OH and I headed north to Inverurie last weekend. We haven’t been out and about much recently so thought it was about time we disappeared for for a bit.
First of all I checked the weather map and looked for the gaps in the rain clouds. From there it was onto the discount hotel websites to find dog friendly hotels and finally I narrowed down the search by looking for luxury at a bargain price and that’s how I found Thainstone House Hotel just outside of Inverurie.
OH hates hanging around so I knew we’d arrive early. I also knew that check-in wasn’t until 3pm so I had a quick search of the area to look for things of interest. Easter Aquhorthies Stone Circle jumped out as something that OH would like (Inverurie has a lovely town centre but OH and shops just isn’t a thing). The stones were only 4 miles further up the road so we headed there first and parked at the small car park just down from them.
The special thing about this 4000 year old stone circle is that it has a recumbent stone – a large monolith lying down lengthwise flanked by 2 other stones. It is believed that recumbent stones play a central part in moonlight rituals as they are aligned with the arc of the moon. This gives roughly a hour when the moon is framed by the 3 stones.
If you look at the pic the stone in the foreground is made from red jasper and has some amazing colours in it.
Culture box ticked we thought we’d give the hotel a try and see if we could check in early. We could! Our room was lovely. Richly decorated, comfortable and lots of little extras such as chocolates, wine, toiletries, bathrobes and slippers. Not wasting much time we grabbed our swimsuits and headed to the spa.
We’ve been to a few spas in country hotels over the years and the majority of them have been a bit sad. Broken locker doors, manky grout, equipment not available/working etc but the facilities here were clean, well maintained and spot on. Pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms indoors and hot tub and sauna out too. There was also a gym and spa treatments available but I’ve been allergic to gyms ever since I found out they don’t have bars in them.
I decided I wanted to go to the outdoor hot tub first so OH and I separated and went into the changing rooms. I emerged grabbed a robe and slippers and ventured outdoors. I slipped into the tub and relaxed waiting for OH to join me. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to relax. 10 minutes later and there was still no sign of my errant Other Half. A staff member wandered past so I called him over and explained I had lost my man and if he sees him could he tell him where I am. “What does he look like?” Suddenly I was on the spot. I didn’t even think to describe his swim shorts all I could muster was “eh like Phil Mitchel but with a tad more hair.” The guy looked up for just a short while, nodded, smiled and left. It was then I thought I really should have said before he was an alcoholic. Of course 2 minutes later OH appeared.
After we had well and truly ticked the spa box we went back to the room and opened the complimentary wine and ate the chocolates.
I’m not going into great detail about the dinner but it was lovely. There was 3 extra courses between the normal ones. Haggis bonbons to start, a parsnip veloute between starter and main and a lemon sorbet palate cleanser after the main. There were 2 choices for each course so OH started with salmon and then had the beef, followed by pear tart and I went the opposite and had chicken, trout and rhubarb fool. OH and I enjoyed it all and any complaints would just be us trying to find fault. The service was efficient (fast) and friendly and the whole meal surprisingly took us 2 hours. The time sped by.
After dinner we found “The Boys Room” which had a full size snooker table, a juke box and a retro games machine. In there, we met another couple also staying for the evening so for the the rest of the evening we played snooker, PacMan, Asteroid Wars and listened to music from 80s whilst making the most of the hotel bar in good company.
I always look forward t0 hotel breakfasts and there was nothing wrong with this one. There was all the usual stuff plus more. I had Cinnamon French toast with bacon and maple syrup and OH had poached eggs (maybe something to do with the previous nights wine and ale intake).
All in all, we had a wonderful stay and I’d heartily recommend Thainstone House Hotel if you’re looking for a short break with some proper Scottish hospitality. (oh and the dog liked it too)