After spending the afternoon in Edinburgh on a freezing cold November day, we headed the short distance, 18 miles to be precise, to The Horseshoe Inn just on the outskirts of the charming Scottish village of Peebles. The Horseshoe Inn is a ‘Restaurant with Rooms’ and was originally a Blacksmith’s smiddy while the village’s former Victorian Primary School has been converted into eight individually decorated, luxuriously appointed bedrooms, making it an extremely different, dining and overnight experience. Pulling into the private car park, we had to wait a few moments before plucking up courage to run the short distance to the restaurant to check in.
Coats zipped up we ran from the car and through the front door of the restaurant, straight to the front desk. We were greeted by a friendly young man who checked us in quickly and lead us from the restaurant back through the car park and to the bedrooms located at the back of property. The entrance hall and corridors where delightfully decorated, in a modern yet rustic style, complete with plenty of information leaflets regarding things to do in the area. As we were only staying the one night we didn’t have the need for them but a great resource for people staying longer.
The bedrooms are rated 4 Gold Stars by the AA Guide and it is easy to see why. Our room was Room 5 and located on the 1st floor. It was large and spacious with very soft and comfortable bed, seating area and en suite bathroom complete with bath tub. Other amenities all the bedrooms have are bathrobes, organic toiletries, hair dryers, umbrellas, mineral water and tea and coffee-making trays with fresh milk. We made ourselves at home straight away, it was hard not to in such a cosy, homely and welcoming room. We kicked off our shoes and put the kettle on. Mr ESLT flicked the TV on to watch the 3pm football match and a grabbed a book from the windowsill and read about the local area. Even though the weather was freezing outside it was lovely and warm inside and we made the most of not doing anything, something we rarely get the time for.
Restaurant and Aperitif
It’s amazing how not doing anything can actually give you an appetite. We headed over to the restaurant at 7pm ready to enjoy an aperitif before dinner. The decor had a homely feel, just like the bedrooms, with beautiful antique furniture including comfortable Chesterfields and wood burning stoves glowing brightly, which made the restaurant lovely and warm and extremely welcome considering the cold weather outside. We grabbed a table in the lounge and were presented with an extensive aperitif menu. A gin (Hendricks) and tonic ordered for me and a local IPA ordered for Mr ESLT we sat back and enjoyed the laid back and relaxed atmosphere as we perused the dinner menu and made our choices.
Evening Meal and Wine
We were shown into the dining room and to our table. Softly lit, predominately by candle light, it created a very romantic and intimate setting. Although possibly just a tad too dark to actually see what we were eating properly. The wine list at The Horseshoe Inn is possible one of the longest, most in-depth and considered I have ever seen at a restaurant, it is evidedant that wine is a passion here. In fact the wine list is complied by Mark Slaney who has been involved in commercial wine buying since the 1980’s and who writes on wine for numerous on-line publications. Choosing the prefect bottle to enjoy with our meal was a tough job as there were so many great ones to choose from. We eventually decided on a South African Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2014, which priced at £37 per bottle which some may consider quite steep yet it was one of the cheaper ones on the menu. However, we have paid more elsewhere and enjoyed the bottle less, so in reality it seemed reasonably priced.
Wine poured we enjoyed a selection of breads and canapés which were all delicious.
- Horseshoe pork pie, chutney, pear
- Hake fishcake, kohlrabi salad, quinoa, egg yolk
- Fillet of beef, carrots, potato terrine, cauliflower leaf
- Butternut squash, aubergine, Roscoff onion, beetroot, courgette, broccoli
- Selection of cheese, chutney, celery, date, crackers
- 70% chocolate fondant, caramel ice cream, coffee crumb
With only 3 choices per course, I must admit I did struggle to pick a main course as I am an extremely fussy eater. That being said my starter of pork pie and dessert of chocolate fondant were truly delicious and Mr ESLT absolutely adored every mouthful of his meal. I chose the butternut squash main course, the chef did check with me that everything was ok as I did not eat that much of it, but that was purely because it was not to my taste and not for any other reason. I can however categorically state it was cooked perfectly and presented wonderfully. It is easy to see why The Horseshoe Inn has won so many awards for the quality of their food as it is a true foodies’ heaven, providing you are not as picky as me.
The service we received throughout our meal was second to none, from the moment we sat down to the moment we left. Everything was explained fully, we were asked on numerous, but not too many, occasions if everything was ok and our water and wine glasses were never empty. We were made to feel like nothing was too much trouble, making our dining experience phenomenal and certainly one to remember.
After a great nights sleep, we headed back over to the restaurant to enjoy breakfast. Again, we were shown to our table and presented with the breakfast menu and offered tea, juice and toast which were quickly brought to us. The breakfast at The Horseshoe Inn is served from an a la carte menu making it a very relaxed and enjoyable experience. With everything from Scotch pancakes with maple syrup, porridge, homemade yoghurt, smoked haddock and poached egg to omelettes on the menu there was something for everyone. Mr ESLT and I both chose the full works of grilled pork sausage, bacon, mushrooms, black pudding and poached egg which was all cooked to perfection. It was the perfect way to start our day and fuelled us up for the 5 hour car journey home. Again, it was easy to see why The Horseshoe Inn has an AA Breakfast Award too.
We really enjoyed our stay at The Horseshoe Inn, it is quite isolated which, we appreciated as it felt like we were really away from it all and we left feeling very relaxed. We were made to feel at home from the second we walked through the door. The Horseshoe Inn really is the full package – great accommodation, mouthwatering and award winning food, extensive wine list and amazing service from start to finish. Behind the doors of the unassuming building with round windows is a true gem. If excellent food in a relaxed and homely environment is what you are looking for, then we would recommend you head to the Horseshoe Inn and experience it for yourself.
- We were hosted by The Horseshoe Inn on a DBB basis in exchange for honest review.