Herges on the Loch, Galashiels
Ideally situated for anyone visiting Melrose or Abbotsford. It nestles just off the A68, at the top of Gunknowe Loch in Tweedbank with panoramic views of birdlife on the water. Owners Sandy and Karen offer a warm welcome and take pride in ensuring that everyone’s visit is memorable and enjoyable. Head chef Len Cumming and his team carefully prepare and cook dishes to order using fresh, local ingredients. From homemade soup and haggis parcels to Borders beef and ale pie and battered Peterhead haddock with crispy chips, you’ll be hard-pushed to choose just one delicious dish – so why not have two? And the Italian baked pizzas get rave reviews.
Where: Herges on the Loch, 1 Tweedbank Drive, Galashiels, TD1 3RP
Tel: 01896 759909
No trip to the Borders would be complete without a visit here for fish and chips, followed by a homemade ice cream.
Where: Giacopazzi’s, 20 Harbour Road, Eyemouth, TD14 5HU
Tel: 01890 750317
Rutherford’s, Scotland’s first micropub, sits bang in the middle of Kelso’s famous cobbled square. Micropubs turn old shops into mini boozers just like they used to be. So, there’s no telly, no fancy food, no game machines – and mobile phones are discouraged. What you will find is good, old-fashioned chat. A few very tasty ales are the order of the day and the craft gin is dispensed via an old microscope. Quirky, fun, full of character and a darn good pint too. Board games and cards sit behind the one long bench – just help yourself.
Where: Rutherford’s, 38 The Square, Kelso, TD5 7HL
Tel: 07803 208460
No 1 Peebles Road, Innerleithen
A special little place for foodies and coffee lovers alike, this little treasure is proving a popular haunt in the Borders town. There’s a friendly atmosphere and sharing tables with other diners is the norm, and adds to the community of the place. Fabulous food, scrumptious cakes – the rocky road and peanut butter banana toast are worth a try!
Where: No.1 Peebles Road, Innerleithen, Borders, EH44 6QX
Tel: 01896 830873
The Cobbles, Kelso
Situated just off Kelso’s main square, the Cobbles is a two-storey whitewashed bar and restaurant. It’s the brewery tap for the Tempest Brewery in Galashiels and a blackboard behind the thriving bar lists lots of great options. Food is served in either the wooden-floored bar or the tartan-carpeted upstairs restaurant. Wherever you choose, you’re in for a treat. It’s fresh and homemade, with a real touch of class. There are good value two and three-course specials, and extensive bar and steak menus. Plenty of choice and something to suit all tastes. Don’t miss the steak, mushroom and ale pie with the beef just falling to pieces under your fork. Washed down with a nice pint, you’ll think you’re in heaven.
Where: The Cobbles, 7 Bowmont Street, Kelso, TD5 7JH
Tel: 01573 223548
From its first-floor location, with a street-facing floor-to-ceiling “porthole” and balcony, Oblo provides the perfect surroundings in which to sit back, relax and watch the world go by. From sweet and savoury baking to light lunches and bistro dining, and from creative cocktails and fine wines to lovingly-made hot chocolates and Italian coffees, there’s something to suit all.
Where: Oblo, 18-20 Harbour Road, Eyemouth, TD14 5HU
Tel: 01890 752527
Simply Scottish, Jedburgh
A little hidden gem, popular with locals and tourists, this lovely little cafe serves some of the best in Scottish fare, from homemade soup and sandwiches to haggis and scampi. The cakes are mouthwatering and plentiful in selection. Visitors with a sweet tooth will be spoilt for choice. Make sure you leave space for a slab of red velvet or carrot cake.
Where: Simply Scottish, 6-8 High Street, Jedburgh, TD8 6AG
Tel: 01835 864696
Night Safe Bistro, Hawick
If you’re looking for a quirky eaterie, you’ll certainly find it here in this former bank turned restaurant. The establishment, which takes its name from the original night safe which you can still see from outside, offers style money just can’t buy. Transformed by husband-and-wife team David and Karen Wilson, you’re guaranteed to bank a good feed here. David, a chef with more than 36 years’ experience, has headed up restaurants throughout Scotland and is dedicated to providing fresh, seasonal local produce prepared to a high standard. Karen takes care of proceedings front of house and complements the food with attentive and professional service. Lunches, afternoon teas, coffee and evening meals are available in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. The soups and steaks come highly recommended.
Where: Night Safe Bistro 12 High Street Hawick, TD9 9EH
Tel: 01450 377045
Born in the Borders, Jedburgh
Bringing together things grown, made, spun, produced and created in the area, this gem boasts a fantastic cafe and restaurant, brewery tour and food, drink and gift shops. Surrounded by picnic spots. Lovely!
Where: Born in the Borders, Lanton Mill, Jedburgh, TD8 6ST
Tel: 01835 830495
Scone Spy Recommends…
Turnbull’s High St, Galashiels
“It’s a cool design . . . pale green painted and wallpapered walls and stripped wooden flooring. Mellow jazz plays quietly in the background.
“My fruit scone comes with ramekins of butter and jam and my dining companion’s with an additional one of clotted cream.
“They are big, firm on the outside, still moist inside and not crumbly or messy in the slightest. “A real couple of corkers.”
Where: TD1 1SD
Ochiltrees at Abbotsford, Abbotsford House
“Despite asking for just one scone to share, we’re brought a twin set. All right, you twisted our arms.
“Soft and moist, without being too crumbly, they had a decent amount of fruit and bouncing, thick jam.
“Could it have been that when Sir Walter Scott famously wrote: ‘For love is heaven, and heaven is love’, he was actually thinking about scones? I think so.”
Where: TD6 9BQ
Main Street Trading Company, St Boswells
“The book shop is a higgledy-piggledy gem. There’s also an award- winning deli with a fantastic display of cheeses, local and far flung, that have won acclaim, plus plenty of tempting spices, jams and chutneys. “
The fruit scones are light and crumbly and the cheese one has a fantastic tang to it that really kicks in hard at the end.”
Where: TD6 0AT
Apples for Jam, High St, Melrose
“There’s no danger of bought-in standardisation and we can see home-baked goodies in five glass bell jars on the counter.
“And we get a wee buzz as we see a pile of fresh scones among them. “There are two types – fruit, which we choose, and cheese.
“The scone was soft and crumbly with chunks of fresh butter and a little jar of jam.”
Where: TD6 9PA