Since I’ve been spending this summer at home, I’ve been trying to revert to being a tourist in my own area and seeing things a little differently. Whilst the Scottish Borders are not Glasgow, it doesn’t mean there aren’t things to see and do and places to eat! Although I’ve been working during the week, I have had weekends off for exploring and grabbing a bite to eat!
I thought I’d share three of my favourite places if you are in the area, all tried and tested by me. Going out of my way to eat at places so I can share, you know me, I’m a kind soul. I was intending to include another place: Hugo’s Wine Bar in Duns but the photographs I talk were just so dreadful I just can’t. Not that I’m a perfect pants at photography but honestly, I don’t know what went wrong with these ones, bit ashamed if I’m honest.
The Cream Chimneys
Kelso’s newest haunt is my absolute bloody favourite. I don’t know if it was the company, the sunshine outside or the fact it was a Saturday which made it all so damn lovely but it was divine. The Cream Chimneys has replaced another cafe and it is a completely different atmosphere: the owners and staff are so friendly and the cafe dog Piper is the sweetest thing, so polite and chilled out, just moseying around the cafe, sitting next to seats or the front step. It was such a laid-back atmosphere and the interior is lovely: so white and bright and exactly how I like my cafes.
We stopped for lunch and managed to grab the last table for four (yay!) and the menu is really varied with lots of vegetarian options as well. I’m not sure about vegan options as I didn’t ask but the staff were all very accommodating so I’m sure something could be worked out. The wait wasn’t long at all despite it being busy and we were informed by our server that paninis (what Emma and I ordered) were made fresh so would be 8 minutes to make. The portion sizes were bountiful and it was SO tasty. I did set my mouth on fire with my mozzarella, chorizo and jalapeño panini but it was all washed down with a very refreshing ginger beer.
It is definitely my new favourite place in Kelso and tbh, I can’t wait to go back and sample the cakes as they looked divine (very similar to the offerings at Singl-End, Glasgow to any fellow Singl-end dwellers).
The Hirsel Tearoom
I’ve been visiting The Hirsel for yonks and every time I go, I am always surprised at how amazing the cakes are and wonder why I don’t go more often. Seriously, this place does good cakes and scones. I’ve been on several occasions for lunch and it is always cheap and cheery but this time I had a delicious traybake and my new favourite soft drink, ginger beer. We managed to sit outside as it was very mild despite no sun and most of the tables outside and inside were full, which is always a good sign. My dad and grandma both had cheese scones which looked delicious whilst mum and I had a peppermint traybake with a ginger biscuit base which was super tasty and a pretty big slice! I was almost tempted by a lemon scone with lemon curd and cream but refrained due to “eating healthier” but that soon went down the pan when I was the traybake selection.
The Hirsel Tearoom is right in the centre of the Hirsel Estate next to the lake and is in easy reach of all the woodland trails. It is perfect for an afternoon of walking, being outside and stopping for a bite to eat. Inside the old yard there are now several independent shops selling jewellery, pottery and other nice things as well as museum rooms explaining the history of the estate, the wildlife and farming so there are plenty of things to do. Such a cute little pit stop.
Chain Bridge Honey Farm
Okay, this isn’t in the Scottish Borders, but it is close enough. A little way over the border into Northumberland on the banks of Tweed lies the Chain Bridge Honey Farm. Inspired by the May box of the Papergang which was in collaboration with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, I found myself there.
I didn’t stop for lunch, just a quick bite and a coffee accompanied by my book. I had a really delicious Stilton scone which was accompanied by three pieces of butter (exciting as something places can scrimp on butter!) and a decent sized latte. The most exciting thing about the café at the Chain Bridge Honey Farm is the fact it is on a bus. The café is inside (and around) a vintage green bus. It is made for Pinterest.
I managed to snag a seat on the top deck right at the front which was so bright and private, giving me lots of space to keep reading. Service was really friendly and quick despite the business of the place. I had a little browse of the lunch menu (and I could smell the soup!) and it all looked and smelled delicious, definitely somewhere I may be heading back to at some point.