Generosity Virus / Anti-virus

We’re not sure when the Hydro towers became a beacon for people with a generosity addiction but it’s happened. It. Has. Happened.

The last couple of weeks has seen generosity spread throughout our team like a virus, only with less headaches, upset tummies and moaning. A good virus. Maybe, it’s an anti-virus? This analogy isn’t working. It’s infectious! That’s the point we’re trying to make here. So, brace yourself because here comes a flood of examples…

Well, Well, Well

Last week, our Gardens and Accounts teams united to recover and then count up (we’ll let you figure out who did what) all of the change that had accumulated in the fountain at the front entrance and the wishing well in our Victorian Gardens. So, to anyone who made a wish for improvements to be made to the Crieff and Strathearn Rugby Club clubhouse, you can sleep soundly tonight knowing that we donated all £216 of change to that cause!

Pudsey People

CiN 2015

This time last week, our People team (with a little help from the chefs) were busy destroying diets all over the Hydro. Practically forcing this blog writer to enjoy a Pudsey cupcake and 2 delicious Pudsey shortbread biscuits! I’m not complaining however because firstly, as i believe I’ve mentioned, they were delicious. Secondly, given a choice between shortbread and comedy Pudsey ears I’ll take shortbread every time (in fact given a choice between shortbread and anything I’ll probably take shortbread. I love shortbread!). And thirdly, most importantly, it was all in the name of charity.

Cupcakes, shortbread, comedy ears, a raffle and a rowing competition = £597.90 for Children in Need

Big Trees, Big Difference

We’ve been working away behind the scenes to carve out and finalise our involvement in the Perthshire Big Tree Country project. And, without wanting to reveal all that we have planned, we’re pleased to say that we’ll soon be donating £1 from every booking we take to help protect and preserve the beautiful Perthshire countryside. Doesn’t sound like a lot? At our busiest periods we can welcome over 1000 guests through our doors in a single day so trust us, it’ll soon add up!

Heroic Levels of Generosity


Each year around Christmas we welcome a whole load of kids, their families and their carers from the national charity that we love to support – Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (or CHAS for short). CHAS is the only charity in Scotland that provides vital hospice services for children and young people with life-shortening conditions. We like to give the kids a festive treat – a Christmas classic in our cinema, a festive lunch in the brasserie, a visit from Santa and then (not so festive) our team all get dressed up as superheroes and spend some time taking photos and having fun with the kids. This year is going to be bigger and better than ever. Not least because, and I’m not joking here, I’ve spent the entire year perfecting my batman voice. As long as the kids only ask questions that require me to say ‘Lie to me!’ or ‘I’m not wearing hockey pads’ then we’re going to be fine

5 Conference Essentials

We’re in the midst of conference season here at the Hydro – loads of different companies, organisations and industry collectives all taking advantage of our fantastic accommodation, function spaces and catering options.

Whether you’re here for a conference with 20 or 200 other people, we’ll always do our best to make sure that your stay is an enjoyable and memorable one. But to make sure you get the most out of your conference we’ve put together a list of 5 conference essentials…

     1. A bag

Buy Barbour Leather Satchel, Brown Online at

Seems like a bit of a no brainer, right? The ideal bag is going to look good, be comfortable to carry and have room for all your networking needs. So, whether you plan on bringing your laptop, a tablet, a notepad, your lunch, a scarf, glasses, a hip flask?! Whatever it is, make room for it in your bag.

Ladies – we’re not even going to try to tell you which bag to go for because we’re sure you’ve got about 5 in mind already! Gentlemen – check out this leather bag from Barbour.

     2.  iPad / Tablet

Use our free wifi to check your work emails, read through white papers and articles, record key speakers, photograph important information, use a variety of apps to make your conference experience easier (more on this later), share what’s happening at the conference on Twitter and keep us in the loop via @CrieffHydro, play angry birds if the conference gets boring… the list goes on!

(Side note: Remember your charger!)

     3.  Business cards business

Get your business card looking sharp (but not too sharp – see Tom Haverford of Parks & Rec fame below)

     4.  Hand sanitizer

Sound strange? Chances are you’re going to be meeting and greeting a lot of new people which means shaking a lot of hands. Now, it’s not that we’re suggesting your fellow conference go-ers are unhygienic but conference season happens to coincide with cold & flu season so it’s better to be safe than sorry! We’d recommend keeping a bottle of this in your bag.

