It was a swift getaway from London city airport into the chauffeur driven car from Edinburgh airport, within a couple of hours we had arrived at the Scottish Borders. Our driver filled us in on all of the local knowledge and history on our journey to The Horseshoe Inn. Once we arrived we settled into our room which had all of the homely touches; proper chest of drawers, tasselled lamps, soft creamy carpets and a delicate tea tray. It’s called restaurant with rooms as their main focus is the food, this however doesn’t make the rooms any less appealing. The rooms are clean, comforting and warm.
For our first evening at The Horseshoe Inn, we kicked off with some champagne in the bar area, which was laden with leather chesterfields and plump sofas near the fireplace. Dinner was at 8, with an appetiser of pigs trotter mousse, sprinkled with crackling.
We feasted on grouse, teal and red deer, all caught locally.
Dessert was a cool, sweet block of praline with crispy honeycomb and an espresso to help us with the little walk across the gravel path to our bed.
The beds were the “sinking in” kind and I slept extremely well. The following morning we helped ourselves to tea in bed, before slowly making our way across for breakfast.
Breakfast consisted of a personal cafetiere, seasonal fruit with fresh yoghurt and granola, followed by a full English breakfast and (if we could fit it in) local jams and home made bread. (we managed to fit it in)
Next we embarked on a very relaxing personal tour of the Scottish borders with the owner of the hotel, Mark. I’ve been to the highlands of Scotland many years ago, but never the borders, and I’m so glad I did as the scenery was breath taking and there wasn’t a car or person in sight. We stopped off at a couple of high places to take it all in and attempt to take some decent photographs.
The colours of the landscape changed with the clouds, rain and sun. Autumn is a brilliant time of year to come to Scotland, where you see the full spectrum of reds, maroons, yellow, orange, mustard, deep purples, which makes you feel as though you are inside a continuous painting. I imagine that all of the other seasons would add their own magical touch to the landscape.
We stopped off at Mike’s salmon smoking house, in one of the highest parts of the lowlands (if you can really call them that) . Mike lives right by the Eldric river, where salmon come upstream for 56 miles from Berwick on sea within two days. We were welcomed for lunch in his dining room with a crackling fire and a table laid with his fresh produce; smoked salmon (raw and cooked) a salad containing smoked venison and some smoked Serrano ham, all sourced locally and smoked that day by Mike. He then ran us through the smoking process, showing us where the magic happened. Honestly, this was the best smoked Salmon I have ever tasted.
We then drove back along the borders through equally stunning scenery, ending up at the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, which contained artefacts from Mary Queen of Scots and clothes that dated back to the 1400’s, followed by an amble around some beautiful walled gardens with bountiful apple trees.
That evening we relaxed in our room and then made our way back to the bar for some pre-dinner drinks. We were treated to the tasting menu which changes according to what they’re caught that very day. This included many different types of small bird, local salmon from the Eldric River of course and a choice of beautifully crafted desserts. It’s a brilliant way to try out everything in one tasty go and it means you can really take your time and make an evening of it.
So if the daily grind is getting to you, probably best you take a break and visit this place, it’s totally relaxed and what you decide to do while you’re there is entirely up to you. They can tailor your weekend based on who you’re with, including things such as picnics in the hills, tours of the local area and fine dining based around the local delicacies you fancy trying. The Horseshoe Inn can also be booked out for a whole group, so you can have the place to yourself, along with staff that will cater to your every need.
The Horseshoe Inn offered us impeccable service, incredible food and stunning surroundings.