Cringletie House Hotel is located near Peebles in the Scottish Borders, a mere 30 minutes drive south from Edinburgh. They house 12 unique bedrooms and a self-catering cottage with a hot tub! As we drew up to the stunning castle structure, I was mesmerised by it’s romantic turrets and impressive baronial architecture, I instantly felt like a princess.
We were warmly greeted at reception and shown up the fantastic staircase to our room. I was blown away by the fairytale four poster bed and I instantly felt a million miles away from real life. We stayed in one of the Junior Suite double rooms called Melrose which was perfectly apt as this is where I used to spend a lot of my time when I lived in the Scottish Borders.
Our room was ginormous, we had a perfect spot at the window to sip a complimentary dram and a cute little dressing table to add to my fairytale experience. There is also a Nespresso machine for your coffee fix.
There’s something very Outlander about the first outdoors shot! We went out to explore their 28 acres and ended up in the walled garden. Cringletie is a popular wedding venue and it’s not difficult to understand why. Every nook and cranny is enchanting from their indoor artwork to their sculptures and gardens, I felt like I was entering the ‘secret garden,’ one of my favourite childhood films, when we went to explore. You can also play both croquet and putting if the weather allows.
The weather turned dreich pretty quickly so we had to run for cover back in the safe haven of the hotel lounge where the fire was roaring and freshly baked scones beckoned.
Cringletie serve the most decadent afternoon teas, we just opted for a cream tea in order to save space for dinner but I definitely had food envy and will be back to sample the full afternoon tea experience. The lounge is a cosy, relaxed area that you can while away the time so easily. We began playing Cluedo and cream tea turned into cocktails, we were enjoying the simple pursuit of playing a board game by the fire so much. Definitely escapism from modern life, I can’t remember the last time I played a board game! If you do want to be more active however, mountain biking at Glentress, salmon fishing on the Tweed and some of the best golf courses in Scotland are close-by. Newly launched is a tourism initiative for equestrian breaks that you can check out here.
The room came equipped with a large master bathroom, the perfect place to indulge in a soak in the bath or a quick shower before dinner. The citrus Arran Aromatics bathing products were a lovely touch too and I couldn’t stop using them I loved the citrus smell so much! The hotel sell Arran Aromatics products, so you can take them away with you and indulge at home.
Dinner was exquisite. Iain Gourlay was recently appointed as head chef at Cringletie, and has created new menus for the hotel. We were firstly served an amuse-bouche, a potato and Toulouse sausage soup with a goats cheese sablé. The soup was rich and thick, full of flavour from the sausage. I love goats cheese, so it was a delicious way to start our evening. We ordered the Sonsierra Tempranillo Rioja which was a fantastic accompaniment to our mains as we both opted for red meat dishes.
Cringletie House Hotel take advantage of the abundant produce that the Scottish Borders has to offer. The fish is fresh from Douglas Ross of Eyemouth, Peeble’s bakers Forsyth, Borders meat from Gilmour’s and Tweed Valley Venison. Local Borders beers are on tap as well as Scottish gins. Cringletie pride themselves on offering the best the country and region has to offer which I certainly look for when I’m having a ‘staycation’ in my own home country.
We were served by a lot of lovely staff at Cringletie, Victoria was someone who served us both dinner and breakfast and she was really warm and friendly and was happy to explain any queries we had about the menu.
I ordered the soup of the day – mushroom soup which was beautifully presented, thick and creamy. Gavin ordered the Beetroot cured salmon, pickled beetroot and apple, apple purée, beetroot sorbet, it looked too good to eat! We also had a choice of breads including brioche, plain and tomato soda breads with a harissa butter.
The main event was seared loin of Tweed Valley venison, venison haggis bon bon, burnt onion purée, pomme maxine, chocolate sauce. The venison was cooked to perfection, rosey pink on the inside, the chocolate sauce sounded intriguing but actually worked really well as a soft hint of chocolate throughout the sauce, I thought the pomme maxine was a really pretty way to serve the potato. The roast loin of Borders pork, BBQ five spiced pork belly, poached Agen prunes, black pudding croquette, boudin noir purée, yellow carrot was rich and succulent. I was worried it was going to be too heavy but it was melt in the moth delicious, I was blown away by the combination of flavours and textures.
The desserts were beautifully presented. I ordered the brioche coated baked apple, crème Anglaise with cinnamon ice cream. Gavin ordered the dark chocolate marquise, praline crisp, milk gel, yoghurt sorbet. The marquise was just how it should be, rich and smooth complimented by the berries and sorbet. The apple for me was a bit tricky to eat, I felt like I was fighting with it on the plate as it was a little hard for my liking. However I am fussy with apples and prefer when I’m eating an apple dessert for the apples to be completely soft.
We retired in the lounge after dinner with these gorgeous petit fours and some coffee. The petit fours included a piece of smooth tablet, a jelly one and a fruity sponge cake. After over-indulging it was definitely time for bed.
We returned to our room to find our bed turned down for the night, all the drapes were closed and the bedside lamps were on to create a cosy, sleepy atmosphere. This is something that reception asked us if we wanted at the time of check-in.
Next morning, Gavin headed out for a run around the stunning 28 acres of land that the hotel boasts. I opted for a cuppa and a cuddle with ‘Huggie’ who is a collectible teddy bear that you’ll find on your bed when you arrive. You can adopt Huggie and take him home with you if you want to, enquiries can be made at reception.
Breakfast was incredible, loads of Scottish produce available from Arbroath smokies to local salmon, there’s a breakfast buffet you can nibble at before your main breakfast and there’s also gluten free options that they cater to.
We had breakfast sat under the most magnificent artwork on the ceiling. It felt like we were in the Sistine Chapel. I was still very full from the night before so I couldn’t possibly order a full Scottish breakfast but luckily Gavin had room! Borders thick back bacon, local eggs (cooked to your liking), Cringletie’s own recipe sausage, the chunkiest tattie scones, black pudding, sautéed Field mushrooms, grilled tomato and Gavin added haggis and beans!
Even though I was a bit full, I was jealous, however I had a little surprise with my breakfast, a first for me. Traditional Scottish porridge served with a dram! You had the choice of having the porridge with cream, salt, sugar or whisky prunes. The porridge was delicious, thick, creamy, you could taste the ‘Scottishness’ of it! In hindsight I possibly should have just had half a dram in it but I poured in the full lot, it surprisingly works well in porridge!
On our way out we stopped by the snowdrops growing by the stream. Cringletie is certainly an enchanting place, I’ve never felt so taken care of whilst staying at a hotel. I felt like a princess the whole weekend and it felt so easy to unwind there and get away from it all. I’m already planning my next visit. Below are a selection of a few other rooms you can stay in which are all named after places in the Scottish Borders which is a nice local touch.
*I was invited to Cringletie House Hotel, gifted an overnight stay, dinner and breakfast in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All content and opinions are my own*