What a fabulous summer it’s been, lots of sun and some decent weather for a change! But gosh it feels a long one, so we were very ready for our later than normal family holiday when it finally came around at the beginning of October. We took the kids to Florida in half term for some fun in the sun (added drama of Hurricane Michael too!). We had the most amazing time eating our way round fast food joints and doing a variety of trips, such as Orlando Magic basketball game, airboat on the Everglades, so not just theme parks. One of my highlights was NASA at Cape Canaveral. I was all ready to become an astronaut (although struggled with the 50-foot vertical drop waterslide at Volcano Bay). Fascinating stuff and I can highly recommend a visit.
Been a few comings and goings with staff over the summer with us having more part time staff than ever but just a sign of the times. We still have Kirsten, Jenny, Fiona, Tomek & Amie (and students Charlotte & George popping in and out in Uni holidays). New members of The A team include Olivia, Steph, Laura, Hannah & Emma. Audrey & Shannon are our new housekeepers. We were delighted to welcome Craig back to the kitchen in May and has been joined by George to complete our kitchen brigade. Joey our part time kitchen assistant completed his work experience with us in the kitchen where he planned and made some delicious chefs specials for the week – a Venison Stroganoff and Cod En Papillote.
What’s been happening?
In May we hosted a wedding for a local Duns couple. They married in our garden then celebrated with family enjoying their wedding breakfast.
In June we had our 4th Garden Party & Beer Festival and never thought we could top last year’s successful event, but we did! All ran like clockwork this year and we were delighted to welcome a favourite band of ours from Edinburgh – The Jammy Devils who played on the Saturday night & Summerland playing on Father’s Day.
We have been renovating two bedrooms upstairs and our cellar over the autumn months while we were on holiday so keeping the local trades busy as always!
We held our annual fireworks display this year is on 4th November. Again, we had a good crowd raising over £500 for the Village Hall fund & The Vine Trust (the charity our son Ben is travelling with next summer to do house building work in remote Tanzanian villages).
In October we were over the moon to be shortlisted in the Tourism & Hospitality category at The Scottish Borders Chambers of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. A tough and varied category, so we didn’t win but were so surprised to be given a highly commended award recognising our efforts promoting the Borders and working with other local businesses. We are also shortlisted for Best informal Eating Experience (Lothian & Borders) in the Scottish Thistle Awards and will be attending an awards dinner in Edinburgh to see how we do! Fingers crossed!
We have our Christmas & Hogmanay’s Menus completed and bookings coming in fast and furiously! The crackers are ordered, Christmas puddings are made and maturing. November is normally a quieter month for us, but it seems not this year. Particularly as the council are digging up the whole road through the village for drainage then resurfacing.
Plans for another Burns Supper on 25th January are also underway.
What’s on the menu?
We are now embracing autumn on our menu with game, mash, casseroles, crumble, bread & butter pudding and still using as many local suppliers as we can. We are passionate about local produce this area has to offer and wish to showcase local ingredients on our menus. We have had a constant supply of wonderful Standhill Tomatoes and Peppers over the summer and Preston Farm Beetroot is a real hit. As are Slighhouses Pork products, Eyemouth fish & Chainbridge Honey. Tomek has perfected his sourdough bread making using Heatherslaw flour and is getting high praise from guests.
Keep in touch
We are posting regularly on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter. We also have great reviews on TripAdvisor too and have received our Hall of Fame certificate for 5 years of constantly high reviews.