The last few weeks have been hectic and the next couple are promising to be the same so when the opportunity arose to a little back to have a welcome rest in the midst of it all the The Elphinstone in Biggar I was all ‘hell yes about it’.
I was glad of the chance to escape for the weekend without my laptop and a good friend for company. We decided to make a little weekend trip out of it and explore what our back doorstep really has to offer.
GETTING THERE & GETTING ABOUT
We drove from Kelso through Peebles to Biggar, leaving about 11ish. It takes around an hour/hour and a half to do the whole thing in one go but we wanted to drive lazily and stop for lunch and an explore in Peebles.
The south of Scotland’s transport links are nothing to rave about so driving really is the best way to go. I’m unsure how frequently buses run in the Biggar area but I know Lis spoke more about the public transport options in her post about her stay at The Elphinstone.
Biggar and Peebles are both small towns so you can explore them on foot but for getting about the area we drove! The roads are quiet and peaceful so it definitely isn’t a stressful experience.
WHERE WE STAYED
Our accommodation for the night, The Elphinstone, is the epitome of a country pub. In the centre of the town it is a buzzing family-run bar. We were very surprised as the size of the place as we found our room (definitely a tardis) and the bar area was busy during our stay.
The room was a decent size family room with both a double bed and bunkbeds so we had plenty of space for the two of us. The bathroom was very light and airy with a bathtub and a shower. We spent a lot of time 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 we discovered ‘room service’. We phoned for ice for our Prosecco and when the man arrived outside the door with an ice bucket and jug of ice I realised I had locked us in and misplaced the key! The poor man had to leave the ice outside whilst we hunted for the key. I assured him it was inside with us as I had locked us in! That might be the last time I try ‘room service’ for a while.
WHAT WE DID
On our way over to Biggar we decided to stop in the Scottish Borders town of Peebles. It is often cited as one of the prettiest town (along with Kelso and Melrose) and I hadn’t been in years so it was definitely time for a visit. The scenery en route was beautiful and it was a crisp winters day so Steph and I were both quite in awe of it and very appreciative of where we have grown up.
Peebles was quite lovely and we had a wander around the high street checking out all of the gift shops and scouting out lunch options in the crisp sunshine. We also popped into Fat Face where I snapped up a glorious festive jumper.
The drive from Peebles to Biggar took around 40 minutes and there was even more beautiful scenery to take in. It was starting to get dark in Biggar when we arrived and I eventually got past my parking trauma (why am I so bad at parking?) but we had a mooch around the town before heading off to the hotel.
The Biggar Museum was priced at £5 for entry but was near closing so we decided not to bother and instead headed off to trot around the gift shops. Both towns had a lovely range of gift shops filled with trinkets, candles and cards. I picked up a lovely smelling candle called ‘Fairytale of New York’ in a shop where we got free rocky road! We also found a charming bookshop which was filled to the brim with books and had a good bookshop smell you know?
On our way home the following day we stopped off at Traquair House just outside Peebles. The weather was icy cold but the scenery was gorgeous and we had great fun completing the Traquair maze.
WHERE WE ATE
The first meal of our trip was at Coltmans Delicatessan & Bar for a spot of lunch in Peebles. We were lucky to snag the last table in the upstairs bar area after drooling over the sausage rolls whilst the waitress checked for a table. We both decided to go with 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 we weren’t quite full so we popped to Costa for a festive drink and some cakes, splitting the lemon tart in the car.
We were having dinner that evening at The Elphinstone that evening so I wore my new floral jumpsuit from Nobody’s Child with a black rollneck, tights and Stan Smiths. It was a nice chance to dress up a bit! The restaurant was filled with lots of parties of different sizes and when we told the waiter we were room nine he remarked that he was glad that we had managed to get out of the room after the ice debacle.
The food was really the main event! We had already decided what to have after pouring over the menu in our room but a little once-over when seated never hurts. I went with the breaded brie and salad which was so delicious and I’m a cheese girl so I’ll really take it any shape or form. Steph had the prawn cocktail with salad which looked just as tastyu and she assured me it was yummy.
After reading Lis’ visit to The Elphinstone I was intrigued by the sound of a fajita burger. Like hello, a combination of my two 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 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 the sundae menu we both opted for something ‘lighter’ and went with one of those. Apple crumple is my all-time favourite dessert so I opted for the sundae version of that whilst Steph had the ‘honeycomb explosion’ at the suggestion of the waitress.
Breakfast the following day was just as delicious as the evening meal. We both went quite hard on the cooked breakfast option whilst I also had cereal, toast and juice because when staying in a hotel right?
This trip made me appreciate how beautiful Scotland actually is. There is so much beauty and history on my doorstep and I want to take more advantage of that from now on.
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.