The Horseshoe Inn, Scottish Borders
There’s nothing more welcoming than a traditional country Inn, such as the Horseshoe in Eddleston village on the old Stagecoach road (A703) from Edinburgh to Peebles in the Scottish Borders. Originally a Blacksmith’s shop, the Horseshoe Inn’s reputation goes back several years since named AA Restaurant of the Year for Scotland 2007-08.
It’s all change for 2013. A new Head Chef, Alastair Craig has arrived from the Michelin-starred Montagu Arms in Hampshire, while the General Manager, Mark Slaney has experience working at two country house hotels in Scotland, Isle of Eriska and Boath House. The aim is to establish the Horseshoe as an upmarket, fine dining Destination Restaurant with Rooms: it currently holds two AA rosettes.
With an ideal location just 20 miles south of Edinburgh it’s an easy drive. The 62 bus (Melrose to Edinburgh) conveniently stops right outside the Inn. The cosy Lounge Bar has leather Chesterfield sofas and wood burning stove, where diners can relax over an apertif or digestif. The bar serves wines, champagne, several good malts, Scottish gins and real ales including from the local Traquair House brewery.
The Restaurant has an intimate setting with antique tables, crisp white linen, gold walls and claret red carpet. The modern Scottish cuisine emphasises organic lamb and game from Border Farms, Scottish seafood, fresh herbs and vegetables from the kitchen garden.
I sampled a starter of succulent scallops and then tender grilled Hake well partnered by salty samphire and crab salad for a fishy feast. My partner enjoyed Pigs Trotter croquette with delicious raisin puree, followed by Roast fillet and confit belly of pork which was perfectly cooked. To finish, a cheese board, and a creamy Pannacotta with raspberries.
The Inn has eight contemporary bedrooms in the Old Schoolhouse next door – smart décor, tea/coffee tray with home made cake. I stayed over to experience a comfortable night’s sleep. Breakfast next morning was exceptionally good, with fresh berries, scrambled egg and smoked salmon from Ettrick Valley smokery, wholemeal toast, pastries and fine preserves.
Open for Lunch and Dinner from Wednesday to Sunday, take a trip to the Horseshoe Restaurant to experience a feast of good food soured locally around the Borders. Or reserve a room at the Inn to turn a meal out into a mini- country break.
The Horseshoe Inn, Eddleston, Peeblesshire, EH45 8QP. http://www.horseshoeinn.co.uk