Set amongst 25 acres of woodland, Inglewood house, a beautiful Jacobean mansion bursting with period features as well as modern twists, offers guests a luxurious countryside retreat where they can fully escape from the pressures of modern life.

Picking up “romantic hotel of the year” at the prestige hotel awards as well as “romantic venue of the year” at the Scottish wedding awards, Inglewood does not disappoint and proved to be the perfect romantic getaway.

Myself and my partner Stephen were warmly greeted by hotel manager David and wedding and events manager Alison in the grand hall which boasts a huge open fireplace and roaring log fire, a two-storey galleried reception hall with full height stained glass window and decadent country interior with the backdrop of a sweeping staircase, which has seen many a beautiful bride descend.

Alison and David joined the Inglewood team in March and are quite clearly a dynamic duo brimming with new ideas to raise the profile of the hotel, organising a range of different events at Inglewood aimed at the local community and further afield. They very much make the point that although Inglewood offers a luxurious experience they want it to be affordable and available for all and want to be as welcoming as possible to guests.

David said: “Here at Inglewood we cater for a variety of tastes and want to attract all clientele, and therefore aim to make sure it is affordable for all. Our staff are all from the surrounding area and we want to make sure we give back to the community by hosting events which will bring in local custom. By forging strong links with retailers and businesses here, we hope to develop and maintain that relationship with the local community.”

Community first has always been a feature of the house with the Paton family back in the early 1900’s employing locals to ensure it gave back to the community. Woollen yarn mogul Alexander Forrester-Paton purchased the land surrounding Inglewood in 1895 and commissioned architects A G Sydney Mitchel and Wilson to build the house which was completed in 1901.

After Mr Paton passed away the house was gifted to the Church of Scotland and became a nursing home and laterally was owned by Ceteris until current owner Ewan Campbell purchased Inglewood and brought it back to its natural splendour four years ago. The house has now been trading as a hotel and spa for three years and has expanded it’s on site capacity to include three woodland lodges; for larger groups two four-bedroom lodges sit side by side joined by a large outdoor area which holds two hot tubs and allows for groups up to 28 in a spacious, luxuriously furnished modern build, perfect for a group getaway and hen nights. The third lodge called The Pavilion was designed to replicate the original garden pavilion set within the formal gardens of the house and sleeps up to six guests who can all enjoy their own private outdoor hot tub.

In the last six months four one-bedroom woodland pods have been built at the rear of the house which accommodate up to four people each; meaning the whole hotel is able to offer plentiful ac-accommodation for its ever-increasing demand for weddings. In 2017 alone Inglewood will host 48 weddings and it is already set for 53 in 2018 and bookings already filling up for as far as 2020. An idyllic Scottish country retreat boasting traditional charm and character has made it hugely desirable with couples who have come from as far as Chile and Florida to experience an iconic Scottish wedding in a grand house.

Soon to be married couples can take their vows in the grand hall in front of the open fire and the backdrop of the stunning stain glass window with the bride-to-be arriving via the sweeping staircase. There is also the beautifully renovated conservatory which is also a popular choice for brides and takes in the stunning surroundings of the grounds. In the ballroom parties and weddings hold up to 150 guests and can be custom decorated to fit the desires of any couple.

After being treated to a delicious platter of sandwiches and hot drinks by the roaring open fire Alison took us on an intimate tour of the house explaining the history of the property and particularly what Inglewood has to offer as a luxury wedding destination. We were shown around six beautifully decorated bedroom suites which all offered very unique styles and impressive period features. I was blown away by the Alloway suite, decorated in plush cream and blue velvets and throws and ornate furniture, it also boasts a spectacular view over the front lawn, as I found in most of the rooms. Every room offered something truly special whether it was an exquisite bathroom with a free-standing brass bath or period features such as four poster beds, many also had balconies which allowed you to take in the stunning surroundings of the house but still allowing for privacy in the enclosed grounds.

As well as the six bedrooms we were shown the bridal dressing room and suite where bridal parties can relax on the wedding day and enjoy being pampered in the spacious adjoining make up room. The suite also boasts a large balcony with 360-degree views over the grounds creating the perfect ambiance to relax brides and their party on their special day. There is also a beautiful makeup and hairdresser salon on site, nestled in the Lotus spa, which guests can experience during their stay and allows them to enjoy a more luxurious salon experience away from the hustle and bustle of mainstream appointments.

