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Ancient Highland hotel with links to Robert the Bruce reopens hoping to be at heart of the community

Christine and David Fox who have recently taken over the running of the Brander Lodge Hotel near Taynuilt in Argyll. Photo by Sandy McCook/DCT Media
Christine and David Fox who have recently taken over the running of the Brander Lodge Hotel near Taynuilt in Argyll. Photo by Sandy McCook/DCT Media

A Highland hotel has relaunched with plans to be at the heart of the community.

The Brander Lodge, Bridge of Awe, near Taynuilt in Argyll has had a relaunch after local couple Christine and David Fox took over the management of the property.

The couple who live in Taynuilt, say they want the hotel to be the “go-to” place for relaxed bistro food and a getaway for those from further afield.

Christine and David Fox who have recently taken over the running of the Brander Lodge Hotel near Taynuilt in Argyll. Picture by Sandy McCook

Ms Fox, of Argyll Hospitality Management said: “We already manage Ardanaiseig Hotel which is a few miles from Taynuilt so this property was a good fit with our business.

Robert the Bruce

“The Brander Lodge has been around for a long time, and it attracts people from all over to come and stay and enjoy a meal. It is an ancient place and at the top of the driveway their is a burial site from the time of Robert the Bruce.”

The Pass of Brander is the site of an ancient battle in 1308 0r  1309 between King Robert and the MacDougalls of Argyll in the Wars of Independence.

But Ms Fox said these days the hotel wants to offer a much calmer experience for guests.

She said: “In the last month we have managed to recruit 11 people from the local area, and a chef to the business. We are delighted that so many people want to work in the hotel and are also from the community.

“We have 10 weddings booked for this year already.

Fish and chips at the Brander Lodge. Picture by Sandy McCook

“We have had great support from locals, and we are starting to see the numbers of people increase after the pandemic. It is really heartening to see.

“We are planning to have a community open day to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. So hopefully those who are cautious about coming out might like to come along to that.

Mrs Fox, who is originally from Armagh continued: “The village of Taynuilt is such a generous and kind place who have made us very welcome.

“We want to return that kindness by making a hotel people want to come to, especially as it is the only hotel or bar in the area after the Taynuilt Hotel tragically burned down last year.”

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