“Set in ravishing parkland three miles outside Kelso on the Floors Estate, the Roxburghe Hotel is not only a comfortable and cossetting place to stay, it also offers guests a great range of sporting activities to work up an appetite for chef Neville Merrin's delicious modern food, much of it sourced locally. There is fishing on the nearby Tweed, (top class tuition is available from the estate's ghillie, Eoin Fairgrieve) golf on the hotel's own championship course, shooting, riding, mountain biking, archery, falconry, ballooning and croquet. Rooms are traditional, spacious and cosy; all with lovely views and some have log fires. The hotel caters for weddings and can provide a trained barn owl to deliver the rings to the best man during the ceremony. Ideal for an indulgent break.”
Written by Emma Schneider
“Why do people love staying in your hotel?
The lovely thing about our hotel is that it feels like home. It has been a labour of love by the Duke of Roxburghe and the special touches like furnishings and pictures from his own home, his carefully acquired selection of clarets from the Floors Castle cellar, bring the connection with the Estate to life. We like to make every guest feel special and it is the personality and friendliness of the team that make people really feel at home.
What is there to do in the area?
As we have a championship golf course on our doorstep, I would obviously say “play golf”! The Duke was the visionary behind establishing the golf course and it too is a labour of love, while being a destination in itself.
The other great attractions include Floors Castle which has gorgeous gardens, cafes and a superb plant centre. Nearby is the newly restored Abbotsford, the home of Borders writer Sir Walter Scott, has recently been refurbished and reopened. With abbeys in Jedburgh and Melrose, stately home Mellerstain in Gordon and Alnwick Castle just across the border, there is always something fascinating to visit.
A popular country park on the outskirts of Jedburgh, Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre has something for visitors of all ages with workshops, exhibitions, wildlife trails and seasonal activities.
Local July festival, Kelso Civic week is a historical celebration involving one of the great passions of the Borders, a love of horses. This year is especially significant for the region, with the winning Grand National jockey coming from the Borders!
What kind of breakfast do you offer?
Breakfast at the Roxburghe is packed with local and estate produce. The breakfast buffet includes locally produced yoghurts and berries as well as the popular fruit juices, cereals and bakery. Head chef, Neville Merrin prides himself on using local Borders and Scottish produce, reducing food miles wherever possible - and breakfast is no exception! Popular hot dish choices include local Ettrick Valley smoked salmon, Edenwater eggs from Sydenham Farm near Kelso, Lothian Lowlands haggis and bacon and sausages from Kelso butchers. As the hotel is popular for country sports enthusiasts with fishing and shooting on the Estate, the breakfast really sets them up for a day’s activity.
Do you offer other meals? And can you recommend good places to eat out locally?
The hotel caters for all meals, offering guests a light lunch from the bar menu or a more extensive three-course leisurely lunch menu. As with breakfast, everything is sourced locally wherever possible. Very popular at the moment is our gorgeous afternoon tea by the fire in the Library. Guests can choose between a two-course and three-course dinner menu with dishes created using real creativity by our chef brigade.
Which are your most popular room types, and why?
The most popular room we have is The Bowmont Suite, an exclusive bedroom suite with a large open plan lounge and bedroom with luxury en suite bathroom. The room is dressed very traditionally and has its own open fire – a lovely spot for an afternoon’s reading. The room is popular as a bridal suite and for the bride to use for wedding preparation. However, it is also a wonderful space for those who just want a quiet hideaway. As we are a dog friendly hotel, our courtyard rooms are also popular as guests can have their dog to stay in the room with them. This is always a popular option during the shooting season, as you might expect!
What message would you like to give Hotel Guru readers?
Come and find us. The hotel is remote and a real country hideaway, but we are surprisingly accessible, being only just over an hour’s drive from Edinburgh or Newcastle. And once here, people never want to leave. The combination of outdoor pursuits, the best in Scottish golf and a gorgeous Beauty Suite with some lovely relaxing pampering, really is the ideal combination.”