A selfie with Andy Murray’s gold post box might be reason enough for his fans to pay Dunblane a visit. For everyone else, the place itself is worth the trip. It has all the hallmarks of a small, quaint town; there’s a river running through the centre, an attractive stone bridge and a winding, narrow high street. For the first time visitor, however, the surprise is the sheer scale of Dunblane Cathedral relative to the town’s diminutive proportions. If you’re standing in the square, Dunblane could feel a bit like a mini-me Exeter or Salisbury.
The square is also an attractive place to stop for lunch or dinner and Old Churches House Hotel is adjacent to the cathedral. An historic exterior, and, perhaps, slightly unprepossessing entrance and narrow stairs leads you into the Juniper brasserie , a relatively new addition to the Dunblane restaurant offer. Owner and chef, Kenny Wilson shows a commitment to vegetarian and vegan food with a dedicated, separate menu with 5 vegetarian options for both starters and main course as well as gluten free choices. For carnivores, there’s steak pie and venison meatballs, priced around the £10 mark. There are specials as well as the regular menu – duck breast with asian lentil du puy, sweet & sour red cabbage and tenderstem broccoli was particularly good.
Kenny, who has worked on the QEII and at Gleneagles, already owned Juniper in Tillicoultry, along with his wife Marie Claire and business partner Alex Mckie of Fusion. The trio are not stopping at two restaurants though. Their third and most recent venture has taken them to Fife as the new owners of the Golf Inn in St Andrews …and it goes without saying that St Andrews is worth a visit even if you’re not a golf fan.