Oh Food, Glorious Food… our region is a delectable foodie heaven! From quality local producers to fine dining experiences, there is an outstanding array of choice on offer and everything in between. Whilst the list is long we will attempt to give you a flavour of what’s on offer, including some of our favourite spots along the way.
Berwickshire & Northumberland
Let’s start at the coast where seafood lovers will delight at the freshest salmon and trout supplied daily by local fishermen. Enjoy lunch at the award-winning Oblo Bar & Bistro situated on the harbour front in Eyemouth serving delicacies such as langoustines in garlic, chilli and lemon butter or its delicious seafood linguine. No trip would be without a visit to Giacopazzi’s where young and old alike will delight at the vast range of freshly made ice creams on offer as well as a jaw-dropping Knickerbocker Glory!
Order fresh oysters for supper from family-run Lindisfarne Oysters whose high quality produce is grown on the seashore of the National Nature Reserve on the site established by the monks of the Lindisfarne priory. Or try the legendary oak-smoked kippers from Craster where fish are still cured in the original smokehouses which are over 130 years old. For a little tipple, try the distinguished flavour of Alnwick Rum or Alnwick Gin, or the unique fortified wine of Lindisfarne Mead - also known as the “nectar of the gods”.
Inland a little, and pay a visit to the Chainbridge Honey Farm and Visitor Centre to sample some delicious Tweedside or Heather Honey, followed perhaps by tea in the unique cafe situated in a double-decker bus! Yes, really!
For dining, the Collingwood Arms at Cornhill-on-Tweed; The Allanton Inn; The Wheatsheaf at Swinton; The Plough on the Hill, The Barn at Beal and The Potted Lobster are all renowned for serving high quality local cuisine in relaxed and convivial surroundings.
Ettrick & Lauderdale, and Roxburghshire
The region offers a veritable feast of flavours which can be sampled in a wide range of restaurants, cafes, delicatessens and at our local farmers’ markets across the area. A wealth of local produce is served from locally reared lamb to prime Scottish beef, some of the best fish and game, mouth-watering local cheeses as well as home-grown vegetables and fruits.
In the picturesque town of Kelso, The Cobbles Inn comes recommended, or try the Border Hotel at Kirk Yetholm for some fine hospitality after a trek in the Cheviot hills nearby. Have lunch at the award-winning Terrace Cafe at Floors Castle, or perhaps drop into the Roxburghe Hotel for a not-to-be missed afternoon tea. The Teviot Game Fare Smokery uses time-honoured methods to flavour Borders fish and game, including delicious smoked salmon and wild boar pate. For artisan chocolates with a French touch and a Scottish twist, Cocoa Ecosse is a delight.
Hop across to Jedburgh where the Capon Tree offers a creative, contemporary menu for light bites or evening dining. Head over to Born in the Borders for a selection of local, tasty treats. A visit to the area cannot go by without a nod to Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns and the tradition that is the haggis supper. Where better to buy than from Lindsay Grieve, champion haggis maker based in Hawick’s High Street where Lindsay will be pleased to give you some top tips on serving our national dish.
A warm welcome awaits at the Buccleuch Arms Hotel in St. Boswells, or pop into Main Street Trading - a bookworm’s paradise combined with hearty, wholesome food. Head into the pretty town of Melrose next, where the charming Greenhouse Cafe, or more formal dining experiences of Marmions, The Townhouse, and Monte Casino should leave diners happy and fulfilled.
Heading into Tweeddale, visitors can stop off and see how fine ales are made at Traquair House Brewery in Innerleithen based on ancient recipes dating back to the eighteenth century. Now exported all over the world and with a heap of awards to its name, the ales can be sampled and purchased at Traquair House shop as well as outlets across the Borders.
For yummy delights, Cocoa Black is a multi-award winning chocolatier and patisserie based in Peebles. Founded by Ruth Hinks - UK World Chocolate Master and UK Confectioner of the Year, it is a magnet for chefs and passionate foodies who want to perfect their chocolate and pastry skills. Classes are run throughout the year, including private and corporate events.
For dining, Osso Restaurant is a contemporary cafe and restaurant where everyone is made to feel at home whether enjoying a single espresso or a three course dinner. Chef and proprietor Ally McGrath has a host of accolades to his name, including Michelin Bib Gourmand Winner 2011, 2012 and 2013.
There is a Food Festival in Peebles which usually takes place in October. Graze your way around over 20 food and drink stands from sizzling sausages from Forsyth’s, hog roast from the Juicy Meat Company, and mouth watering burgers from Whitmuir Organics - all washed down with a tankard of Traquair Ale.
Or visit the Berwick Food & Beer Festival in September, with stalls brimming over with local food and drink produce to tempt your taste buds! With live music, cookery demonstrations, and a festival marquee serving a wide selection of real-ales, it’s little wonder the event has become a firm date in the diary for so many.