The Icelandic Blue Vodka Tonic

This is the story of a cocktail that was three months, 1700 round-trip miles and hundreds of Icelandic blueberries in the making.

It’s mid-June and our Bars Manager, Fran de Vega, has learned of a Summer Solstice competition that is being ran by Icelandic drinks brand Reyka Vodka. He rallies the Hydro troops.

Less than a week later, on a beautiful summer’s day, our guests are out on the Brasserie lawn enjoying an Icelandic-themed Summer Solstice bar complete with wooden sun dial.


Behind the scenes, our social media team are making sure everyone’s efforts aren’t going unnoticed – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – the word is out and Reyka have taken notice!


A couple of weeks later and it’s official – Crieff Hydro have been selected as one of eight competition winners. Skol to that!

reykavodkaTeam 008

The prize? We get to send one of our team to Reyka HQ in Iceland for a bartending experience like no other – our intrepid explorer Fran is selected to represent Team Hydro.

It’s now August and Fran’s survival pack arrives courtesy of our friends at Reyka – knitwear, a swiss army knife, books on foraging – Fran is already far too excited and making everyone else very jealous.

ReykaPackage(Fran) 016

Early September and he’s off on his Icelandic adventure – volcanoes, blue lagoons, eating rotten shark… it had it all.


Fran returned bearing gifts (mainly because we would have been very upset if he hadn’t). Hundreds of handpicked Icelandic blueberries which he infused into a bottle of Reyka before, a week later, mixing up this beautiful vodka tonic garnished with a fresh grapefruit wedge!

Blueberry Reyka

Festive Party Nights at Crieff Hydro

Get your groove on with Crieff Hydro Party Nights!


You know the drill – it’s the festive season, spirits are high, spirits are also flowing and the office joker is about to start their annual break dancing routine in the middle of the dance floor. It’s inevitable really so you might as well embrace it.

At least with our Party Nights package you can be sure that they’ll be rolling around on the floor to some fantastic music in a room decorated to the nines!

Our Party Nights can hold up to 390 people so there’s no need to decide which departments aren’t going to make the cut (you’re welcome IT and Finance!)

Check in from the early afternoon and take the day to get yourself ready for a party. You could take an afternoon dip followed by a quick steam and sauna or you could visit our hair and beauty salon and let the girls give you the full treatment – we’re talking massages, mani-pedis, waxes, make-up and hair! It’s not just for the ladies either gentlemen, we have treatments specifically designed for you fellas – you can take a look at our full spa brochure here.


Then when you’ve been pampered to perfection, sit down to a festive three course dinner served by our famously friendly staff before putting on your dancing shoes and enjoying the music!

We’ve taken care of everything you’ll need to have an amazing night:

  • Glass on fizz on arrival
  • Access to pool, sauna, gym and cinema
  • Three course festive dinner
  • Wine (half bottle per person)
  • Live music (you can check out a video of our house band below)
  • DJ
  • Floor entertainers
  • Full Scottish breakfast (for the morning after)

Groove Culture Crieff Hydro Christmas Parties from Gordon on Vimeo.

For more information and to book, click here.

September Self Catering Special

Summer is over. It’s sad, but true. However, it’s not all bad news…


At Crieff Hydro we have just the thing to get rid of your September blues – special offers!

You can save up to 25% when staying with us this September in our 5* self catering units.

Our luxury 5* cottages have plenty of space for you and the family to relax and enjoy the stunning views of the Perthshire countryside. They also provide the perfect base from which to explore our resort and offer all the comforts of home after a day jam packed with all our amazing activities available on-site.

And as an added little treat, all our self catering units now come with a complimentary mini-hamper! It’s full of goodies from sweeties and jams to that all important hamper essential – teabags. All handpicked to make your stay with us that little bit easier (and a lot more mouth watering!).

Mini Hampers 020

There’s something for everyone here at Crieff Hydro so why not bring the whole family along for the journey? There’s Action Glen for the more adventurous ones among you offering everything from archery to quad biking. Or, for those who just want to sit back and relax, there’s our Victorian Spa and beauty salon where you can get pampered til your heart’s content.

