I recently spent the weekend in the Scottish Borders with my fellow Scotlanders, exporing the region of the new Borders Railway. You can read about my trip here. I was lucky enough to spend the night at the HorseshoeRestaurant with rooms in Peebles.
As I was warmly welcomed into my accommodation for the night I was already enchanted by the picture perfect village of Peebles, Scotland. Set amongst the rolling hills and valleys of the Scottish Borders this market town straddles the majestic River Tweed and is filled with cute independent shops, timeless streets and flowers in blossom in every nook and crannie.
The Horseshoe Restaurant with rooms didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for this stunning area. Driving up the stone driveway I was thrilled to find a beautifully transformed former village School House, whitewashed and surrounded with colourful flower pots. This stands behind the restaurant itself, a traditional typically Scottish affair, whitewashed outside with dark woods and thick luxurious carpets, and hints of rustic Scotland in it’s decor. The rustic feel helps the restaurant feel cosy and comfortable, but that takes nothing away from the first class hospitality we experienced at every stage of our stay.
Our twin room was furnished comfortably with excellent quality bedding which allowed me a much needed long relaxing sleep. A lovely fresh fruit bowl, a good selection of teas and coffees with fresh milk, and organic toiletries showed the people in charge here know what they are doing. We had a lovely cup of tea and unwound for a couple of hours before our booking for dinner, and what really struck me was how utterly peaceful the surroundings were. I only wish I had more time to explore.
The restaurant itself is split into three sections, and we sat in the first section which had a well stocked bar and plush sofas. It was here we had our canapies, before being taken through to the beautifully decorated, dark and romantic, classy dining room.
Slices of fresh homemade bread was swiftly followed by our Amuse Bouche of Smoked trout with celery, cucumber and apple salad. Delicious trout with smoked salmon for a starter followed by perfectly cooked lamb as a main and I was comfortably full with some of the best food I had ever tasted. My dessert of a dark chocolate bon bon filled with orange flavoured caramel, a butterscotch ice cream and salted caramel sauce, with a praline wafer was the ideal ending to a superb 6 course meal. The attention to detail throughout every course was faultless, the food accomplished and well thought out using locally produced food in season. The staff were friendly, thoughtful and professional and I left to head back to the room highly impressed and in a food induced lull.
After a fantastic sleep and a necessary but completely unwanted early start, the staff were more than happy to arrange an earlier than usual breakfast for us of handmade granola with seasonal fruit followed by chestnut mushrooms and poached egg on rye toast.
A small restaurant, with only ten tables and one sitting in the evening lets guests have a long and luxurious meal. Chef Alistair Craig, formerly Senior Sous Chef at the Michelin starred Montagu Arms in Hampshire, uses veg from the kitchen garden round the back as well as carefully selected produce from around the Scottish Borders. Local food growers even drop produce off at the back door! Although I passed on the wine there is an impressive selection to choose from with over 250 on the list focusing on regionality and including over 30 bio-dynamic and organic wines.
Dinner, bed and breakfast starts at £180 per couple or £140 for bed and breakfast. The amazing food, lovely cosy rooms and the stunning, peaceful setting in the heart of the Scottish borders, surrounded by lush green hills, makes this little gem one to watch.
The team can be contacted through their website here, where you can also see sample menus and the wine list.