Your hosts, William & Katrina –here we are in autumn again and life is calming down a bit in Allanton (although all the farmers are still busy round about). The boys are back at school, the last year of all 3 at school for us! They are increasingly doing their own things now they are all just about teens, so not so much family time these days, but we did have a lovely sunny family holiday to Portugal at the beginning of July. The boys all still play rugby, working round various injuries and the Xbox of course! Ben is also busy learning to drive and attending university open days. I have just completed my 3rd Great North Run and keep running to clear the head. One of the highlights of my year (and career in fact!) was winning Hotelier of the Year at the Business Women in Scotland Hospitality & Tourism Awards. I was quite stunned to win as up against some big names including the Manager of the Old Course St Andrews.
The Team – Our kitchen team hasn’t changed over the last year which is somewhat of a relief. You can find Craig, Tomek, & George still working hard to produce our delicious home cooked food. We are now working with Joey to complete his Modern Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery in conjunction with Borders College. Some extra help with pot washing comes regularly from our boys Ben & Hamish. Audrey does an amazing job keeping me organised with housekeeping and now we have Sarah helping too. Still all girls front of house too – Jenny, Amie, Steph & Emma. Our passionate work continues with Developing the Young Workforce, with the addition of Penny & Robyn (plus we had Charlotte & Rebecca over the summer holidays). Fiona went on maternity leave in July, having gorgeous baby Millie in August. We will soon to say a sad goodbye to Kirsten who has graduated and waiting to start work with the Metropolitan Police.
What’s been happening? This summer has been our busiest to date at The Allanton Inn. In June we had another very successful Garden Party & Beer Festival, (our 5th) with local bands Huffman & Spence playing on the Saturday and Coostie Folk performing on Father’s Day. Over last six months we have been working on new branding and are delighted with our new signage outside the inn and the new updated website. We were honoured to be invited to the opening of The Jim Clark Museum in Duns, a fantastic tribute to the local motorsports’ hero and worth a visit. Last week saw Stage Two of the Tour of Britain whizz past our door on a beautiful sunny day. The villagers did well showing support and decorating the village. The Scottish Borders looked amazing on the TV footage. Increasingly we are pleased to see more cycling and walking guests here to enjoy the stunning Borders rolling countryside and guests staying longer to explore the area.
What’s next…… We have our Christmas & Autumn Menus completed and available on our website. The Jim Clark Rally returns to the Borders in November this year. Plans for another Burns Supper on 25th January are afoot. More exciting news is that we are planning to convert the old stables with added extension to the rear to provide 6 new bedrooms over the winter (fingers crossed!). The extension will have rooms opening to and over-looking the garden and the stables is to have two mezzanine rooms. The New Year sees our 10th year anniversary at The Allanton Inn so we will be looking to celebrate this milestone in March!
What’s on the menu? Our autumn menu is in full flow now featuring game, spices, gratins, root vegetables, crumble, autumn fruits such as plums, blackberries, pears & apples paired with lovely flavours of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom. We of course have a glut of our garden apples and we are fully stocked with Standhill tomatoes too! Time to start peeling and batch making chutney to keep us going for the winter months.
Keep in touch – we are post on Facebook and Twitter. Look at our updated website to see new pictures.