Stay with us from just £17.90 per person, per night for four midweek nights throughout September and give the whole family an autumn getaway at an incredible price.

There’s free daily entertainment, you’ll get free access to our pool, gym and on-site cinema and we even provide up to six hours of free childcare so the grown-ups can enjoy themselves too!

To find out more or to book click here.

‘Malteser Moments’ at Crieff Hydro Riding Centre

This week we have a special guest post from one our Riding Centre regulars, Lesley Simpson, who is dying to spread the word about the joys of riding…


“As a portly 50-something woman, I thought that our Riding Centre manager, Liz Simpson, was joking when she kept asking me when I’d be calling over to the Riding Centre for a lesson. Maybe it was the shock of realising that Liz was being perfectly serious that gave me the impetus to try.

That was about 18 months ago and I’ve now fallen in love with riding; hook, line and sinker. More specifically, I’ve fallen for Donald – a 7 year old coloured Cob who stands at an impressive 16 hands.

Donald and I started off slowly, building mutual trust whilst covering all the basics; mounting, dismounting, correct use of the reins, safety, steering and the like, before progressing to walk, trot and even canter. Throughout all of this, Liz displayed the patience of a saint. If she thought I was hopeless then it never showed and her enviable ability to remain calm at all times really inspired my self-confidence.

Initially we stayed close to home; completing circuits of the indoor and outdoor arenas and very short hacks close to the hotel. Before long we were venturing further afield, where the scenery is just breath-taking. It was during one such foray, when we were at the top of the Knock when I first described the experience as a ‘Malteser Moment’. For me, that’s one of those really special times in life when you feel absolutely exhilarated as if you’re full of bubbles and about to explode.


There have been many such moments since then; notably the first time we crossed a ford, the time we climbed steps on horseback and one memorable ride when we zigzagged our way downhill through a wonderful but steep woodland trail – what an adrenaline rush!

Much to the amusement of the Riding Centre team I talk to Donald throughout each session, always have carrots for him as a reward at the end of the lesson and even treat him to his favourite Stout at Christmas!

It always feels such a privilege to ride this magnificent horse and I’d urge everyone to give it a try. I can think of no better way to relax after a stressful day and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be driving home afterwards singing along to your favourite CD at the very top of your voice. Happy days.”

Want to experience a ‘malteser moment’ for yourself? Visit our website or give us a call on 01764 651 830 to find out more about learning to ride with us

Seasonal Seafood at the Brasserie

The Brasserie is serving seafood fresh from the west coast of Scotland every Friday, Saturday and Sunday this August!


At Crieff Hydro we love fresh, local produce. We try to source as much of the food and drink that we offer from quality local suppliers – everything from the Ice cream we serve in The Hub to our pizza toppings in Piccolo. And our latest seasonal seafood menu in the Brasserie is no exception!

We have scoured the west coast of Scotland to bring you the very best seafood that the British Isles has to offer – from succulent Loch Erisort scallops to beautiful Dunvegan lobsters, quality is at the forefront of everything that we strive to achieve.

Our chefs relish the chance to work with such great fresh produce and have created a wide range of exciting dishes so that you can enjoy a tasty weekend treat. Our full seasonal seafood menu is available to view on our website here.

Are you a lobster lover?


We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer delicious, fresh lobster however we feel it’s only fair to warn you that eating lobster is not always plain sailing…

“We’re like two samurai really and we need to have respect for each other before meeting in battle. And eating lobster is a battle as you will soon learn.” – Seth Cohen

So, if you’d love to try lobster but are a little intimidated by the challenge lying ahead or even if you just need a quick refresher course, we would suggest giving this handy guide a quick look over.

When you feel like you’re fully trained and ready for combat then join us in the Brasserie to vanquish for shellfish foe – bon appétit!

VIP Spa Experience: An evening with Clarins

Exciting news pampering fans – the date has been set for our next VIP Clarins Spa Experience event night at the Crieff Hydro Spa and Beauty Salon!

