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Small City Big Personality Travel Blog Review

Driving along a wee country road, we saw a big set of wooden gates ahead. The gates automatically opened as we approached, revealing our home for the night. It was like the curtains drawing back on stage at the finale of a grand production, and there would be no better finale to our day out in Crieff, than an overnight stay at Gamefield. The moment we stepped inside the entrance hall and felt the heat from the open fire and underfloor heating, I decided there and then that I didn’t want to leave. Ever. As we were shown around the dreamy house, my eyes caressed every corner of the rooms, taking in each thoughtful feature; the original artwork, unique furnishings, statement light fittings, sink-into sofas, chubby pillows and the mammoth master bed. Adjacent to the main house, the same attention to detail has been applied to the two bedroom Indie House, an option for parties over 10. Gamefield is a masterpiece, and I didn’t have to look far to find the man behind it.

The estate is the product of Property Developer William Frame’s passion and expertise. He bought the property in the too-good-to-miss location 18 years ago, a fraction of its current size. He has since turned it into a stunning five bedroom home which he and his wife Wendy have been letting out for the past two years. This venture adds to their portfolio of achievements, including Wendy’s nursery business and William’s fish and chip shop in St Andrews, which was shortlisted for the ‘Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award’. It’s safe to say that William and Wendy are a couple who don’t do things by halves. They had prepared a gorgeous welcome basket for us, filled with melt-in-the-mouth fudge and banana loaf, amongst other treats, and had two bottles of Prosecco and a tub of antipasti from Delivino waiting in the fridge. Before leaving us to live a night of luxury, they recommended nearby Yann’s at Glenearn House for dinner. It was here I met another couple with a great story.

Going from Gamefield to Yann’s was a seamless journey of comfort and style. Set inside a pretty Victorian house, the restaurant spans over four rooms on the ground floor of the hotel. From the French bistro-style menu I chose Chicken Liver and Foie Gras parfait to start and for my main, it had to be the hottest couple of the French culinary world; Duck and Dauphinoise Potatoes. Delicious! I chatted to our friendly server Shari, who turned out to be one of the owners. She and her and husband Yann met 23 years ago when Shari was on a gap year in Chamonix. Smooth operator Yann approached Shari and went straight in with “Let’s open a restaurant together and have babies”, scooping the award for the best chat up line I’ve heard. You know how this story ends – they did both!

Upon arriving back at Gamefield, there was just one more thing we had to do before heading to bed for the night. Saving the best until last, we set off down the garden in matching bathrobes to the Summer House. We poured drinks in front of the wood burning stove, then made our way back into the cool, night air for a midnight Jacuzzi session. Switching on the light feature, the water flashed the same pastel colours which illuminated the sky during the brilliant sunset earlier that night.

I’m sure you can imagine how well we slept that night. From the giant grouse to the amazing house, it was a perfect day in Perthshire.