The Old Minister’s House, Rothiemurchus, Aviemore

The Old Minister’s House is exactly that, however offers a slight contradiction in terms within it’s beautifully contemporary interior.

Situated in the heart of the Cairngorm Natural Park, the former Church of Scotland Manse boasts an impressive, traditional stone frontage commanding a prime village location within the Rothiemurchus Estate – a haven for lovers of everything countryside and of course the Mecca for skiing in Scotland.

The Old Minister’s House exerts a calming influence upon entering, attributed in part to the neutral palette within the expansive rooms but also to the absolute peace and silence, with the exception of the occasional crackle from the log burning stove in the guest lounge.

There is a palatable warmth, not just literal, within this home for guests; prompting comfort and wellbeing. The house has been obviously nurtured back to interior health with lovingly restored rooms, decorated with contemporary styling and a traditional twist.

Scottish based accessories complement the styling; my favourite, the luxuriant made-to-measure Harris Tweed curtains with matching dressing chair and bed throw – decadent but ever so fitting.

The well measured luxuries did not detract from the obvious concentration on modern necessities; the bathroom was thoughtfully equipped with little extras in addition to the local toiletries and comfortable robe and slippers; an iPod docking station and TV with vast choice of DVDs for those not selecting to read from the informative books and journals, in the lounge.

It is always a pleasure to notice something unique within a guest room and the sherry carafe and home-made cookies delivered and exceeded my hopes on that front. Additional, speciality teas were a welcome accessory, on which, time and effort had been spent in decorating individual glass jars – a nice touch.

In addition to the extreme comfort of memory foam mattresses, The Old Minister’s House boasts a duvet and pillow menu, allowing guests to select the comfort and warmth suited to their own particular tastes – the ultimate!

The sun arrived, as if to order, to greet morning guests for breakfast with wonderful views out on the garden and river beyond. A multitude of birds fed on their well placed feeders and we managed to see the resident woodpecker put in an appearance to collect his morning food.

Apt for the area, Shelagh thoughtfully prints out a forecast for the day; suited to skiers or walkers, but rarely both!; and a diary of upcoming events and things to see in the coming days – great reading over breakfast if you can manage to look away from the garden long enough.

It is so lovely to have an event made of breakfast; the variety within the menu and quality of locally sourced ingredients befits the levels of accommodation and service and is amongst the best breakfasts I, personally, have tasted.

Sadly, the end of breakfast marks the time to depart, however with fond memories and thoughts of hunting down Harris Tweed suppliers.