We pull back the tartan curtain to discover the perfect weekend break: be a castle princess, a wigwam wide

‘I feel Ii apuel

boy, a lighthouse lover, a beach baby or quad biking genius. Just get out and enjoy yourself.

Anna Millar heads to FYVIE CASTLE for a weekend break and finds herself thrown into a weird, Alice in Wonderland world of opulence.

he late. great comedian (‘hic Murray is famed for his surreal gag about the Scottish stereotype. ‘My lather was an Aberdonian.‘ the veteran comedian would say. ‘And a more generous man you couldn‘t wish to meet. I have a gold watch that belonged to my father. he sold it to me on his death bed . . . so I wrote him a cheque.’ 'I‘ravelling up north to liyvie. on the outskirts of Aberdeen. it strikes me that the Scots. and indeed Scotland. have spent their lives conforming to type. As a Glaswegian born and bred brought up on strict diet of Murray and Billy (‘onnolly the Scots mentality has always struck me as confusing: humorous. generous. cantankerous and sentimental in equal measure. The old l’um-lz cartoon showing a hitchhiker trying to entice passing motorists with a sign ‘(ilasgow or else!‘ beautifully epitomises Scotland‘s wonderful ability to both welcome and berate its people and places. But here I am. a 'dirty Weegie' (a Connolly-ism) preparing for a weekend break in the lavish setting of l‘yvie (‘astle. (‘onnolly might be appalled. but it appears Scotland‘s diversifying in its old age. and I‘m more than happy to find a crown that fits. After getting spectacularly lost en route. we arrive as the sun sets over the loch in the castle grounds. A huge driveway

14 THE LIST 22 in: 5. Aug; ma

waits for us beyond the gates. I call ahead to the castle.

apologising for our late arrival. ‘(‘ome round to the delivery entrance.’ says the night keeper. Renting a castle. indeed. Dream shattered. I assume she‘ll take its to a nice self—catering cottage with a t‘ir'n' of the castle. Shock then. when moments later were led round the corner to a huge black door at the foot of the castle turret. Once inside. we wander up the spiral staircase. walls lined with dignitaries of old. .\'ight time has brought a veil of mystery to proceedings: we pass one door after another. after another. in what seems like a never-ending maze. Suddenly our guide stops: were led into a massive dining room. complete with titanic dinette lit to seat a small tartan army. In the distance I see another vast space decked with an array of huge. opulent armchairs. ‘\\'ill we meet the others guests down here for breakfast?~ I ask tentatively. "l’he whole tower is just for you two. dear.‘ the keeper says. smiling as my jaw hits the lloor. ‘We only let it out to one party at a time‘. Then she’s gone. ()n hearing the latch click shut downstairs. we regress at least 20 years and. like small infants. bound to the top of our ivory tower. liaeh of the seven lloors holds another hidden treasure from ornamental bathtub to leather clad drawing room. We pass one sumptuous master


Fyvie Castle (above) hosts it all from sumptuous master bedrooms to ornamental bathtubs