The Trossachs views are still fab for all visitors to St Fillans
The view from most parts of the hotel is just as fab as when John, Paul, George and Ringo found refuge here for a couple of nights at the height of Beatlemania.
The Four Seasons in fact is reputed to have one of the best views in the whole of Scotland. That’s some boast, of course, given the spectacular amount and variety of stunning scenery with which we are blessed in this country.
But you could sit and gaze all day at the still waters of Loch Earn which lie at its doorstep, stretching seven miles to the mountains beyond, beautifully framed like an Alpine scene on a box of Swiss chocolates.
It is easy to see to imagine that this was where one of the hotel’s most famous guests started his love affair with Scotland.
The Beatles escaped to St Fillans in between shows at the ABC Cinema in Edinburgh and in Dundee in October 1964.
According to a reporter from the Strathearn Herald, in Crieff, the Fab Four - whose visit is commemorated with art work and a copy of his report in the restaurant and bar - enjoyed the solitude.
“Paul wistfully wished he had a cottage there,” he reported, “but realised it was out of the question.”
It was only a few years later he bought his farm on the Mull of Kintyre, perhaps inspired by this early short visit to the Trossachs.
As you would expect on the edge of the Trossachs National Park, a visit to St Fillans can be as relaxed or as active as you want. Just a short walk around the loch from the Four Seasons, the Loch Earn Watersports Centre offers a wide range of activities including waterskiing, wakeboarding and kayaking. There are gentle lochside strolls, numerous Bens to conquer within a short distance and free mountain bike on offer.
After a day on the water or up on the hills, the award-winning Four Seasons offers a cosy retreat. New owner Susan Stuart is adding some neat small touches to the hotel’s traditional offering with the emphasis on excellent service.
The hotel’s Two Rosettes Restaurant is one of its main attractions, while the Tarken bar and bistro offers a more informal alternative with the same friendly and attentive service.
Chef Chris Temple and his team make the most of the local larder including local salmon, Scotch beef and award-winning Starthearn cheese. The steaks, like those enjoyed by the Beatles all those years ago, are still a speciality. The modern menu also includes vegetarian options such as Field Mushroom Open Lasagna and Textures of Heritage Beetroot and delicious desserts such as affogato and chocolate pave.
Families will be pleased to find the “young people’s menu” with appealing options for under-12s from vegetable sticks and humous to traditional favourites such as “mac n cheese”.
Over a home-cooked breakfast of some of the tastiest Scottish sausages and bacon I have come across, conversation turned to how the view in front of us ranked alongside other favourites from our travels.
Was it as good or better than the one across the Churchill Barriers towards Lamb Holm, home of the Italian Chapel, in Orkney? What about the view from the cafe in northern Skye where we sipped coffee looking out across moorland and the vast expanse of the North Sea? The result was inconclusive, apart from easy agreement that you would never tire of that view over the loch.
The Four Seasons Hotel, Lochside, St Fillans, Perthshire.
01764 685333 thefourseasonshotel.co.uk email@example.com