This blog post features a gifted overnight stay at The Elphinstone Hotel.
We were absolutely delighted to hear from The Elphinstone Hotel, a night away in a town we hadn’t visited before was just what we needed after an absolutely hectic end to 2018 and a hectic start to 2019.
We had the most amazing christmas break, but it didn’t feel like that much of a break as we were just so busy seeing all of our family and friends. We didn’t get a chance to properly relax until we were back in Edinburgh for new year and by that time I had come down with a nasty, nasty flu bug. We honestly couldn’t have needed a wee night away more at this kind of time!
As we made the trip to Biggar from Edinburgh, we couldn’t believe how close it actually was. In under an hour, we’d made it and saw some beautiful sights along the way. Despite loving living in a big city, I absolutely love being close to the country side, walking in the hills is one of my absolute favourite things to do. So, I was gutted when I saw the weather forecast and realised that we wouldn’t be able to go and do any of the cute tourist activities nearby the hotel. Unfortunately it was over-cast on Saturday afternoon, and raining on Sunday morning, but now we know how close Biggar is to places like Tinto Hill, we will definitely be heading down for a day of adventuring. Not only that, but Biggar has it’s very own museum too as well as lots of other bits and bobs. So if you do like to head out when you’re visiting a new town, you’ll have plenty to do in Biggar and nearby.
We got to The Elphinstone Hotel around 3pm to the smell of a log fire burning away in the bar/lounge area. Nothing beats a log fire on a gloomy day, I’m just gutted I didn’t snap a photo of the fire burning away. The hotel were ready for us and double checked our dietary requirements which we popped on the booking. I loved that they took so much care to double check as I stay in LOTS of hotels for work and they absolutely never pay attention to that, we booked a table for dinner and headed up to our room.
Our room was right at the back of the hotel and nice and quiet. We were in a larger family room, which had a huge double bed, a set of bunk beds, a tv, all the storage you could possibly need, a lovely refurbished en-suite bathroom and a lovely wee seating area for your morning tea! The room even had a wee additional TV on the wall next to the bunk beds, so if you had little ones you could pop the TV on for them while you’re catching up on your soaps. The bunk beds were just off round the corner to allow for some privacy for you too.
The room was cosy and clean, and the bed was super comfy. I slept like a baby (that actually sleeps).
We headed down for dinner a bit earlier than planned (I couldn’t help it, I was absolutely starving), picked a gin and tonic from the gin menu, and settled down to look through the menu. I was honestly so delighted to see how many options there were available for vegans and vegetarians. You don’t always find that smaller, independent hotels or businesses have lots of options so it was a hugely pleasant surprise! We had 3 starters and 4 mains to choose from.
The restaurant started to fill up with locals and other diners around 6.30, and continued to get busier throughout the evening. It’s definitely a hot spot for those who live in the area, and it was so nice to see the bar completely filled when we finally headed up for bed. We definitely would have stayed downstairs in the lounge area for more drinks if I wasn’t so stuffed after such a huge and filling three course meal!
For starters, Steve had some vegetarian curry bites, and I had soup of the day. Steve described his curry bites as almost like mini pakora’s! It was served with a dressed side salad and a chutney. The chutney was super sweet, and complimented the spice of the curry bites. Steve finished them (and even the salad – MIRACLE) in about 3 minutes he loved them that much.
The soup of the day was Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash, it was absolutely lovely. It was thick, full of flavour, and seasoned perfectly. Nothing beats a soup as a starter to a meal during the winter in my opinion! It’s an integral part of my diet as soon as November hits.
Despite both of us ordering curry-type dishes, I had to get a side of chips. I’m only moderately addicted to chips… honest!?
I went for the Red Lentil and Chickpea Dahl (on the left) and Steve went for the Vegetable Curry (on the right). My Red Lentil and Chickpea Dahl was to die for. It was creamy, packed with flavour and had a spicy kick. It was filled with cauliflower, butternut squash and other vegetables.
Steve had the vegetable curry that was tomato based and packed with vegetables like potato, aubergine, peppers, and onions. We both absolutely demolished our mains, I was so stuffed I didn’t know if I’d have room for dessert, until it was offered to me…
Although pretty much all of the desserts on the menu were veggie, none seemed to be vegan so the hotel kindly made us our very own custom dessert. I was so chuffed to be offered something specially made when we so often struggle to get absolutely anything at all. The Elphinstone made us a lovely fruit salad with a strawberry coulis and topped it with Bucks Fizz sorbet. It was a great palette cleanser after such a delicious meal.
When we woke up after a nice restful sleep and I finally crawled out of bed and away from Sunday morning TV, we went down for breakfast. Breakfast is served down in the restaurant area in a buffet style spread, and had a number of options. I grabbed a jug of tea, some potato scones, tomatoes, beans, toast and some vegan sausages and munched away. Steve tucked into the same feast as me, as well as some cereal and fruit juice too. The Elphinstone has a huge selection of options available for breakfast so if you fancy hot, cold or continental breakfast they’ve got something for you.
Once breakfast was over, we packed up and headed off back up the road to Edinburgh feeling refreshed and ready for a busy week ahead.
Thanks again to The Elphinstone Hotel and Crimson Edge PR for inviting us, we had an amazing time.