites of Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf and Winston Churchill. It also houses a spa that’s rated the best in London, with a special bone-setting therapy that’s worth trying.
Finally, head back home via Virgin’s Upper Class, which promises to get you from ‘car to Clubhouse’ (its business class lounge) in 10 minutes—a limo will usher you there and you’ll swiftly be escorted through private security and check-in. On the plane, enjoy a drink at the bar before settling down on your flatbed and you’ll wake up to an indulgent multicourse breakfast.