     5.  A winning smile

The only weapon needed to go on a charm offensive at your next big conference

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments! Or, if you’re feeling ready and raring to go, check out our winter meetings offer

Winter Weddings – Guest Blog

We’ve got a special treat for you this week – a guest post from Charlotte over at Hitched!

At Hitched you’ll find everything you need; from the most amazing wedding venues to the personalised little touches that make your big day special.

Charlotte’s been chatting to our Lauren about all things winter weddings (including our fantastic winter weddings offer that’s currently available!). And what these two girls don’t know about weddings frankly isn’t worth knowing at all!

Winter Wedding Tips from Crieff Hydro

Winter is an exciting time to get married. The atmosphere feels so festive and there’s something magical about the effect that cold weather has on our surroundings.

There’s no doubt that winter can provide the most enchanting backdrop to your wedding day, however you may have a few worries about making sure everything runs to plan and that your guests are kept warm.

Crieff Hydro is a stunning 19th Century hotel that would make the ideal setting for a winter wedding. This beautiful Scottish venue boasts incredible architecture, picturesque Perthshire scenery and a welcoming atmosphere, made even more spectacular when a blanket of snow or frost carpets the ground in winter. We spoke to Crieff Hydro’s wedding coordinator, Lauren, to get some wedding tips for winter brides to be.

I hope all you winter brides will feel inspired after reading this blog, but don’t forget you can check out our galleries for more winter wedding photos and inspiration!

Crieff Hydro is a stunning hotel in Perthshire, Scotland

‘Choose a venue where you can hold your ceremony, meal and evening reception so you don’t have to worry about being stuck in bad weather on your big day,’ says Lauren.

Crieff Hydro is licensed for civil ceremonies and has plenty of space for your reception and evening party, meaning you can enjoy your big day all under one roof! If you’re worried you won’t get good wedding pictures due to bad weather then don’t worry, you can take some amazing indoor pictures if you choose the right time of day and lighting.

If the forecast for your wedding day is rain, check out our round up of beautiful rainy day wedding photos to put your mind at ease!

Crieff Hydro in Scotland makes a beautiful winter wedding venue

The arrival drinks will be served as guests come in from the cold, so why not shun champagne and give them something to warm them up instead!

‘Choose a hot arrival drink such as warmed apple cider or mulled wine,’ says Lauren.

Serve guests warm arrival drinks such as mulled wine and hot chocolate

‘Hand warmers are a must for photographs,’ continues Lauren. If you venture outside for photos then perhaps invest in some gloves or a handmuff to match your wedding dress, to keep nasty frostbite from striking!

It is also essential that you get most of your photos earlier on in the day, especially if you want to go outside.

‘Remember that the light fades earlier in winter,’ says Lauren. ‘So an earlier ceremony would be a good idea to ensure you get all the photos on your wish list.’

As the sun goes down, it’s also a good idea to light up the function room with candles to create a warm, romantic atmosphere. Crieff Hydro offers a wide range of beautifully decorated rooms that will make you want to stay inside, such as the magnificent Melville Hall or the chandelier lit Drawing Room.

Winter wedding table decor

‘Finally, make the most of the seasonal, hearty food!’ says Lauren. Winter is the perfect time to serve up a feast of warming comfort food for your wedding breakfast.

Crieff Hydro offers couples the chance to create a completely bespoke menu and the chefs will serve up anything you want, even home cooked delights such as steak pie and spicy curries!

Seasonal winter wedding food

Crieff Hydro’s wedding coordinator Lauren is happy to guide couples in every step whilst planning their big day. The hotel only hosts one wedding per day, so that you have their undivided attention and can fully enjoy everything that this spectacular venue has to offer.

To see more stunning pictures of this venue in Scotland, check out Crieff Hydro’s listing on hitched. You can also find more ways to keep your guests warm at a winter wedding in our organising and planning section!


Charlotte X

Pedal Medal

Our Tom recently claimed second place in the Forfar Funduro!

Tom podium edit

There was more than the two of them in the race… 3rd place had to run (we promise!)

Tom, who many of you will know as “that nice lad with the beard and the bikes”, recently took part (and came 2nd!) in the Forfar Funduro – a mountain bike race that takes place as part of the Angus Cycling Festival.

However, Tom almost didn’t make it to the race at all…

Just days before he was due to take part in the event, Tom crashed his bike and completely ruined the suspension, the frame, the handlebars, the crankset and the brakes on his bike (it was a pretty big crash!). So, after he escaped more or less unscathed from the incident we decided to lend Tom one of our mountain bikes from the Hub so that he could still take part… A risky move you say? Well, we’ve never been afraid of bold moves.

