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96 Main Street, Leuchars, Scotland
+44 (1334) 839280
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Hospitality and Comfort at Hillpark House
West Virginia, West Virginia
July 18, 2010
Best of IgoUgo
Hillpark House is a 4-star B&B offering guests an ideal base of operations for exploring Fife and southern Angus. Located on the outskirts of the village of Leuchars, golfers will love the fact that it is only 6 miles from the courses of St. ...
Hillpark House is a 4-star B&B offering guests an ideal base of operations for exploring Fife and southern Angus. Located on the outskirts of the village of Leuchars, golfers will love the fact that it is only 6 miles from the courses of St. Andrews and only 19 miles from Carnoustie. St. Michael's, the local golf club, is literally just across the road. Further afield, but still nearby, can be found the fishing villages of the East Neuk and an assortment of historic homes and churches.
During our stay in October 1999, the hosts of Hillpark House provided us with amply quantities of both hospitality and comfort. The house itself is a period piece of Victorian stone construction. The house was decorated with porcelain dolls and plates, vintage clothing, and quilts, giving the interior an authentic Victorian manner. Quilts and tole painting on some of the furnishings also lent unexpected touches of "American" country charm to the overall effect.
Two of Hillpark's three guestrooms are en suite, and the bathrooms are complete with all appropriate toiletries in "real" sizes, as is the custom in many British B&Bs. The third room adjoins a bathroom fitted with a large nineteenth-century canopy-style tub/shower, which other guests may use if the third bedroom is empty.
Thoughtful additions to each room included a hair dryer, a complete sewing kit, and a variety of skincare products. One had the impression that over time whenever a guest has uttered, "Oh, I wish I'd remembered to bring the _____," the hosts had rushed out to procure the wished-for item and ensure that each room was stocked accordingly. Towels are soft and fluffy, and a comfortable flannel robe could be found hanging on the bathroom door. Each room also contained a well-stocked hospitality corner, including a substantial variety of teas, instant and ground coffee, "biscuits," chocolate bars, and still and sparkling water. Our room was large and airy, and the bed (actually, two twins pushed together) was comfortable.
A handy folder placed in each room documented house rules (all quite sensible) and contained a breakfast menu with many choices, including omelettes and crepes. In our experience, the food was excellent, and the table service was congenial. When we trooped downstairs our first morning at 7:30 a.m., we found the air filled with the tantalizing aromas of a full Scottish breakfast--our choice for the day. Freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade preserves, and toast kept us occupied until our plates arrived, piled high with eggs to order, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, and other breakfast staples--all perfectly prepared. A variety of cereals and fresh fruit awaited our pleasure on the sideboard. Freshly brewed tea and coffee rounded out our breakfast service. With notice, Sandy will accommodate special dietary requirements.
The dining room and sitting room served as common areas where guests are free to come and go at will. Books and games are available in the sitting room, as are brochures on local attractions. Family pets were trained to seek the company of only those guests who are so inclined--they were not permitted in the common areas unless invited by a guest. Similarly, our hosts were attentive and unobtrusive--providing each guest with the just desired amount of personal attention and interaction.
The grounds at Hillpark were typical of a Victorian country home, with dahlias taking pride of place during our autumn visit. During a pleasant stroll about the garden, I discovered a herb garden in the back corner with to a wooden bench nearby. Liberal use of stone added form to this part of the garden, while the herbs themselves provided color and a broader range of textures. Throughout the garden, a variety of mature trees and shrubs promised a steady progression of colors and scents as the seasons passed. The old dovecote has become a garden shed.
Our stay at Hillpark House was an excellent value in terms of cost. I can think of only one caution for potential visitors: the house is not well suited for handicapped visitors. All three bedrooms are located upstairs. Though the staircase is wide and makes for a gentle climb, this isn't the place to stay if you can't climb.
A review of the home page for Hillpark House indicates that the hosts who greeted us are no longer managing this B&B, but the atmosphere seems much the same and the rooms as pictured on the site look almost unchanged. A conservatory, which was under construction during our stay, has been added to the public areas of the house, and breakfast is now often served there. The lodging had also maintained its 4-star rating. Given need for accommodation in this area, we would definitely return. The memories it holds for us all happy ones.
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