Born in the Borders I was not, but it is one of many places I have lived in my life. For a year back in 2009/2010 I worked as an Enforcement Officer for Trading Standards in Melrose.
I lived in Selkirk and I used to spend my evenings and weekends exploring all that the Scottish Borders had to offer. When I saw this deal for lunch, a pint and a brewery tour with the option of adding on a beer gift pack to take home, I knew I had to buy it for my boyfriend’s birthday. I got the deal via itison.com.
The rain was just stopping and the sun began to come out above so there is the option of sitting in the courtyard with the rolling hills behind you on a nice day. The empty seats didn’t stay empty for long, it was packed full by the time we had finished! The venue is situated just outside Jedburgh, it is the most scenic (less than an hour & a half) drive down from Edinburgh to the location which is comprised of a cafe/restaurant, a deli, a beer shop and the brewery itself.
Lunch was divine, there’s no other way to put it, we both opted for the soup and sandwich combo, albeit different soups and sandwiches. I had the Chicken & grains soup with a cheese and apple chutney sandwich – the cheese was thick and the chutney sweet and the soup was homemade goodness with big chunks of chicken. Gavin had the pea and mint soup, what a glorious colour it was – bright green and beautifully garnished with a roast lamb sandwich with mint pesto. Good quality bread, slightly toasted, lunch was both filling and delicious.
The brewery brew three main beers: Foxy Blonde, Game Bird and Dark Horse. They often do limited edition beers for the summer months for example. Being ‘born in the borders’ they’re keen to be serving the borders therefore their beers are about 4.0% as the more hoppier varieties of beer on the market don’t appeal so much in the pubs down here. Gavin opted for a Foxy Blonde with lunch and me being the driver, I had a soft drink.
The brewery tour was interesting, it was just us two and John the owner. He said that he used to work in advertising in London and his family wanted him to takeover the site which had been a farm. In 2011 Born in the Borders began, John basically changed his life around and went to college to learn how to become a brewer, the food part has worked hand in hand with their ‘born in the borders’ ethos of sustainably sourcing ingredients as much as they can and even bottling their beers not too far away in Cumbria. Gavin got the above beers and glass in his beer pack, unfortunately ‘Dark Horse’ was sold out so we haven’t tasted that one yet. The beers are sold in various outlets in Scotland but I’d seriously recommend that you go down and visit. Visit Scotland have great recommendations for things to do and so do I so just ask me! We went to Jedburgh Castle Jail for a wander afterwards, which was free to get into! I also picked up The Scottish Borders Food & Drink Directory 2016 which is packed full of amazing eateries (some I have eaten in whilst living there) that I’m just dying to get back down and try out! You can download it via their website which I have included. And with the Borders rail link now, you’ve no excuse not to get down and try some of them either! I paid £16 for my lunch and the tour which we got to taste some of the beers and it was £24 for Gavin to do the same plus the beer pack & glass. It was maybe a wee bit steep price wise if there is a non-drinker because it is out in the sticks so someone ultimately needs to bite the bullet and drive. I think as a lunch stop and getting some nibbles from their lovely deli is a good weekend plan for anyone.
And not forgetting the cakes! They have an exciting array of home-baking that we just had to take home and have with a cuppa.