The last few weeks have been hectic and the next couple as promising to be the same so when the opportunity arose a little while back to have a welcome rest in the midst of it all at The Elphinstone in Biggar, I was all ‘hell yes about it’.
I was glad of a chance to escape for the weekend without my laptop and a good friend for company. We made a little weekend trip out of it, driving over from Kelso through Peebles to Biggar and then back again on the Sunday, having stops on either side.
After leaving our side of the borders at about 11ish we drove through to Peebles and I was gobsmacked at how gorgeous the scenery was. This was practically on my backdoor and I’ve been oblivious to it. Steph and I were in awe to be honest and the fact it was a beautifully sunny and cold winter’s day made the whole experience more enjoyable.
Peebles was quite lovely and we had a wander around the high street checking out all the gifts shops and scouting out lunch options in the crisp sunshine. We popped into Fat Face where I snapped up a festive jumper and settled on Coltmans Delicatessen & Bar for a spot of lunch.
We were lucky to snag the last table in the bar area after drooling over the sausage rolls whilst the waitress checked for a table and both decided to go for the Thai lentil soup with a deli sandwich. I opted for a pulled pork and apple filling which was so flippin’ delicious and the soup was perfect for warming my bones on a cold day.
After lunch, deciding we weren’t quite full, we popped to Costa for a festive drink and some cakes, splitting the lemon tart in the car. The drive from Biggar took about 40 minutes and it was even more beautiful scenery to take in whilst we drove.
It was starting to get dark in Biggar when she arrived and I got past the parking trauma (why am I so bad at parking?) but we had a mooch about the town anyway. The museum was priced at £5 entry but was near closing so we decided not to bother and instead trotted around the gift shops.
Our place of stay for the night, The Elphinstone, is the epitome of a country pub. In the centre of the town, a buzzing bar, family run. After finding our room (we kept going over how surprised we were at the size of the place, it just seemed to go on and on!) we cracked open a bottle of Prosecco to drink alongside watching Step Up and scrolling on our phones.
The room was a very decent size, a family room, with a double bed and bunkbeds so we had plenty of room to scatter our things everywhere. The bathroom was very light and airy with a bathtub and a shower. As we were at a bit of loss of where to stop the next day, we spent a while pondering over the brochures in the room and most importantly, scanning the menu to decide what to have for dinner.
It was at this point where we discovered ‘room service’. We phoned for ice for our Prosecco and when the man arrived outside our door with an ice bucket and jug of ice, I realised I had locked the door and misplaced our key. The poor man had to leave the ice outside whilst we hunted for the key, I assured him it was inside as I had locked us in. That might be the last time I try ‘room service’ for a while.
I got to wear my floral jumpsuit I recently picked up from ASOS to dinner with a black rollneck, tights and my Stan Smiths. The restaurant was filled with lots of parties of different sizes and when we told the waiter we were room nine when he asked for our reservation, he remarked that we was glad we had managed to get out of the room after the ice debacle.
The food was really the main event. After pouring over the menu for hours in our room, we had already decided what to have despite having a once-over when seated. I went with breaded brie and salad which was so delicious as I’ll take cheese in any shape or form. Steph had a prawn cocktail with salad which looked just as tasty and she assured me it was yummy.
After reading Lis’ post about her visit to The Elphinstone, I was intrigued by the sound of a fajita burger. Like hello, the combination of two of my favourite meals? It came with a side of chips and salad so it was a big plateful and the chicken was so succulent and juicy. As I insisted we couldn’t have the same thing for dinner so Steph went for the salmon in a peppercorn and champagne sauce with a side of vegetables and chips.
Despite being absolutely stuffed after two courses, it felt rude not to go the whole hog and have a third so due to the size of sundae menu we both opted for something ‘lighter’ and went with a sundae. Apple crumble is my all-time favourite desert so I opted for the apple crumble sundae whilst Steph had a ‘honeycomb explosion’ at the suggestion of the waitress.
A glass of Malbec and two gin and tonics later, Steph and I went back to our room to watch more tele with a gin. I think we were both snoring by half eleven, living it up as us young lot do and only woke at 8 the next morning because Steph had set an alarm.
Breakfast was the next main event and we both went hard on the cooked breakfast options as we were nursing baby hangovers. I also had cereal and toast and juice and coffee because when staying in a hotel right?
We stopped at Traquair House on the way home to have a go at the maze (which we completed!) and got home just after lunch. The weather was icy cold, we had to defrost the car for five minutes and the scenery was even more gorgeous. It was the most welcome respite from a bloody busy semester and filled with good chat and good food.
One thing about this little trip was it made me think about how gorgeous Scotland actually is. Obviously we’ve all seen clips of the Highlands on the tele but I personally haven’t been up there since I was in single figures. There is such much beauty (and history) practically on my back door and I’m not taking advantage of it. So that is my mantra from now on, if I have a spare Sunday I’m going to get in my car and drive somewhere. Visit a castle or a house or a brewery or a hill. Because all of Scotland is just lovely, not just Glasgow and Edinburgh.
I received dinner, bed and breakfast for myself and a guest from The Elphinstone for review purposes but all views and opinions expressed here are my own and unbiased. For further clarification please read my full disclaimer here.