Sometimes a little break from city living is a must and when better to do it on a bank holiday. With a family celebration as the cause for the journey north, I packed my Barbour and Hunter Wellingtons and began to think about the weekend ahead that was going to have a certain air of royalty. There were no Wills and Kate or even Posh and Becks in sight but the hunting lodge on the Mar Lodge estate has been home to certain dignitaries and royalty since it had it's first foundation stone laid by Queen Victoria in 1895. Don't worry; this is not a history lesson but merely trying to set the scene.
Our family had the Bynack wing (yes, there was a wing!), which sleeps 15 people, and accommodated for more, in total there was 20 of us! With stag heads looming in the hall, an immense 40-meter corridor upstairs and 7 bathrooms, there was more than enough room for our ever-expanding family to sleep and party the weekend away comfortably. Set in the heart of a deep valley with the Cairngorm Mountains mightily standing only steps away, this was a country retreat with a difference. It also meant no mobile or Internet signal, which to me added to the peacefulness of a weekend break. Our weekend was spent walking, some cycling, eating and partying (even on the dining room table at 4am!) It was a fantastic weekend and an amazing place to spend with people that are very dear to you - I'm even now sounding like a member of the Royal family.
If country living isn't your style, Mar Lodge can still work for you, gentle strolls round the estate or simply curling up on one of the tweed arm chairs in front of the fire, this is a truly beautiful location which will make any stay memorable.
I'm back in the city now but still have the Barbour hanging in the kitchen.....
Love Bellarusso xx