Andy Murray's Cromlix hotel and head chef named best in Scotland in national awards

Former World Number One tennis player Andy Murray scored two accolades at the Scottish Excellence Awards 2024 for his Cromlix Hotel.

Published 22nd Mar 2024
Updated 22 nd Mar 2024

The five-star Cromlix Hotel, which Murray has owned with his wife Kim since 2013, took the prestigious Independent Hotel of the Year title in the Scottish Excellence Awards, ahead of Highland Perthshire’s Killiecrankie House. 

As well as this award, Cromlix’s Executive Head Chef Darin Campbell was voted Chef of the Year. Campbell, who said his original ambition had been to become a professional golfer, has held the post for the last 11 years before which he worked at One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow and the two Michelin-Star Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles.

The setting for Andy and Kim’s wedding in 2015, the Victorian mansion and estate near Andy’s hometown of Dunblane re-opened in March last year after extensive refurbishment.

Cromlix award

Of the win, Kim Murray said: “The hotel has had a remarkable 12 months and the team have worked incredibly hard to continue delivering an outstanding experience for our guests,,

“We’re excited for the future of Cromlix and hope we can continue to offer Scottish excellence to every guest.”

Finalists in the Chef of the Year category included Kevin Dalgleish of Aberdeen’s Amuse Restaurant, which was a runner-up in the Restaurant Newcomer section, Lorna McNee of Cail Bruich in Glasgow, last year’s Restaurant of the Year champion, Calum Montgomery of Edinbane Lodge on the Isle of Skye, and Dean Parker of Celentano’s, Glasgow.

The awards, presented at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa in Edinburgh last night (Thursday 21 March), are billed as ‘the ultimate accolade for businesses and individuals working in Scottish hospitality, foodservice and tourism.’

Killiecrankie House, run by chef Tom Tsappis and his partner Matilda Ruffle, took another of the main awards - Restaurant of the Year – ahead of Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns’s one-time favourite howff, the Globe Inn in Dumfries. 

After quitting their jobs in finance and advertising in London to take over the renowned establishment near Pitlochry in 2022, Tom and Matilda set about reinvigorating Killiecrankie and its restaurant. Their respective half Greek-Cypriot/half Japanese roots are evident in the menus.

best UK restaurants killiecrankie House
Killiecrankie House Picture: Alex Baxter

Dating from 1610, the Globe was where the Bard ate, drank, recited, slept and otherwise entertained ‘affairs of the heart’. He spent his final years in Dumfries, where he is buried. It was presented with a Highly Commended accolade.

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Its head of cuisine, Jonathan Brett, said: “The Globe Inn has been around for well over 400 years but it has really only been in the past two or three years that we have seen the investment and transformation that have made it into what we believe is one of the finest casual fine dining restaurants in Scotland.”

Group Hotel of the Year went to the 240-bedroom Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian, seeing off challenges from Apex Waterloo Place in the capital and Duisdale House on the Isle of Skye - winner of the category in 2018. 

Duisdale’s parent company, the Sonas Hotel Collection, was also a finalist in the Wellbeing in Hospitality Award, losing out to winner The Real Mary’s King’s Close tourist attraction in Edinburgh, which also received a Highly Commended certificate in the Employee Engagement and Retention section. 

The Italian-inspired Celentano’s was voted Restaurant Newcomer of the Year, with Edinburgh Street Food, a grouping of 10 independent traders in Leith Street, taking away a Highly Commended rating in the category.

Young Chef of the Year went to Lewis MacDonald, sous chef at Cail Bruich, with Jack Coghill, 24, of Jack ‘O’ Bryan’s Bar and Kitchen in Dunfermline taking Highly Commended.

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Rachel and Graham Bucknall’s Ship Inn, overlooking Elie Bay, took the Pub Excellence Award ahead of the Highly Commended Boar’s Head in Auchtermuchty, and McLarens on the Corner in Edinburgh’s Morningside. 

Rachel Bucknall said: "We’re absolutely delighted to accept the award on behalf of our team.

“They work tirelessly to give our customers wonderful service and great food in a fabulous location, always with smiles on their faces. This is a testament to their hard work.”

The Banqueting and Events Chef Award went to Peter Thompson of Aberdeen events venue, P&J Live, which includes a 15,000-capacity arena. 

Employee of the Year was awarded to Hassan Mohamud Mbirikany, a Masai ‘Warrior’ from Kenya, Junior Assistant Manager at the Cairndale Hotel and Spa in Dumfries.

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The Lifetime Excellence Award was presented to David Cochrane, Chief Executive of the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland. He received an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours 2020 for services to hospitality.

For more information visit the Scottish Excellence Awards website.

Cromlix, Dunblane, UK
Cromlix, Dunblane, UK, FK15 9JU
Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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