Stacey Mullen

AS a Glasgow girl, a weekend escape for me usually means heading out to the country. I find the scenic views, quiet surroundings and fresh air helps balance out the stresses of city life. But, more often than not, I quickly get bored and find myself desperate for things to do. What can I say, it's the city girl in me...

That's why Ness Walk in Inverness was the perfect weekend getaway for someone like me. The five-star retreat nestles on the banks of the River Ness, a 10-minute walk from the Inverness city centre. Its hidden-away location makes you feel as if you are in the country yet you are never far from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The impressive hotel was a doctor's house before it was redeveloped. A key historical fact that perhaps has helped create its homely allure.

The hotel, which opened its doors last year, prides itself on the design of each room which they say has its own personality – and this strategy clearly works. My room had sweeping views which brought in the calm of the river, which helped me relax. The room itself was so comfortable, it felt like I was in my own bedroom at home, with comforts such as full Sky TV to the maids leaving tablet on our bedside table each night – a nice nod to tradition. These little add-ons no doubt give Ness Walk its five-star status.

Breakfast is served each morning from the Torrish restaurant. There is a continental buffet packed with bread, cheeses, pastries, and granola-style yogurts. Diners can also choose a hot meal that has been cooked up by the chefs. Some of the options myself and my partner tried during our two-night stay included baked portobello mushrooms, parsley, and nasturtium herb crumb potato hash brown; crepes with chocolate sauce, banana, and grilled hazelnuts; eggs benedict with ham and butter-poached haddock, house-made soda scone, black pudding, parsley and mixed herb micro salad. Each dish melted in the mouth and was packed with flavour.

The effort put into the food and the elegance in which it was presented made the Torrish an obvious choice for dinner. The restaurant is transformed in the evening with romantic lighting and subtle music adding to the atmosphere.

All of the staff were friendly and eager to provide the best dining experience. Their knowledge of the menu was exceptional and they seemed proud to be serving the dishes. For evening starters, we had the risotto and scallops which set the tone as the flavours did not disappoint. The mains were equally impressive with our choices of soy glazed duck breast and corn-fed chicken offering a taste sensation. The icing on the cake was the desserts which balanced a mixture of sweet tastes off each other as we opted for the white and dark chocolate terrine and toffee cheesecake. The meal was delivered with such style and grace, it was one that I will not easily forget.

Outside the hotel grounds, the River Ness walkway provides spectacular views of the city at any time of the day. We delved into the Inverness nightlife and found it was packed with stylish bars. We also did the one thing that is expected of anyone who goes to Inverness – yes, we went on the hunt for Nessie. We hopped on the Loch Ness by Jacobite Cruise to explore one of Scotland's greatest stretches of water. Despite the awful weather, the views were breathtaking.

Although new to the Inverness hotel scene, Ness Walk stands out in its own right and will no doubt continue to make an impression on its guests for years to come.

Prices from £120 (winter), £350 (summer).