Hidden away in the village of Muthill, a few miles from Crieff in Perthshire is this unexpected surprise – a “restaurant with rooms” which is a real pleasure to visit, whether for lunch or dinner or for their 2-night B&B package, or more. It has been created by a young Anglo-French couple, Alison and Fabrice Bouteloup during the past three years. There is ample parking space, a warm and friendly welcome from Alison and her well-trained staff and a choice of six immaculate, comfortable and well-appointed rooms plus a very relaxing lounge for guests. But it is the fare provided by Fabrice and his small team which really sets The Barley Bree apart. He uses local Scottish ingredients plus French creativity to produce constantly-changing menus – his scallops and shrimp soup and the slow-cooked ox cheeks are specially memorable, amongst many more specialties (not to mention the home-made bread and his ‘full Scottish’ breakfasts).
The carefully chosen wine list is testament to Alison/s expertise and contributes to the overall sense of quality and value-for-money at the Barley Bree.
Muthill is conveniently close to Gleneagles (for the 2014 Ryder Cup golf perhaps?) and the stunning gardens of Drummond Castle are also nearby. This is also a very convenient base to visit Edinburgh and Pitlochry – both less than an hour away – and much more of Scotland.
Alison and Fabrice certainly deserve their recognition as Restaurant of the Year in the 2013 Scottish Restaurants Awards and I am pretty sure that more awards will come their way in the coming years.