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Scottish Borders restaurants and cafes

When it comes to eating out in the Scottish Borders, you are spoilt for choice and here are some of the best restaurants, pubs and cafes and hotels in the region. Whether you fancy a relaxed lunch in a modern bar, a sumptuous afternoon tea in a sophisticated light and airy lounge, or fine dining in a stylish restaurant, there’s something for everyone at the Schloss Roxburghe, just two miles outside Kelso. Part of the Robert Parker collection, Ednam House Hotel, sits in the heart of Kelso. On a sunny day, guests may enjoy al fresco dining overlooking the River Tweed. For informal dining options, lunch and dinner are available in the bar, and afternoon tea is served in the cosy lounge where dogs are welcome.

For a relatively small town, Melrose certainly punches above its weight in terms of dining options. Within easy walking distance of the main car park you’ll find The Townhouse Hotel, The Kings Arms Hotel, and Provender. Best-known, however, is the restaurant at Burts Hotel, Melrose, which is not just one of the best in the Scottish Borders but, as its awards testify, it’s also one of the finest in the whole of Scotland. At Monte Cassino, Naples-born chef, Antonio Caterino, uses family recipes which have been handed down for generations. He makes fresh pasta daily and incorporates it into sublime dishes such as his penne papa’alfonso (sundried tomato, mushrooms, porcini in a rich tomato and garlic sauce, served with fresh parmesan shavings).

The Buccleuch Arms in St Boswells, Melrose, is a charming four-star inn with an incredible history dating back to 1836. There are lunch and dinner options in The Blue Coo Bistrot and they also serve delicious bar meals. Two miles outside of Peebles and only 30 minutes south of Edinburgh is Cringletie House (pronounced ‘Cringle-tee’). Designed by Scottish architect, David Bryce and completed in 1861, the public rooms in this magnificent house have stunning period features, including hand-painted ceilings and magnificent fireplaces. The menus play to the strengths of seasonal local produce, some of which comes from the walled garden at Cringletie.

Our picks

Fine dining

West End House, High Street, Melrose TD6 9RU

Provender is a convivial haven for good times and contemporary Scottish, British and French cooking. Provender’s food and drink is sourced from local, seasonal, ethical and sustainable suppliers across Scotland and the British Isles. When the time is right, the produce is right. Leave any preconceptions at the door; relax with great food and drink whilst enjoying good times in the heart of your Scottish Borders. Visit website

The Greenhouse Cafe
Avocado on toast

6 Buccleuch St, Melrose TD6 9LD

The Greenhouse Cafe is set in the heart of Melrose, just a stone’s throw away from the spectacular Melrose Abbey. Pop in and discover the hand-made, home-baked, breakfasts, brunches, lunches and afternoon bites with a wide selection of teas, freshly-ground coffees and soft drinks. The friendly team are always on hand to welcome you for that last minute get together with family and friends or something a little more planned. Eat in, take out, or even enjoy the outdoor terrace in the warmer months. Visit website

Buccleuch Arms
Duck dish

The Green, St Boswells, Melrose TD6 0EW

Set in the heart of the Scottish Borders, the Buccleuch Arms is a charming inn with an incredible history dating back to 1836. Owners Billy and Rachael Hamilton hold a field to fork ethos. Both coming from a farming background, they understand that customers expect them to work with the first class local suppliers. Locally-sourced meat, such as roe deer loin, wisps of smoked Border lamb and pedigree Scotch beef feature strongly on the menu whilst fresh fish and seasonal ingredients add creativity to the daily ‘Fresh Sheet’. In addition, local ales, large selection of gins and a broad selection of world wines complement the offering. The bar is well stocked with the usual offerings one would expect plus a cracking couple of local real ales from the Scottish Borders brewery. There is a rather large list of gins for you to try as well as the wine list, with over 20 wines available by the glass. Visit website

The Tipsy Ghillie

11 WoodMarket, Kelso TD5 7AT

The Tipsy Ghillie is an all-day cafe space serving brunch and lunch dishes as well as home-made scones and cakes, in the evenings the cafe becomes a wine-focused bistro serving a small a la carte menu of local produce and seasonal dishes. At the rear the pub is open from 11am offering a warm welcome in a relaxed atmosphere along with a great selection of craft beers, spirits, wines and cocktails for your enjoyment. Hosting a range of live musicians and entertainment throughout the week, The Tipsy Ghillie is the place to be.

The Caddy Mann
Surf and turf

Mounthooly, Jedburgh TD8 6TJ

Ideally situated in the heart of the Scottish Borders, The Caddy Mann is the perfect place to meet up with friends, enjoy a relaxing lunch, a luxurious evening meal or just while away the time over a cup of coffee, a glass of wine and a tempting selection of delicious homebaking. The wide and varied menus change daily to utilise the freshest and very best of the natural ingredients found in the Scottish Borders. Visit website

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Image credits: ©Eric McNew/Wouter Meijering/Unsplash; Ivanmateev/Littleny/

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