A change of scenery is always welcome, and while London will always hold the key to our hearts — a little winter couldn’t come at a better time. Because while some places come alive in the summertime, there are those that become truly magical in winter. Such is the case with The Cringletie in Peebles, where our girl Hannah Tan-Gillies spent an idyllic weekend, taking in the magic of the Scottish countryside.
Located in the picturesque Scottish Border town of Peebles, The Cringletie is a 15 bedroom country estate, that oozes personality and charm. The house is a 45 minute drive away from Edinburgh; but one step within its 28 acres of lush greenery and woodlands, and you’ll quickly understand why the drive was so worth it.
Outside, you can explore the historic walled gardens, or take a walk around the natural historical trail which goes for a mile around the estate. Inside, you can cosy up by the fireplace and enjoy the hotel’s classically beautiful interiors; which make plenty of design references to the house’s military history. We are told that the current tartan in the hotel’s grand staircase is a blend of the Wolfe Murray’s and the Sutherland’s; another clever homage to the Cringletie’s past.
Every inch of the house is thoughtfully considered, a personal manifestation of the estate’s history, and the colourful personality of Bill and Anne Cross, the custodians who has lovingly taken it under his wing.
We stayed in one of the hotel’s Luxury Rooms, which exudes a certain kind of timeless appeal. Our room was painted in a muted colour palette accented with rich textiles. It was the perfect balance of classic style and modern features and included a super king-sized bed, a cosy seating area, and an en-suite.
The hotel’s piece de resistance, however, has to be the Sutherland Restaurant. During our stay, the hotel had just received its first – and very well deserved – 2AA Rosette accreditation. Head chef Iain Gourlay certainly brings his 20 year of experience to the table at Sutherland restaurant. Using only the freshest local ingredients, Chef Iain Gourlay adds a creative flair to some classic Scottish favourites – and serves them up in true style.
We highly recommend starting with the Breast of wood pigeon on a puree of boudin noir, followed by the lightly smoked loin of Borders venison, and finishing off with the absolutely delectable Selkirk bannock souffle. We can assure you, that this culinary journey is one you won’t soon forget.
As the evening wears on, we sit by the warmth of the fireplace and delve into the estate’s extensive collection of fine whiskies. Finally ending the evening with warm hearts and revelling in the rare tranquillity afforded by being in beautiful and overwhelming isolation — in one of the most underrated destinations in the world.