We finish our 3rd season as we started, with recognition ! We have been voted the East Lothian & Borders region 'Most Hospitable Hotel 2017' in the annual Thistle Awards. We go forward to the Final in March. This is a real boost for the team and caps off a year of fine progress on all fronts. This season we have achieved: The Borders only 5 star restaurant with rooms, [ Visit Scotland & the AA ] , 2 AA rosettes for cuisine ,CIS awards 'Hotel of the Year' and now Regional Thistle. As we take a festive break we will review all the good work to date and consider how we can raise the bar even higher in 2018.
What a rewarding week we have had! First we had our annual Visit Scotland review and retained our 5 star rating. Then Surprise! the chap on table one turns out to be the man from the AA. After building up the suspense over a coffee chat he presents us with 5 Gold Stars! We were of course delighted and credit to our wee team. However more was to come. The restaurant which has never had an official accreditation was awarded a ' strong' two rosettes! Brilliant! This is our chef Stu Waterston first personal rating and reflects the hard work in the past year. 5 star gold and 2 rosettes is unique in the Borders. What a year it has been. Thanks to everyone for your continued support!
Our approach to cuisine is pretty simple. We don't follow trends . We are not constantly seeking out the latest innovative or coolest kitchen gadget. The fields, hills and rivers of the Tweed Valley have always and continue to provide abundance of opportunity to rear , grow and use local seasonal produce. We are simply respecting the heritage of this place, turning the soil, nurturing growth, respecting the craft of those who arrived here before us, and of course inviting you to join us on our journey.
Our grade 2 listed greenhouse was looking rather sad and neglected, but what a difference a little TLC makes! Repaired windows, new wood, fresh paint and the old girl was ready to produce again. Although late in the season she is already feeling happier and producing peas & leaves. The new beds surrounding her are offering up in thanks, Rhubarb, Horseradish, Spinach & hopefully carrots. Where there was cold, neglect and selfish Ivy there is now warmth and care and green shoots. Lemons and Figs and Vines are planned.
Every season brings new delights from Windlestraws developing gardens; beets from the ground, apples from the tree, elderberries from the bush. We continue to use as much produce as we can grow or forage ourselves, and while its early days in our project to reinstate the full Edwardian kitchen gardens , we are making real progress. The renovated greenhouse is looking great and already contributing to the menu and the new raised beds cant wait for the next growing season!
What a thrill to be awarded ' Independent owned Hotel of the Year Scotland' at the recent CIS awards. We were up against some truly remarkable competition and we are surprised and delighted to take away the award on the night. We are only a short way into our Journey of establishing Windlestraw as a truly unique experience and to be regarded as the best in any category is very encouraging. Its even more pleasing to win at National level and draw attention to the wonderful and often overlooked Borders region. We remain a small team and we have much work to do so thank you all for your continued support!
29 March 2017
As promised we continue year on year to improve our guest experience and we have not been idle during the recent winter break. We took the opportunity to upgrade and refurbish public areas and bedrooms. We are especially pleased with the new look McIntosh, she is certainly looking ' Grand' and, as you would expect from us, contains a wee surprise!
28 March 2017
Delighted to share John & Ruths very special day. A blooming beautiful Bride and rather handsome Groom were perfect together! We wish them both years and years of happiness! What a truly lovely way to start the new season.
29 March 2016
The Scottish Borders are the perfect place to relax unwind and refresh body and soul.Why not treat yourself to a wee break combining the invigorating beauty and fresh air of the hills and valleys with the pampering of fine food and hospitality at Windlestraw.
01 January 2016
Happy New Year to all our friends! A new year and the journey continues!
We are delighted with the welcome we have received since moving to The Borders early last year and to the very positive responses from our wonderful guests [friends] to the 'wee tweeks' we have made to the Windlestraw experience. We will continue to make every effort to ensure your visit as memorable as possible , be it Stay, Dine or Unwind. This will include the completion of two new bathrooms prior to the new seasons beginning on March 1st. We are getting excited about the year ahead and are looking forward to making new friends and welcoming past friends back. See you soon!