A couple of inservice days, 2 kids to occupy and a husband working in South East Asia. All these factors collided perfectly with an opportunity to visit Forbes of Kingennie Country Resort. Situated in Angus just 5 miles from Dundee meant a journey time of just shy of an hour for us. The weather on our arrival was a typically driech Scottish Sunday afternoon however even then we could see what a fabulous setting and great views were on offer. These became even clearer the next morning when we awoke to autumnal sunshine streaming through our lodge windows.
Our accommodation was one of the waterside lodges just a stones throw from the Restaurant, Bar and Sport's Reception. The lodge sleeps 6 and with only the three of us we had a room each which pleased boy and girl very much. All the rooms in the lodge were very spacious, bright and light with plenty of storage space. I even had a walk in wardrobe in mine and a jacuzzi bath in my ensuite, much to the consternation of my daughter. The bedrooms and bathrooms were downstairs and there was a huge open plan living space upstairs with lounge, kitchen and front and rear balconies. There are 14 lodges on site, some of which are dog friendly. They sleep from 2 - 10 people and all offer four star luxury self catering facilities. They are all named after Angus glens (ours was Glen Shee). The Leannan Boathouse looks like the most fantastic romantic hideaway. It was built in 1855 and when the resort first opened it was the fishing shop. Now many of those who get married at Kingennie spend their wedding night in it.
Two of the main things that bring visitors to Forbes of Kingennie are fishing and golf. Our previous fishing experience was zero and golf to us means crazy golf. We took a fishing lesson under the expert tuition of Grant who soon had us casting like professionals. He assured us of a catch and before too long boy got a bite and reeled in his first ever fish. Girl wasn't too far behind and over the course of an hours lesson they each caught two good sized trout. No tales of the one that got away as both proudly displayed their catches and weighed them in. Girl wasn't quite so keen on the gutting part but ever the foodie boy borrowed a sharp knife form the kitchen and did the needful.
Next on our to do list was the Angus Thistle Maze however we were disappointed to find it was closed for a couple of days due to maintenance. All the more reason to return at some point to tackle it. Green and Copper Beech and a trail of questions combine in the shape of a thistle. Instead the Cairngorms Putting Green was to be our next challenge. 18 holes spread over a course designed to emulate the Cairngorm Mountains complete with Glens, Corries, Passes and Munros. The fishing lesson proved its worth as a number of balls had to be retrieved from lochs along the way. We didn't keep score but I'm pretty sure I won. At least I didn't have to go fishing on the golf course.
We headed to the Waterside Restaurant for lunch where local produce features prominently on the menu. The family farm next door to the resort supplies peas, strawberries, free range eggs, rhubarb, pork, beetroot, raspberries, blueberries, haskaap berries and salad leaves. They also support other local family run suppliers and have been awarded a Taste our Best award from Visit Scotland. I had the pork dish of the day which was a fantastic chunky chop with peppercorn sauce. The Forbes Peas with my daughter's sausage and mash were some of the sweetest I've tasted. These definitely need to make an appearance more widely than just on the kids menu. I was joined over coffee by Marketing Manager Libby Forbes who took me for a tour of the function and events facilities. With such a stunning setting and a location central for the whole of Scotland they can cater for everything from conferences and weddings to family gatherings and birthdays. Upstairs from the restaurant the Inglesmaldie Suite can hold up to 150 with stunning view over the fishing ponds, golf course and countryside. Meanwhile the high ceilings, beams and natural light in the Buddon Burn Suite is perfect for more intimate events and I can imagine it looks wonderful for a small wedding.
Our lodge was fantastically well equipped when it came to cooking facilities, plenty of equipment, utensils, pots and pans plus basics like tea, coffee, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets and dish towels. Things like these make such a difference. The first night we cooked up na Orzo, Chorizio and Scallop Risotto before getting cosy on the couch for a movie night. Breakfast next morning was Bacon In Pancakes with Maple Syrup. The Maple Syrup also made an appearance for dinner as we combined it with wholegrain mustard as a glaze for our freshly caught trout. Leftovers were served up for breakfast alongside scrambled eggs. That's almost another item ticked off my foodie bucket list although I did specifically want to catch, cook and eat a fish on a riverbank. Perhaps its a case of close but no cigar.
Two days passed way too quickly and all too soon it was time to pack up and head home. Recharged, relaxed with some new found fishing skills and a couple of trout for the freezer. Hopefully it's not too long before we can return and conquer the angus thistle maze.
Disclosure: Accommodation, fishing lesson, putting and lunch courtesy of Forbes of Kingennie. All views expressed are my own.