The Sunday Times hotel reviews

“Sample the hidden delights of Trigony House hotel.”

By Carlos Alba

“Depart from the regular tourist trail to sample the hidden delights of Trigony House hotel.”, writes Carlos Alba.

My introduction to journalism was as a fresh-faced junior reporter on a local weekly paper in Dumfries. I arrived from Glasgow the night before my first day and took a wander round the town centre to assess my new home.

I knew then that they did things a little more sedately in this part of the world. It was this sense of equanimity that would become increasingly seductive and make the area such a pleasant place to live and work.

Why Dumfries and Galloway is not a more popular holiday destination is one of the most genuinely perplexing questions about Scotland. As well as boasting majestic wildlife and breathtaking scenery, it can also claim to have been home to Scotland’s greatest poet, the founder of the American navy, the inventor of the bicycle and a particularly gruesome gang of cannibals.

Tucked away in a corner of the Nith valley is Thornhill. Those who decide to meander up the A76 through south Ayrshire are likely to be distracted by this quaint village, a mile north of the delights of the Trigony House hotel.

Set in more than four acres of secluded gardens and mature woodland, Trigony began life as the shooting lodge for Closeburn castle.

Now run by Adam and Jan Moore, it combines the ambience of a country-house hotel with the relaxed informalities of a family home. A red sandstone Edwardian mansion covered with ivy, it is a picture postcard of a building, straight out of an Enid Blyton story.

The interior of the building is no less intriguing, combining ornate decor with period detail. The entrance is dressed from head to toe in Japanese oak panelling leading up a staircase to the landing with art-deco lighting.

The Moores have acquired a reputation for warm hospitality. Trigony is a model of family friendliness where inquisitive toddlers are allowed to roam under the watchful eye of kindly staff.

What sets the hotel apart from other establishments is its commitment to organic produce. Dining in the restaurant overlooking the gardens, or in the adjoining bar with its open fire, is the highlight of any stay. An eclectic menu displays more than a hint of the European influences garnered by the owner, who previously owned hotels with his mother abroad. It includes organic Galloway beef, venison, game, Solway scallops and local smoked salmon. Many of the vegetables are grown in the hotel ’s recently restored walled garden. The result is food of rare and unexpected quality prepared with great care. Everything is home-made and vegetarians are well catered for.

The sweets are a particular treat, including organic rhubarb and ginger crumble with custard and sticky toffee pudding. There are some interesting surprises on the wine list as well as a good range of whiskies and Scottish beers.

It would be tempting to spend your visit lounging around indoors, as each of the eight rooms comes with a television, video, radio and en-suite bathroom. But then you would be missing out. Trigony is surrounded by stunning countryside and is an ideal vantage point from which to explore southwest Scotland. Holiday pursuits include fishing, golf, walking, cycling and pony trekking.