I had heard of this hotel as a wedding and dining venue and wanted to see it for myself. Afternoon tea on cold wet day seemed ideal. However it was so disappointing. Alarm bells began ringing when I phoned up to reserve afternoon tea to be told they required 48 hours notice (why?) but was offered cream tea instead. It has obviously been a beautiful house but the decor is now tired with faded chintz and leather chairs with holes. An important part of afternoon or cream tea is the tea (the clue is in the name!). We weren't given any choice but were just presented with a pot of very strong ordinary teabag tea. I asked if they had Earl or Lady Grey and a pot of Earl Grey tea was brought quickly. We were given 2 large warm and delicious scones each, one plain and one fruit along with one small pot of rasp jam (no choice) between us and butter. There was plenty of thick cream but it was served on a saucer - good for cats but not the most elegant of dishes.
I get the impression from other reviews that this has been a very good hotel which has dropped its standards and that was certainly our experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Balbirnie House is a quite unique multi-award winning country house hotel which combines understated luxury with superb service and outstanding value. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest of the privately owned small luxury hotels in Scotland, Balbirnie offers a wonderful experience, whatever the occasion of your visit. Fine food, lovely surroundings and above all a real sense of friendly Scottish hospitality combine to create quite a unique setting for today’s house guests to enjoy. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Balbirnie House Hotel Markinch
- Balbirnie House Markinch, Scotland