This festive season, experience the magic of Gleneagles as the award-winning estate is transformed into an immersive enchanted forest inspired by Scottish folklore, offering everything from ice skating and countryside adventures by day to roaring log fires, a dedicated cinema and decadent seasonal dining by night.
For those seeking the ultimate Yuletide city break, Gleneagles Townhouse in the heart of Edinburgh will be dressed for the occasion and offering a range of menus carefully curated to reflect the bounty of the surrounding landscape.
This year, both hotels will be open for stays and to dine on Christmas Day itself.
Set beneath the snow-capped Ochil Hills, the team at the iconic Gleneagles hotel – most recently awarded for its outstanding hospitality as part of the World’s 50 Best Hotels – have geared up to offer guests staying from December to January the most spectacular of destination winter stays.
This year’s decorations take inspiration from both Scotland’s myths and legends and the estate’s wild flora and fauna, bringing a sense of the surrounding wilderness indoors complemented by a host of mischievous fairies, forest creatures and magical woodland inspired décor.
Famed for offering over 50 expert-led country pursuits, the ‘Christmas at Gleneagles’ package offers a thoughtfully designed programme of events which will cater to the interests of family members of all ages. New activities for kids and teens include a series of Talent Academy workshops with expert vocal coaches and choreographers, as well as a brand-new dance and song performing workshop.
Hot chocolate and marshmallow roasting at The Trail Yard are a must, while the grand family-friendly lounge for residents will offer a kids-focused selection of light bites daily alongside caricaturists and art and craft workshops.
Interactive culinary delights include a pancake-making challenge in The Scullery, in which guests will have the chance to compete under the watchful eye of the Gleneagles chefs to win special prizes, whilst a dedicated cinema room will play host to screenings of Christmas classics such as Elf, Home Alone, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, with popcorn in abundance. Over in the Kid’s Kitchen, young ones will have access to everything from biscuit decorating to chocolate and cupcake making.
The chefs at Gleneagles have ensured that come Christmas Day, there will be feast fit for the whole family. Start things off with a delicious confit duck terrine, served with spiced port gel, blackberries and toasted brioche, before moving to a classic roasted turkey, served with crushed carrots, chestnut and apricot stuffing, pigs in blankets and cranberry sauce, with plenty of classic trimmings served family style. Finish off lunch with a stunning Sauternes trifle with vanilla, pear and crème Chantilly or a classic Scottish cheeseboard.
Completing the magical setting for Christmas will be the return of an impressive full-sized ice rink, set to feature a dazzling show by European World Championship skaters, as well as a Beauty and the Beast themed pantomime, fortune telling, and two magnificent Fireworks Displays on 26 and 30 December.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
Ringing in the bells for 2024, Gleneagles will throw the ultimate Hogmanay and New Year’s Eve Party at its brand new ‘Beat of the Retreat’ on The Glendevon Lawn, featuring drums, bagpipes, kilts and precision manoeuvres to mark the last light of 2023.
The evening’s dress code of ‘black tie or a touch of tartan’ sets the scene for a true Scottish extravaganza in the hotel’s elegant restaurants. Feast on dishes of West coast crab mayonnaise, smoked salmon, oscietra caviar and picked cucumber, or a delicious Scottish beef fillet with braised beef cheek and all the trimmings.
For the wee ones, there’s a disco, while drinks continue for the grown-ups in the Century Bar – the perfect place to gather for a nightcap or two – before ending the night with a bite to eat, thanks to a delicious late-night feast served until 3am in Henry Hall.
Over in the capital, less than an hour away from the Gleneagles estate, the festive season means bustling streets and twinkling lights – turning Edinburgh into a glittering wonderland at dusk.
Located on historic St Andrew Square, Gleneagles Townhouse offers glorious guest accommodation alongside glamorous dining and drinking experiences in the heart of the Scottish capital.
Originally home to the British Linen Company before becoming the Bank of Scotland, following a five-year restoration, this historic landmark has been transformed into an award-winning 33-bedroom hotel, featuring an all-day dining destination; The Spence, and rooftop bar Lamplighters with its picture postcard views across the city.
The décor at Townhouse also takes inspiration from Scottish folklore, however it’s got a more decadent look and feel in comparison to the Grande Dame.
On Christmas Day at the hotel’s resident restaurant, The Spence, both residents and non-residents alike can soak up the buzz and cheer filling the air at this spectacularly stylish hideaway.
Underneath the extraordinary glass dome ceiling, guests can feast on dishes such as Scottish lobster croustade, beetroot cured salmon with pickled kohlrabi and sour cream, beef wellington with smoked mashed potatoes and spinach, turkey with all the trimmings, and an assortment of festive puddings including a winter berry trifle and mint chocolate yule log – plus the obligatory supply of champagne.
Leading up to the holiday, diners can kickstart their festive plans with a festive set menu priced at £65 throughout December to capture the best of the season with dishes such as wild game terrine with walnut jam and winter truffle, roast chicken with pork & apricot stuffing and smoked bacon chipolata, and Bailey’s choux bun with milk chocolate sauce to sweeten off.
Meanwhile, in private dining areas such as The Courtyard and The Spence’s own Private Dining Room, guests will feast on a set festive menu starting at £85 per person, embracing the best of winter produce with signature dishes alongside.