Balfour Castle, Orkney Islands

Published in Food and Travel Magazine April 2012 Issue number 145:

Balfour Castle in Food and Travel

Take a peek at life in a stately home. This, the world’s most northerly castle hotel, is also an occasional private residence. Located on the island of Shapinsay, Balfour is filled with much of its original and beautifully restored antiques, but boasts all mod cons too. The spacious chandelier-adorned rooms have sleigh beds, and bathrooms decorated with hand-painted wallpaper. The view’s not bad either – look out over the landscaped garden or spot the islands across the strait. Tinkle on the Steinway upright in the drawing room, enjoy a massage in the treatment room or explore the castle’s picturesque grounds. Chef Jean-Baptiste Bady makes jams from the kitchen garden’s fruit, and uses flowers from the same source to garnish dinner plates. A good selection of wines are available from the cellar.