Tom competition 1

We’ve mentioned before about the fantastic range of Genesis bikes that are now available from the Hub and Tom did an excellent job of proving just how effective the bikes can be in the right hands.

Fancy getting some practice in for yourself? Take one of our bikes and try out the Knock mountain bike track that Tom helped to build! Or, if you fancy something a little less challenging, Tom has scoped out 3 fantastic different routes around the Hydro estate of varying difficulties. Just ask him about your options when you’re booking your bike and he’ll keep you on the right track

Drovers’ Tryst Festival

The annual Crieff and Strathearn Drovers’ Tryst Walking Festival kicks off tomorrow with a jam-packed schedule…

The festival is inspired by the various journeys made by drovers in the 1700’s who, along with their cattle, would travel from all across Scotland to conjugate once a year in Crieff for a mass market and auction of livestock. Up to 30,000 black cattle would be herded to the town on an annual basis!

These days there’s no cattle involved other than the ones you come across when you’re enjoying one of the guided walks through the stunning countryside surrounding Crieff. With a range of different walks to choose from (normally including a trip to the Deil’s Cauldron) , ranging from easy to difficult, there’s something to suit all abilities and preferences.

But the festival isn’t only about walking, in recent years it has broadened it’s scope considerably to include a whole range of other activities and events.

The Tryst now includes mountain biking with the introduction of the ‘Hairy Coo’ races which give riders of all abilities (and ages) the chance to take part and join in the fun.

There’s also a wide variety of social events that take place on the evenings throughout the festival – events including live music, an ale trail, a quiz night, photography competition, cinema night, educational talks and a pipe band!

You can find out more via the website here.

Top 3 to see at the Stirling Fringe Festival 2015

Stirling Fringe 1

There’s only one week left until the start of the Stirling Fringe Festival which is now in its third year (hurrah!)

In its short history the Stirling Fringe has grown rapidly to include an eclectic programme of music, comedy, theatre, poetry and family friendly events that place across the city. The Fringe attracts artistic talent from around the world as well as supporting and developing local, home-grown performers.

There’s loads of events taking place throughout the festival, and you’ll find a full schedule on the Fringe website here, but we thought we’d give you a rundown of our top 3…

  1. Gary Little – Comedian – Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

A regular at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival and the winner of ‘Best Headline’ and ‘Best Show’ at the inaugural Scottish Comedy Awards last year, Gary Little is an act not to be missed.

Gary has been described as a “born raconteur” and this natural storyteller can take the everyday and weave it into non-stop hilarity. Tickets cost £10 and are sure to sell out fast so book here.

  1. Stirling Crime & Punishment Tour – Old Town

Stirling Fringe 2

Learn all about Stirling’s bloody history as you’re guided around the city’s beautiful Old Town on this entertaining crime and punishment themed tour.

The tour is a mixture of comedy, drama and storytelling that costs just £8 with tickets available to pre-book online from Stirling Walking Tours.

  1. Old High School of Stirling: Telescope Viewing – Highland Hotel

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to enjoy some stargazing through a 126 year-old Newtonian telescope!

Head along to the Observatory at the Highland Hotel and see the full moon like you’ve never seen it before. Members of the Stirling Astronomical Society will be on hand to answer any and all questions you have and, best of all, this event is free!

The Stirling Fringe Festival runs from September 18th – 26th and is open to all so head to the heart of Scotland and enjoy!

Day Tripper #1 – The Deil’s Cauldron

We pride ourselves of having plenty of fun things on-site to see and do but we still love to encourage our guests to get out and explore! So, welcome to the first of our ‘Day Tripper’ blog posts – from the well-known attractions to the hidden little gems, we’ll guide you through the best that Perthshire and the surrounding areas have to offer.

Just a few short miles along the road from Crieff sits Comrie, a quiet and beautiful village. The only time the peace is disturbed is when the ground shakes (Comrie experiences more earth tremors than anywhere else in the UK due to its position on the Highland Boundary Fault!) or during the Comrie Fortnight – the village’s annual festival, full of friendly competitions, dances and parades.

The village is a walker’s paradise with beautiful scenery in every direction and walks to suit all abilities. Nestled up in the beautiful woodland to the north lies the Deil’s Cauldron – a well-hidden pocket of small falls, narrow gorges and whirling pools.

Secluded and picturesque, the Deil’s Cauldron is home to a whole range of trees and plants covering the overhanging rocks. Check out the video below to see for yourself…

The Deil’s Cauldron and the Wee Cauldron, which can be found slightly further downstream, make up a very rewarding section of the Glen Lednock circular walk. A low grade, 5 mile walk on mostly well-trodden woodland paths.

