HOW does the old saying go? It’s about the journey, not the destination?
Well, in the case of Trigony House Hotel, it’s about both.
This homely country house, just 12 miles over the Dumfries and Galloway boundary line when coming from the north, is the perfect place for a short break.
It’s pretty, inside and out, and the drive isn’t half bad either.
The weather was on our side as we came off the M74 and along a winding, open road through tiny hamlets and farmland, with the green hills looking lush in the winter sunshine.
We smiled as we passed an assortment of handwritten signs, warning of children crossing, lambs crossing, chickens crossing and, we’re pretty certain, even one warning of kittens crossing! Surely they shouldn’t be allowed out on their own!
The best sign of all, though, was the one for Trigony House Hotel and Garden Spa, just a mile or so from Thornhill, where the high street boasts a variety of independent shops well worth visiting.
Standing in more than four acres of mature woodland and gardens, Trigony House dates back to at least the 18th Century, when it was a shooting and fishing lodge.
In its current fashion it has drawn up an enviable CV, including wins in the 2017 Scottish Hotel Awards and Best Loved Hotels 2017.
If first impressions are all important, then the beautiful staircase that greets visitors in the lobby certainly makes its mark.
We later learned the Art Deco-style staircase, Japanese oak panelling and long windows on the landing were built by some of the region’s best craftsmen nearly 80 years ago, proving class is timeless.
Something else that’s timeless is the simple pleasures, which was why it was so nice to sit by a roaring fire with a drink and a book.
There are three public rooms – the cosy lounge at the front, the bar at the back (both of which have wood-burning stoves) and the restaurant in between.
While I enjoyed sitting by the fire, my partner was treated in the spa, which not only boasts a full range of treatments but also an outdoor wood-fired Swedish hot tub, Finnish sauna cabin and a private garden. She had an hour-long full body massage, which she described as wonderful.
Therapist Heidi used some decadently-scented oils to work out all of my partner’s knots and stresses, leaving her relaxed and recharged. She almost floated back to the lounge afterwards!
By this point all sorts of lovely smells were wafting out of the kitchen.
Trigony has also won a clutch of awards for its food, and even has its own vegetable and herb garden.
The chef is happy to provide options for all dietary needs and the bespoke menu goes down a treat. We spent the rest of the evening by the fire in the lounge, treating ourselves to a few spirits as we played board games.
If you’re into something a little more active, however, a range of activities can be organised, such as a falconry experience or horse riding.
Bikes can be hired, as can vintage cars. And there are a range of walks to be enjoyed, which you could do with your four-legged friend, as Trigony is a dog friendly hotel – just ask Roxy, the resident, friendly Golden Retriever!
Trigony is ideally placed for a number of tourist attractions in the south-west, especially Drumlanrig Castle and the Crawick Multiverse, a stunning art scape.
Once an open cast mine, it has been transformed by renowned landscape designer Charles Jencks into a place of wonderment, carving out ideas of astronomy and cosmology into the hills. It looks amazing and it’s just as fun to take a walk through.
With treats like this on its doorstep, Trigony is the sort of welcoming place you could easily find yourself coming back to again and again for a welcome break from the hustle and bustle.
Prices begin at £125 (bed and breakfast) for a classic room, with dinner £195. Various weekend breaks are available, with 25% off a two-night dinner, bed and breakfast package in a classic room with a view coming in at £295, or three nights with dinner, bed and breakfast for the price of two.