Scotland on Sunday Travel - The Park, Peebles has Borders market town charm and a warm welcome

With Staycations still in style, it’s time to explore The Borders and Peebles has retained much of its market town feel, writes Allan Crow.

One of the refurbished rooms at The Park.

It may well be compact, but The Park hotel has a huge amount to offer for a weekend break - either as a place to stay or a base to explore.

Arriving after an easy hour’s drive from Fife, we relaxed, dined superbly, explored, and headed home refreshed after a thoroughly enjoyable overnight stay. It was a reminder that there is so much to see, do, explore and enjoy on our doorstep after 15 months living under restrictions.

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Part of the Peebles Hydro family, this 24-bedroom, three star hotel which dates from 1851 celebrates the town’s history through a number of artefacts. The expansive, spacious gardens, which wrap around the hotel, were busy on our arrival as folk enjoyed the afternoon sun in a perfect setting.

Covid precautions

As part of the Crieff Hydro group, you are covered by their protocols which are found on their website. The hotel has clear signage to guide you around and facemasks are worn.

Budget or boutique?

Boutique.

The bar in the hotel reflects its relaxed ambience.

Room Service

Our first floor Neidpath Room was a bright and airy space which came with fabulous views across the garden and valley, free wifi and a TV, the hotel’s own hydro gin and Arran Aromatics in the bathroom.

Wining and Dining

We were there for the hotel’s Tryst fine dining experience, five courses with paired wines, all inspired by the great Scottish larder, and created by head chef Ryan and his team.

An ensuite bathroom at The Park.

With immaculate service throughout, we began with a gin fizz expertly prepared by Paul and began a culinary feast, kicking off with pan roasted Borders wood pigeon with a glass of La Campagne shiraz.

I loved the slow roasted pumpkin beignet complete with a fabulous parmesan tuile, and the wine choice - Cullinan View Cheinin Blanc - was perfect.

With no hurry to conclude each course, the evening rolled by at a leisurely pace.

Scottish King scallops were followed by Ayrshire pork and dessert which was chocolate heaven - milk chocolate espuma, dehydrated dark chocolate mousse, white chocolate sorbet with burnt orange jelly, and ginger infused milk foam.

The restaurant at The Park hotel celebrates Scotland's larder.

And if you want to know how to dehydrate chocolate mousse, the chef will happily share his secrets when he delivers petit fours, along with the coffee.

The personal touch sits at the heart of this dining experience which, at £65, is packed with value for money.

For breakfast there are Continental and cooked options, all served by staff. While plates of tempting eggs benedict passed, we opted for a lighter start of cereal, fresh fruit salad and croissants.

Worth Getting Out of Bed For

Step out of the front door onto the main street and explore. We wandered the vennels and side roads down to the river which offered a fabulous walk.

Outside the theatre across the road from the hotel - which had posters optimistically promoting shows “coming soon-ish” - sat a row of market stalls (I recommend the ‘posh’ sausage rolls!) and we browsed happily there and in the shops.

The Park hotel, Peebles, has been welcoming visitors to the Borders market town since 1851.

If you plan to visit in September and cycling’s your thing, on the 5th there’s the Tour O’ The Borders, a road event starting and finishing in the town, and including the famous Talla Wall climb - https://tourotheborders.com/

Little Extras

Bottles of sister hotel Peebles Hydro Gin to savour.

Guestbook Comments

The Park is a delightful mix of traditional and quirky and, above all, offers the warmest of welcomes.

Prices

The Tryst dining experience – five course tasting menu with paired wines, overnight stay, Scottish breakfast, access to leisure facilities and gym at Peebles Hydro is £199. For best up to date prices, see the website.

The Park, Innerleithen Road, Peebles, Scotland, EH45 8BA, (01764 651550, www.parkpeebles.co.uk)

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