Alison said: “We are very competitive on the market for what they are getting, we offer a five-star wedding package. I am available through the whole wedding process to support our brides-to-be with their every need and have a wonderful contact base of suppliers in everything a bride could wish for from florists and stylists to harpists and photographers. We will go the extra mile to ensure their day is perfect from start to finish.”

Not just a wedding retreat the house is a popular destination for baby showers, family occasions, hen parties and events such as graduation dinners and recently hosting a fashion show. Just off the grand hall there is a beautiful private dining room, The Inglenook room which can host intimate events up to 40 people with spectacular views over the front of the grounds and the sumptuous wooden panelling creates a rich warm atmosphere allowing for a party to celebrate more intimately.

After seeing the rooms of the house and surrounding grounds we made our way to the Lotus spa to relax in the thermal suite which included two saunas, a steam room and divine tiled hot beds, an indulgent treat ahead of our hot stone massages with therapist Lisa. Both leading busy lives and training in competitive sports, the massage was a welcome release to our aching muscles but also a truly luxurious and relaxing experience which left me utterly chilled out, almost falling asleep in the mood lit treatment room. The outdoor hot tub was a firm favourite which is available for all hotel guests who can relax outdoors and in our case, look up at the night sky in an intimate enclosure at the back of the hotel.

For those looking to enjoy a workout on their stay, the state of the art gym is complete with multiple cardio machines and a great selection of free weights, with air conditioning to keep you nice and cool. The atmosphere quite contrary to the spa is up beat with workout music playing and a great lively atmosphere to energise you as you train. For those wishing to have one on one training personal trainer Jacques offers sessions in both the gym and within the house.

As a food lover and beef farmer when it comes to dining out I’m always excited to try new dishes and learn about the origin of where a restaurant sources their food from. If my experience of the rest of the house was anything to go by I wasn’t surprised to find my dining experience in the Forrester’s restaurant to be a taste explosion from start to finish. We began with a charcuterie sharing board accompanied by a bottle of Malbec, a perfect combination by any means but the quality and quantity of the cheese and cured meats was fantastic. For my main I enjoyed a pan-fried chicken breast stuffed with Stornoway black pudding accompanied by a side of dauphinoise, spring cabbage and bacon with a decadent whiskey cream sauce. Stephen chose the 28-day aged fillet steak, often a risky business as a bit of a beef connoisseur myself but I was dying to try his dish and was blown away by the quality and tenderness of the cut of meat. Our delightful chef Eoin came out and explained to us where they source their meat from - Campbell prime meats gold range - who supply the highest quality scotch beef to the finest restaurants in Scotland. Clearly taking great pride in supporting local Scottish beef, head chef Karen Featherstone along with sous chef Eoin source all of their food locally and cook everything on site. Although we were both satisfyingly stuffed from our more than healthy sized starter and main portions I endeavoured to try the chocolate and salted caramel cheesecake dessert which was both light and rich, a welcome end to a perfect dining experience.

Taking our drinks to retire in the grand hall we sat by the open fire taking in the character of our surroundings and feeling totally relaxed in a state of post dinner ecstasy. Eoin delighted us once again with his knowledge of food and drink by interpreting my pallet to find me the perfect whiskey which turned out to be a Bowmore 12-year-old single malt and also introduced us to the local delicacy of Stirling gin. After a fantastic evening of delicious food, fine drinks and wonderful company from the welcoming house staff we headed up to our beautiful Billiard suite inclusive of four poster bed to end a perfect evening.

Despite being offered breakfast in bed, the next day we took our breakfast in the Forrester’s restaurant treated to a beautiful spread of continental delights with meat, cheese, fruit, yoghurts and warm pastries. Making the most of another round of delicious cooking from the Forrester’s kitchen we ordered a full breakfast and myself French toast with maple syrup and crispy bacon, all whilst taking in the morning view over the crisp lawn. We left the house shortly after feeling totally rejuvenated and blissfully happy after what could only be described as the perfect romantic getaway and escape from our busy lives. Whether a budding bride, a couple looking to escape or a family wishing to celebrate in style; Inglewood house caters your every demand offering five-star service from the beautiful luxury rooms to the invigorating spa experience to the delicious food and on site friendly staff who went over and above to ensure we had a truly unforgettable experience.