Clarins Facial - small

Yes, it’s that time again when our friends from Clarins come along to Crieff Hydro to share their knowledge of all things spa! From the best treatments and products on the market to helpful hints and tips that you can take home with you and incorporate into your personal beauty routine – we’ve got you covered.

Join us on Thursday 14th August for just £15 per person (which is redeemable against the purchase of any Clarins product at the end of the night) for an evening of relaxation and luxury. We’ll even throw in a glass of bubbly, a goody bag and free entry into our raffle and prize draw, just to sweeten the deal that little bit more! What more could you ask for?

Need to know:

  • Thursday 14th August
  • 6:15pm
  • £15pp (Redeemable against the purchase of any Clarins product)
  • Spaces limited – Call 01764 651609 or email to avoid disappointment

At Crieff Hydro Spa & Beauty Salon we’re very proud to be able to offer our customers the very best not only in terms of facilities and service but also in terms of the beauty treatments and the beauty products on offer. As such, we currently work exclusively with Clarins, who are one of the industry leaders and experts in the skin care field.
Clarins produce a number of eco-responsible, organic, plant-based beauty and skincare products which is exactly why we love them – their natural products help us bring out your natural beauty! We stock a wide variety of the very best that Clarins has to offer and they’ll all be available to purchase on the night when you can ask the experts any questions you may have about what will work best for you.

For more information or to book your spot email or call 01764 651609. Hurry spaces are limited!

Summer Holiday Activities – a Horsey Summer Holiday!


Are you stuck for ideas of what to do with the kids this summer holidays? Or maybe you’re sick of seeing them sat in front of the TV or on their smart phones while the world passes them by..? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Why not make this summer holiday a horsey holiday? We have a whole range of activities for kids and adults alike!

Horse riding in Scotland is an absolutely fantastic way to spend a summery afternoon; out in the fresh air, getting some exercise (you and the horse!) and learning a brand new skill at the same time. At Crieff Hydro’s approved riding school we have something to suit the whole family – from children’s pony rides to hacks for more experienced riders. And did you know we offer after school riding clubs too?


For children under 5 we offer pony rides on Polly our gorgeous little Shetland pony (or one of her friends)! We’ll kit your little ones out in a safety helmet and then take them on a lead-rein ride around our enclosed outdoor riding arena. They’ll absolutely love our Polly who enjoys getting a nice friendly stroke from her young apprentice jockeys.

Older children needn’t feel left out as we also offer beginner riding lessons where we’ll cover all the basics with you – from mounting and dismounting to turning and stopping. These are half hour group lessons that are open to adults as well as children so why not saddle up and show your young ones how it’s done?!

If this isn’t your first time in the saddle then we also offer horse riding lessons for more experienced riders. These lessons can be up to an hour long and are highly flexible, as we are more than happy to tailor each session to your specific needs. So whether you want to work on your dressage or your show jumping, we’re here to help!

Oh, and did we mention that the weather isn’t an issue? If (God forbid) it was to rain, we can move riding lessons into our indoor riding arena and carry on the fun in the warm and dry!

Learning to horse ride in Perthshire couldn’t be easier! For more information about horse riding lessons in Perthshire for adults and children or children’s pony rides just visit our website at or contact us on 01764 651 616. Or check out our Facebook page!

How about a Day at Crieff with a Birdie and a Burger?

At Crieff Hydro, we love to put a smile on our regulars’ faces with some fun special offers. We are currently celebrating the upcoming Ryder Cup tournament with our own special deal for hungry golfers. For just £18, you can get a round of 9 holes at our Culcrieff golf course followed by a tasty burger and a cold pint. How good of a deal is that? We think it’s pretty incredible.

Here’s how it works

So, you fancy a round of golf, eh? Come see us, bring your clubs and book a tee time. We take tee off bookings from 4pm onwards and if you want to upgrade to 18 holes, you can do that for as little as £7. This is particularly pleasant in the summer months because an evening round of golf is a lovely way to wind the day down and get some fresh air in the beautiful setting of the Crieff Hydro Golf course.

