Saturday, 21 April 2018

Where to stay in the Beautiful Scottish Borders

I've travelled all over Scotland over the years - east coast, west coast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, the Highlands. But until recently I hadn't really spent any time down in the Borders. I'm not sure what I expected but I was surprised by the picturesque rolling hills that make up the beautiful Scottish borders landscape. Our destination was Biggar. 

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Biggar Kirk

Biggar

A small town in South Lanarkshire, Biggar is a gateway to the Borders, with a rich history and a strong Polish connection dating back to WW2. If you have time, visit the nearby Polish map of Scotland! We enjoyed a walk around the town centre, admiring the 16th century kirk. The purpose of our visit though was a night at the Elphinstone Hotel.

The Elphinstone Hotel Biggar
Elphinstone hotel room Biggar

The Room

A warm welcome and a large, comfortable bedroom gave good first impressions of the old coaching inn. The room was spotless, with even enough space for a bunk bed (ideal for families)! The curtains, in my opinion, looked a little dated - a nice new set would bring the room bang up to date. Maybe a little tartan touch for a true Scottish welcome!
drinks in the Elph Bar

The Elph Bar

Dinner was booked in the restaurant for the evening but we made our way to "the Elph" bar for a drink first. Among the locals, we were made to feel at home and Gordon enjoyed a pint of Orkney Brewery's Red MacGregor while I sipped an Edinburgh Gin with light Fever Tree.

black pudding dish at the elphinstone, Biggar
smoked scottish salmon at the elphinstone, Biggar

Restaurant

Dinner was served in the spacious restaurant at the back of the building. Proper, home cooked pub grub in a relaxed atmosphere, the restaurant seemed popular with the locals too. Our starters were a treat - battered black pudding for me, and a smoked Scottish salmon dish for him. 

Haggis chicken dish at the elphinstone, Biggar
Three Hop Lager at the Elph Bar, Biggar

Three Hop lager from the Caledonian Brewing Co also proved to be a hit with the other half! A healthy whisky selection was admired too, and he couldn't resist a nip of Balvenie's 12 year old single malt.

fillet steak at the Elphinstone, Biggar

I kept to the Scottish theme and enjoyed a delicious haggis stuffed chicken breast in a whisky and mustard sauce. His fillet steak was devoured, and he just about managed to polish off the chunky chips and onion rings too! Dessert was a no go - we were stuffed!

Drinks at the Elph Bar, Biggar

Our evening ended with drinks in the cosy lounge bar. I appreciated the gin list but was disappointed when my Carrounn G&T arrived with a slice of lemon & regular tonic, rather than the apple wedge & elderflower tonic stated on the menu. Instead I moved on to the peach & hibiscus Boe gin topped with prosecco, as recommended by one of the lovely, friendly waitresses!

Scottish breakfast at the Elphinstone Hotel, Biggar

Breakfast

Served in the same restaurant space, breakfast was a hearty affair packed with all the best Scottish produce. Black pudding, haggis, lorne sausage (for him), tattie scones and all the rest, cooked to perfection. A choice of cereals, yoghurt and fresh fruit was available too.


We really enjoyed our stay at the Elphinstone hotel - if you ever need to know where to stay down south, this is it. From here you can explore the castles, abbeys and rolling hills of the beautiful Scottish borders, then relax and enjoy an evening of good Scottish hospitality!

*We were invited to stay and dine at the Elphinstone Hotel in exchange for an honest review.
As always all opinions are my own and 100% genuine.

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