Comfortable town-centre hotel with imaginative food and a fine array of malt whiskies; bedrooms
The good pub guide review
This delightful, family-run hotel has a welcoming bar as well as an elegant restaurant with swagged curtains, dark blue wallpaper and tables laid with white linen, if you're after a smarter dining experience. The 20 bedrooms, though quite small, are immaculate and comfortably decorated and make a lovely base for exploring; they also have a new self-catering cottage. Neat public areas are maintained with attention to detail. The red-carpeted bar has tidy pub tables between cushioned wall seats and windsor armchairs, Scottish prints on pale green walls, a woodburning stove and a long dark wood counter with three handpumps serving Born in the Borders Game Bird and changing ales (maybe Lowland Dryfe and Timothy Taylors Landlord), 12 wines by the glass from a good list, a farm cider, 25 gins and around 60 malt whiskies; background music. In summer you can sit out in the pleasant, well tended garden. Situated at the heart of an attractive border town, just a few steps from the ruins of Melrose Abbey and close to Abbotsford House, Sir Walter Scott's ancestral home, there's plenty to do nearby.
The good pub guide food review
Using the best local, seasonal produce, the interesting food includes lunchtime sandwiches and light dishes (steamed mussels in white wine, thyme and shallot cream, salmon fishcakes with fennel and red onion slaw) as well as guinea fowl and apricot terrine with shallot and marmalade chutney, spiced lamb kofta kebabs with lime and cucumber crème fraîche, breaded or battered haddock and chips, mushroom and lentil bean burger, roasted monkfish tail with puy lentil casserole, curried butternut purée and cauliflower fritter, Borders lamb chops, vegetarian enchiladas topped with cheese and salad, and puddings such as frangipane tart with fruit coulis and fresh raspberries, and American-style Nutella cheesecake with millionaire's mousse and hazelnut parfait.