Travel: Ednam House Hotel, Kelso

IN 1928, Ednam House was converted into Kelso's first hotel and, 82 years later, it is still run by the same family. Although it is no longer the only hotel in Kelso, it certainly is the most impressive. Set within three acres of gardens on the banks of the Tweed, this stunning Georgian mansion oozes authentic, traditional, country house charm.

The owners, Ralph and Anne Brooks, have expanded their estate, which now boasts a smallholding outside Kelso, a couple of apiaries and a delicatessen. As if that wasn't enough, Ednam House is also the home of the iconic Highland Queen whisky.

Considering all this, and the proximity of the hotel to some of Scotland's finest fishing and shooting, it is not difficult to see why it won Country Sports Hotel of the Year at the prestigious Scottish Hotel Awards last year.

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ROOM SERVICE? The hotel has 32 rooms, including the Orangerie, an elegant building in the gardens with two double bedrooms and a private sitting room overlooking the river. Our double room had a superb view of the gardens and the Tweed. The period furniture – except for the television, of course – continues the country house theme, and the en-suite bath and shower room had plenty of white cotton towels and a couple of bathrobes. There was also the ubiquitous trouser press, and ironing equipment is available on request.

WINING AND DINING? The hotel has its own bar with a varied and reasonably priced wine list. This includes a number of wines from the award-winning Michel Picard vineyard which, incidentally, is owned by the family of Anne Brooks. The dinner menu is a celebration of the very best of the Borders: beef, lamb and pork from local producers, seafood from Eyemouth and – it goes without saying – salmon from the Tweed. The menu changes regularly, but what remains constant is an emphasis on unfussy, hearty, skilfully cooked food, which is both well presented and delicious. The chefs will happily cater for children if they prefer something different. Breakfast is also impressive: cereals, fruit, fresh juices and homemade bread, jams and honey, plus a choice of continental breakfast, porridge, or a full grill – which includes free-range produce from the smallholding. Packed lunches are available on request.

WORTH GETTING OUT OF BED FOR? Kelso is the perfect base from which to explore the Borders. The sights in this pretty market town include a 12th-century abbey, Floors Castle and Kelso races. It is ideal for those interested in fishing, shooting and deerstalking: the fishing season runs from February to November, and the Junction Pool fishing beat is practically next door. There are also a number of golf courses nearby.

BUDGET OR BOUTIQUE? The hotel is unashamedly traditional, and is definitely not a clubbers' paradise. Having said that, it will be buzzing with excitement at the height of the fishing and shooting seasons, during the Kelso Races, or indeed during a large function, for which the hotel is well suited. Moreover, it welcomes children (there is a baby listening service available) and dogs, and the staff are efficient, attentive and friendly. Equally, this is the perfect place for a relaxing couple of nights – romantic or otherwise – away from work or (as in our case) the children.

HIDDEN EXTRAS? Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits are provided in each room, free wi-fi connection is available and if you feel compelled to exercise, guests have access to a local fitness centre. The hotel sensibly provides space for storing fishing equipment, and if you are lucky enough to catch a fish or two, it will keep them fresh or even smoke them for you.

GUESTBOOK COMMENTS? The perfect place to enjoy a traditional, elegant, relaxing country house experience. Ednam House Hotel, Bridge Street, Kelso (01573 224168, Rates start at 78 for a single room.

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• This article was first published in Scotland on Sunday on 20 June.