Living in Edinburgh is fantastic, a city steeped in history and glorious architecture, but sometimes you’ve just got to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind in the Scottish countryside, so that’s what I did this weekend past.
The Elphinstone Hotel In Biggar, is just a short 45 minute drive south from my home in Edinburgh, run for over 25 years by Robert, his wife Janette and son Michael. The hotel boasts 11 en-suite bedrooms and sits proudly as part of Biggar’s high street.
My partner and I ended up staying in a family room complete with doubled bed, bunk beds, 2 separate TVs, tea & coffee making facilities, complimentary water and a family sized bathroom with the bonus of a bath tub. It was very spacious for a family of 4 but also cosy enough for just us two. It was quite cold that night but when you turn the heating on you instantly feel warmed up and snug. I personally had a fantastic night’s sleep in the bed as it was really comfy and spacious.
The hotel is clearly a hit with locals and out-of-towners alike, the venue was full of life, from guests using the function suite upstairs, to reservations at the more lounge style eating area with the roaring fire at the entrance to the hotel and through the back, where we were seated, there was a table set-up for 15 diners. It was nice to kick off my Friday evening with a glass of bubbles.
Dinner was hearty and it took us a while to choose from the very extensive menu that they put on offer at The Elphinstone. I had the fried breaded Brie it had just the right crispness on the outside to contrast the glorious gooeyness of the cheese on the inside, perfectly complimented with the cranberry dip and flavoursome side salad. The mains will fill your tummy up for sure. I had the Fillet Jacobean – a fillet steak topped with haggis and a peppercorn sauce with the fresh side salad again and skin on chips it was the feed I’d been after all day, I really enjoyed it and it proved a popular dish as I saw other customers order it too. My dining partner ordered the Borders beef steak and ale pie, he also was very happy with his choice but we both agreed that the addition of some green vegetables would have complimented the dish more.
The desserts were sensational, at first I was at a loss of what to choose because there was just so much yummy choice from cheesecake of the day to Banoffee pie or Banoffe waffles, the list goes on… However it was their sundaes which really stole the show! They had a wide selection and can pretty do you any combination of sundae you want! I had the Rob Roy – it’s an over 18s only one on account of the warm Drambuie sauce. The menu states it contains crushed shortbread but in fact it’s chunks of shortbread, accompanied with local Biggar ice cream and cream. It’s insanely tasty and I was definitely being too greedy, but it might have been better if the shortbread was crushed to help make it more manageable, I’m pretty sure I left quite a few shortbread fingers behind! Gavin had the Eton Mess sundae with ice cream, crushed meringue, strawberries and cream, he loved it!
After dinner we retired to The “Elph” Bar for a game of pool and we tried some Biggar gin that we’d been wanting to sample. After that I took a nice long soak in the bath using some Arran Aromatics products supplied by the hotel, it was lovely.
After my comfortable sleep I awoke to a full Scottish breakfast with all my favourite things on the plate – Tattie scone, square sausage, black pudding, haggis, fried egg, bacon, grilled tomato and a link sausage (I didn’t eat anything until 5pm that evening after that, honest)! There was filter coffee and a fresh pot of tea along with toast brought to your table and a pretty little stack of jams and marmalade. There was also cereal and fruit juice to choose from.
We had such a lovely night’s stay at The Elphinstone in Biggar. We got chatting to Robert at dinner about all things and everything, he said his son works as the chef as well as promoting the social media for the establishment and he and my partner got carried away talking about golf. He was really friendly and the young staff he has working there are a credit to the business, as someone who teaches young people about hospitality myself, I really felt their warm hospitality at The Elphinstone.