A little extra…

If you’re feeling brave you can take the path up to the Melville Monument which lies just over the road from the Deil’s Cauldron. It’s a short, steep climb but once you’re there the view makes it all worth it so dig out those walking boots!

Nothing but the berry best…

As we’re sure you know by now, Scotland is celebrating its Year of Food & Drink and this month it’s the turn of our summer fruits and berries to take centre stage at the nation’s dinner table.

summer berries

All of this glorious sunshine (and the occasional thunderstorm and torrential downpour!) means that Scotland’s woodland, hedgerows and fields are now bursting with colour… Strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, tayberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants – the list goes on!

wimbledon 2015 (2)

We’ve been getting into the spirit of Wimbledon over the last couple of weeks serving up fresh strawberries and champagne to our guests (cream available on demand, of course). But you don’t need to stop there…

Just a few miles down the road sits Broadslap Fruit Farm. They grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and are renowned for their delicious raspberries in particular.

summer berries 2

At Broadslap visitors are free to pick their own fruit or if you’re feeling lazy then you’ll find the full range of fruit and vegetables they offer at the farm shop, ready for you to buy.

Here at the Hydro we use fresh, local fruit and veg from our friends at Arbuckle Farm. Check out the video below to see the pride and passion that goes into the produce we use in the kitchen and behind the bar..

What’s this? The full Hub-bub!

So phase 1 has turned into the full shebang and our newly refurbished Hub café has been unveiled!HUB Collage

There’s lots to shout about. Of course, there’s been a lick of paint and some funky furniture but there is more…

We’ve teamed up with British bike brand Genesis and have a hotspot in the café where you can rent one of their latest collection of mountain or road bikes. All the family can get on their bikes and explore our 900 acre estate or take to the road.


Our menu has also had a makeover with breakfast baps, tasty flatbreads and fresh salads and sandwiches all making an appearance. Come the summer we’ve also got big plans to introduce some tasty and traditional hot food items so if you fancy a gourmet burger or good old fish and chips then give The Hub a try.


Old favourites are here to stay including the Dundee roasted coffee company Paddy and Scott’s and Scottish brewery Brewdog that offer a tasting experience like no other.

Weekly round up – Breadalbane, blinis, doughnuts and, of course, more whisky!

Welcome to the second instalment of our weekly round ups – where we give you a glimpse into what’s been going on around the Crieff Hydro resort over the past 7 days.. (or since we last got a chance to do a round up – it’s super busy around here!)

This week (or, if we’re being honest, 11 days) has been a whirlwind of activity around the resort, as per usual. The weather has given us everything from thunderstorms to lashing hailstones with a little bit of glorious Scottish Spring sunshine thrown in for good measure!

So, what’s been going on..

Rings of Breadalbane Explorer

Rings of breadalbane 2015

This week marked the return of the Rings of Breadalbane Explorer bus service for the ‘sunny’ season.

The bus takes passengers through the stunning highland scenery of Breadalbane, passes through beautiful towns and villages, and calls at major visitor attractions along the route.

It’s a fantastic way for our guests to get out to discover everything that Perthshire has to offer – big or small!

Bruce’s Blinis

Bruce edit

Every now and then, our award-winning Head Chef, Bruce Perry, likes to share a little bit of his culinary Crieff Hydro magic with you guys at home.

This week’s tasty treat is Smoked Salmon & Avocado Blinis

Doughnuts – go nuts!

doughnut week

This week is that most rare and special of weeks… that’s right, it’s National Doughnut Week.

To celebrate this momentous occasion we teamed up with our friends from down the road, Campbell’s Bakery.

Campbell’s challenged local primary school kids to come up with their own tasty doughnut designs and we’ve been selling the winning ‘Candybar Crush’ doughnut (along with all the classics) to raise money for The Children’s Trust in our Winter Garden and Hub cafés.

All things whisky…

After the success of our Glengoyne whisky tastings earlier this month, we decided that we had to keep the ball rolling or, more accurately, the drink flowing.

This time our friends at Laphroaig said why not offer our guests free tasting of their fabulous drams every weekend for the rest of May (aka whisky month) and we very quickly agreed!

And, we still have a few seats left at our one-off whisky dinner where you’ll enjoy a menu that has been lovingly prepared by our Bruce to perfectly compliment a specially selected whisky flight. Tickets are going fast so call our Resort Sales team on 01764 655 555 to find out more and book.

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