Welcome to the first blog in our brand new “The Dunstane Does…” series! We know for many of you, The Dunstane Hotel has become a home away from home. So when there are tens, hundreds or even thousands of miles between us, we want you to still feel part of our family. “The Dunstane Does…” will keep you up-to-date with the goings on and maybe give you ideas for your next visit! Our first entry is all about The Dunstane Does…A Bentley Weekend!
57th Scottish Whit Weekend
I’m sure you already have two questions – What is a Whit Weekned and what is the connection to The Dunstane? Firstly the connection is our owners Derek and Shirley Mowat, who aren’t just hoteliers, they are also vintage car enthusiasts. Derek is the owner of Derek C Mowat, a company selling hand picked classic and prestige cars, you can even see some of his cars from a few of the bedroom windows at The Dunstane!
What a Whit Weekend is, is a slightly longer answer so I’ve put it into the smallest nutshell I can! It’s the highlight of the Scottish Region of the Bentley Drivers Club‘s social calendar. It began in 1959 and 57 years later the event is still going strong with 77 Bentleys and their owners arriving at the Colyumbridge
Hilton Hotel in Aviemore on a sunny Friday afternoon. The afternoon leads into a relaxed evening meal, a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make some new ones too. This year there were a couple who brought their car from Australia and even two gentlemen who drove over from Rotterdam. Wilem, one of the Dutchmen, is a keen car collector and self-confessed fan of Derek’s company and watcher of his website, one of many new friendships that were built over the weekend.
Saturday morning everyone is up and out the hotel, leaving in pairs and groups of cars, giving the local residents a wake up call with a difference! Everyone follows a set route through narrow back roads and avoids “boring” main roads as much as possible! The run this year we ended up at the Highland Wildlife Park, which even the grown ups enjoyed. The run back to the hotel is more direct, getting everyone back mid-afternoon when the kids disappear to the pool and the adults have the chance to catch up with each other and take a look at everyone’s cars. The women disappear earlier than the men, taking time to get glammed up for the main night of the weekend. Dinner on Saturday is always followed by great entertainment, this year was the incredible Motown tribute artists Feeva! They had everyone up and dancing with speedy costume changes as they passed into a new decade, covering the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The music was great, they kept everyone on their feet and took a great selfie with us all!
Sunday always starts a little slower, but there was a fantastic 125 mile round trip organised, taking us all the way to the gateway to Loch Ness and then back via a very popular hill climb…know affectionately as the ‘Corkscrew’. Some of the more modern cars coped fine but the older models really tested their
drivers with a few having to take a few attempts at the corners. Sunday night is similar to the relaxed atmosphere of Friday, with the addition of a chocolate fountain which got some people (ok me…!) very excited! There are then a few prizes handed out before the night gradually winds down and people prepare for their long drives home.
So if this short blog has made you fancy jumping into the world of Bentley’s, Derek is the man to speak to! You might as well make a weekend of your meeting with him and come stay the The Dunstane too! We always have some great offers on accommodation so make sure you take a look or give us a ring to book on 0131 337 6169.