An 1700’s gothic gem of a lodge at the gateway to a vast slice of Scottish Highland heaven. The Monzie estate, its sheep, cattle and wildlife – including hares and red squirrels – is flourishing in the charming Crichton’s care, and yours to explore. Alexandra managed every detail of the renovation of their East Gate Lodge. David’s ‘Monzie Joinery’ cabinetmakers are responsible for all the handsome woodwork. The result is a very liveable space: light and warm, with an octagonal sitting room, a behemoth of a cast-iron bath and star-gazy bedrooms. Take a break from cooking in the compact, well-designed kitchen and have good things to eat, like venison casserole or afternoon tea, brought to your door. You may tour the fascinating castle – rebuilt to Robert Lorimer’s design after a fire in 1908. Hill-walkers and golfers, fisher people and whisky tasters will need at least a week to make a dent. It’s four miles to Crieff; the perfect peace here a balm after a summer’s day at the Highland Games. In Autumn the tree-lined approach is gold and scarlet; the long view, past standing stones to heather-clad hills, serious bliss.