Douneside House is delicious food, décor, service and scenery - everything you'd hope to find in a Scottish country hotel. It’s near the pretty village of Tarland, in the north-east of Scotland and it’s my number 1 hotel in Aberdeenshire right now. It’s cosy and exclusive, a boutique hotel that dreams are made of. I can’t honestly see a single downside to Douneside. When you arrive up the long driveway and walk into its perfectly little formed hallway, its feels as if you have stumbled upon something pretty darn gorgeous – hurray! The staff are so friendly and welcoming, the bedrooms are dreamy, and there are numerous cosy fireside spots throughout the hotel. There are also beautiful self-catered cottages on the land and a lovely fitness centre and swimming pool. Gillian Currie, David Butters and his (worked together for decades) restaurant manager run the show at Douneside in their stride – it helps that they have an established and extensive kitchen garden at their disposal. The service and food is exceptional. Simple, hearty lunches make way for dramatic dinners. Lovely stuff! The estate was gifted to a charitable trust by the very fabulous sounding ‘Lady Macrobert’ in her will. To the public’s great advantage, the trust have now turned in into a stylish shelter of serious caliber, set in a postcard perfection position. Well done MacRobert Trust! Giving back never felt so good.