How apt that my last post was entitled ‘Slowing Down’ as I then ground to a halt with these little snippets of Torrisdale life. Not that life ever grinds to a halt here, far from it. We continued to have a busy autumn and the bookings really only petered out in November but it was no time at all before we were welcoming Christmas and Hogmanay guests to Torrisdale. Fortunately the dramatic thunder and lightening storms had subsided by then (we had a week of it!) but not before taking out numerous phone lines and satellite signals in the local area. We were lucky that it only took a couple of weeks to get back up and running – some people are still waiting.

We spent Christmas in Bridge of Allan with my parents which was completely wonderful but I couldn’t help but miss the estate and all the goings on, especially when Niall’s cousin posted this stunning shot on Christmas Day:

Torrisdale Castle on Christmas Day looking beautiful in the winter sun
Christmas Day


We were soon home and gearing up for the Hogmanay bash which brought together old friends, new friends, extended family and holiday guests. It was a wonderful party and a great opportunity to get to know our Garden Cottage and Servants’ Quarters visitors who were delighted to see in the new year with us. I got the countdown a bit wrong so we were a few minutes behind the rest of the UK, but no one seemed to mind and everyone enjoyed hollering out Auld Lang Syne, accompanied by an old friend on the piano. I had tried to persuade Niall to dust off his bagpipes and play us into 2015 in style but after a brief practice he decided it would be kinder not to subject people to his tuneless droning. I’m not giving up hope that he will find the time to practice as it would be an fabulous asset to exploit, especially for the forthcoming weddings we have this year.

Torrisdale Castle circa 1820
How the castle looked almost 200 years ago, before the extensions.


As well as the weddings, there is another Big Event in 2015 for Torrisdale Castle. Records show that the middle section of the house was built in 1815, making this part an impressive 200 years old this year. We are hoping to mark this special milestone at some point during the year as we do love an excuse for a party and have been brainstorming some ideas. My dream is to emulate Brian May’s jubilee performance on the roof of Buckingham Palace but with a piper (not Niall!) playing Mull of Kintyre, while a full pipe band march through the arch and join in on the lawn. I realise this may be a tad ambitious but if it’s good enough for Her Majesty, it’s good enough for us!

The reality might be a little bit more modest, more like our estate friends and family, some left over Hogmanay party poppers and a snifter of Springbank but it will be marked, one way or another. I may even dust for the occasion!

Happy 2015 everyone! Make a resolution to come and visit and join us for a birthday dram.

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