The words romantic and farming aren’t often heard together, yet they epitomise the ethos behind a five-star couple’s retreat near Dundee. The Hideaway Experience is the brainchild of farmer’s wife Caroline Millar, whose passion for creating a luxurious farm stay experience for couples has become a full-time job.
The business has an offering of three romantic getaways, all located on Mrs Millar’s farm at Balkello, just north of Dundee, which she runs with husband Ross and children Finlay and Sophie. The couple got the idea for the business after visiting several private hideaways for couples while travelling and working in Australia and New Zealand in the late 1990s.
They set to work converting a farm bothy into a luxury couple’s retreat in 2005, naming it The Hideaway. Following its success, a further two hideaways were built – the Lovers’ and Honeymooners’ Hideaways – and opened in 2011. The original hideaway was then upgraded in 2012 and renamed the Romantics’ Hideaway. All three properties share the common theme of being completely private and for couples only.
I was lucky enough to spend a night at the Romantics’ Hideaway in late December. Located alongside some of the farm buildings and a field of oilseed rape, the Romantics’ Hideaway offers the perfect combination of farming and romance.
Farms, although busy places, especially at times such as lambing and harvest, are the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Their seclusion offers privacy to couples wishing to escape, whether it be for a birthday or anniversary treat.
Attention to detail is clearly a forte of the Millars and every eventuality has been considered. Each hideaway is finished to a high standard, complete with log-burning stove and hot tub on the outdoor decking. This is the perfect place to enjoy a chilled glass of fizz and look at the stars.
Our hideaway had a cosy open-plan kitchen diner overlooking a small lounge area. The modern kitchen had everything required to rustle up a romantic meal, and rather handily the table was set and ready to go.
We opted to stay in and cook a meal, and ordered the sirloin steak and breakfast packages ahead of our arrival. All meat is sourced from an award-winning butchers shop – Pirie’s – in the nearby village of Newtyle.
The breakfast pack has more than enough – two different packs of sausages, bacon, black pudding, haggis and local eggs – to set you up for the day ahead. And the steaks are faultless (if cooked correctly!).
The Millars also provide a bottle of bubbly, freshly baked bread, jams, butter and milk free of charge.
However, the hideaway isn’t all about food. The spacious bathroom and bedroom make for a relaxing stay. The bathroom in our hideaway featured a lovely double shower and sauna, with the roll-top bath located at the foot of the king-sized four-poster bed, overlooking the Tayside countryside.
Soft, white, sumptuous dressing gowns were provided to wrap up between trips to the hot tub and sauna.
For less lazy guests, there is plenty to do and see nearby. The Millars can provide mountain bikes for guests to explore the local countryside, while Glamis Castle and the gorgeous Lunan Bay are a stone’s throw away.
You can also book a therapist to come to the hideaway for a relaxing massage. For the more adventurous, a “Fifty Shades of Grey” package is available complete with a copy of the book and a bottle of massage oil.
To sum it up, the Millars have certainly created the perfect Hideaway Experience. If you want complete privacy and an escape to the countryside, without a long arduous drive away from civilisation, then this is the place for you and your loved one.
The Hideaway Experience offers three five-star Hideaways exclusively for couples – no children allowed. Prices range from £300 for one night through to £1,300 per week. Open 365 days per year
Scottish Thistle Award Finalist 2015 Best Holiday Accommodation (final March 5, 2015). Scottish Thistle Award Finalist 2014 and 2013
Farm produce, including finest Aberdeen-Angus steaks and Taste of Angus Breakfast packs, available to buy online ahead of your stay
Located five miles north of Dundee city centre, sitting at the foot of the Sidlaw Hills, in Angus, with panoramic views of Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perthshire
Hideaway features include complete privacy, as set well apart from each other, peace, views, spa rooms, sauna, hot tub, cocktail bar and hammock
Business established in 2005 and has a 99% rating on Trip Advisor
Balkello Farm, Auchterhouse, by Dundee. Phone 01382 320707 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the website at www.thehideawayexperience.co.uk