Once you finish your round you can head back to the 19th hole and enjoy your burger, carefully and lovingly prepared by our specialist chefs. Now, sadly, we can’t promise the birdie because that is down to whether you have a good golfing session or not, but regardless of the result you can enjoy a cold refreshing pint.

Celebrating the Ryder Cup

This year the Ryder Cup will be welcomed home by the entire golfing community and celebrated at the Gleneagles Golf Course—the home of the Ryder Cup tournament. We are so happy that this year, the Ryder Cup will be right on our doorstep and we intend to celebrate in true golfing spirit. So, get booking and grab your tee off time for the birdie and a burger deal while they are still available.

October in the Enchanted Forest

October is the perfect time to see the Enchanted Forest in its full glory, making the autumn very special indeed. In 2014, Perthshire celebrates the Year of Homecoming, with the The Enchanted Forest—a multi-award winning show—that creates an imaginative experience that will dazzle viewers. If you come to Scotland looking for a unique and thoroughly entertaining experience then you will not be disappointed with the 2014 event: Elemental. In 2013, this show attracted more than 40,000 people with its dazzling, innovative and visually fulfilling design set against the backdrop of its own original music.

Image courtesy of Cat Burton

It’s all in the Name

The show explores Faskally Wood, near Pitlochry. Running from 3rd to 26th October 2014, The Enchanted Forest is the perfect excuse for an October break at Crieff Hydro that the whole family can enjoy. The show has won the name of ‘Best Cultural Event’ in Scotland twice now. Elemental aims to celebrate nature with special effects that complete the experience and ensnare the senses.

How About a Story?

By popular demand, the team have set up their story yurt again this year, with a view to some interesting and fun storytelling adventures. Now, because the yurt will only fit so many, there is an additional charge of a pound and it’s on a first come first served basis, so get there early if you want to hear a story.

Image courtesy of Geograph

Dinner in the Dark Forest

You can complete the whole experience by having dinner in the Forest’s great outdoors as the superb catering team agreed to come back this year to feed the crowd. Adults get the choice of mulled wine or hot chocolate and the minors get the hot chocolate, along with sizzling beef burgers or hot dogs. Our large family rooms are perfect for enjoying a good night’s rest after the fun has finished so grab your tickets and come join us for an October adventure.

Perth Show – a celebration of agriculture and horse riding in Perthshire


We’re only a couple of weeks away from the annual Perth Show, which Perthshire Agricultural Society are hosting to celebrate the area’s agriculture for over 150 years.

The show originally began as a rather modest affair but, having grown steadily in popularity over the years; it is now one of the highlights of the Perthshire summer holidays’ events calendar attracting up to 20,000 visitors every year. No longer solely about the judging of livestock (although that still remains a much-loved integral part of the show’s activities) the Perth Show is now also a fantastic Perthshire day out for the whole family with plenty of activities for kids.

There are a huge number of events and attractions to enjoy across the two days including the Grand Parade and judging of livestock, piping, horse riding and many more. The show boasts some of the country’s finest cattle, horses and ponies – in fact the Crieff Hydro Riding Centre is proud to be sponsoring one of the Ridden Highland horse showing classes and showing their support of horse riding in Perthshire.

For those of you who enjoy horse riding, or perhaps feel inspired to give it a go by the beautiful horses on display at the Perth Show, you’ll be pleased to hear that at Crieff Hydro Riding Centre we have a great range of options for horse riding in Scotland – from children’s pony rides for under 5s to horse riding lessons for beginners and experienced riders, all at our approved riding school. We even have both an indoor riding arena and an outdoor riding arena so the ever unpredictable Scottish weather won’t stop us!

Perth Show Need to Knows

Friday 1st August – Adult £10 – Concessions £5 – Parking £5 – Family ticket £25
Saturday 2nd August – Adult £10 – Concessions £7 – Parking £5 – Family ticket £27

Gates open to the public at 7am on each day. Please note that members and exhibitors MUST present their entry tickets, entry will not be permitted without a valid ticket. Click here for directions on how to get to Perth show.

For more information on horse riding in Scotland visit us at, check us out on Facebook or contact Crieff Hydro Riding Centre on 01764 651 616

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