After having the opportunity to stay at the Tinto House Hotel in Biggar just last year, when the opportunity arose to stay at another hotel in Biggar, which goes by the name The Elphinestone, I couldn’t wait for another night away from the city. If you’ve read any of my posts where I’ve ventured out of the city, you’ll realise just how much I love escaping from busy city life to explore new places, especially quiet little villages like this, it’s a home away from home for me. With a history of over 400 years, The Elphinestone Hotel is situated on Biggar High Street, right in the heart of the town. Charming in more ways than one, its traditional Scottish look from the outside, is only enhanced as soon as your feet sink into the tartan carpets when you step foot in the door, really giving it that Scottish feel. We arrived at the hotel before 5pm on a Saturday night and even then the place was bustling with business, you could tell from the get go that The Elphinstone has a loyal clientele.
After been handed the keys to our room, we took the stairs along the very long corridor to our room at the very back of the hotel. Featuring a double bed, bunk beds, a flat screen TV, and plenty of space, although one may say it was dated, except for the very modern bathroom, I took to it quickly and I think it only added to the homely atmosphere that the Hotel gives off from the outside looking in. With the freezing temperatures Scotland has been experiencing in recent weeks, I was more than glad to feel the heat as soon as we popped our bags down and got settled in our room for the night. After watching a spot of TV we headed down to dinner, and on our way down had noticed a shelf in the hallway with games like Trivial Pursuit, Frustration and Scrabble, which I thought was a really good idea for any families staying at the hotel or for those guests who enjoy a bit of competitiveness and want to get their game on. David was so excited at the thought of playing Frustration but was only brought back down to reality and left slightly ‘frustrated’ due to the counters being missing from the box (he’s been trying to find this board game for years).
To say the staff here are friendly is an understatement, they go above and beyond to provide a friendly and high standard service. We were seated at our table and within very little time we got on with ordering our food. For our starters I went for the haggis balls and pepper sauce, whilst David went for the tomato and basil soup. My starter didn’t disappoint, the haggis balls went amazingly with the pepper sauce, and although I could have done with a couple more (only because they were absolutely incredible and I have the appetite of a family of four), my expectations only increased for the main courses. David thoroughly enjoyed his soup, which was accompanied with a lovely little roll on the side, and on a Saturday night like that one a bowl of soup was just what the doctor ordered.
If haggis for my starter wasn’t enough, I then went on to have a main course which included another good old favourite food of mine…black pudding. I ordered the black chicken (a chicken breast with black pudding perched deliciously on top), covered in a creamy pepper sauce and accompanied with good old fries. I couldn’t get enough of this pepper sauce, and the main was just incredible, from the overly generous portion size to the tastiness of the dish itself, I couldn’t leave an ounce of this on my plate. David went for the chicken fajita burger, which was a new one for him and he was pleasantly surprised at just how good this was, it was definitely more exciting than your average chicken burger.
Now you’d think with how well we were treated for dinner that we wouldn’t have room for more, but when someone offers you a dessert menu, you simply don’t say no, it’s wrong on so many levels. As soon as I spotted the white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, I knew this was going to be all mine, David on the other hand went for the Rob Roy, which was some sort of ice-cream sundae with a dash of whisky in it (I was too focused on the cheesecake I didn’t take much notice of his dessert clearly, but apparently it was amazing). The desserts were the peak to a great evening, and I’d take the hour long drive back there for that whole 3 course again. I’d rate the food 10/10 if not higher, every course was genuinely incredible and that was a mutual agreement between David and I.
After a brisk walk to try and walk off the thousands of calories worth of amazing food we had just eaten, we headed back to the room ready for bed due to being so full and content. By this point the bar was absolutely buzzing, which if you’re not into listening to all the good old classics at maximum volume then the room we had might not be ideal for you, as the noise reaches high levels as the night goes on. Despite hearing every word of a drunk girls inspirational speech to her best friend because her boyfriend or love interest walked off and left her, and hearing a very drunk next door neighbours every swear word at crazy o’clock, you just couldn’t help but laugh and it only added to the memories (I’m sure he didn’t appreciate hearing our chatting at 8 in the morning before breakfast). I wouldn’t say this was a bad thing as you can’t expect any less on a Saturday night, it just depends on whether you’re looking for a quiet stay or not (our stay was pleasant regardless).
On the Sunday we were up bright and early for breakfast and had the whole dining area to ourselves (all the party people from the night before must have been tucked up in bed). I particularly loved the Nelson Mandela speech being the first page of the breakfast menu, followed by a lovely little message from the owners, which added a personal touch to the stay. For the breakfast itself I had the full works, fresh apple juice, tea, toast and a full fry up breakfast with an appearance from my two favourites from the night before…haggis and black pudding. Again after the exceptional dinner we had, the breakfast was to the same high standard and made us only want to stay a bit longer so we could have experienced lunch at the hotel. I had a great stay at The Elphinestone Hotel and I can now say I’ve ticked off another hotel in the Biggar area. I can only hope I’m in the area again sometime soon for another delicious meal within the restaurant.