Manor is first for Borders in top tourism award

A Walkerburn manor is now the only restaurant with rooms to hold a coveted five-star-award in the Scottish Borders.

Windlestraw owners John and Sylvia Matthews with VisitScotland Regional Director Doug Wilson.
Windlestraw owners John and Sylvia Matthews with VisitScotland Regional Director Doug Wilson.

Windlestraw, over-looking Tweed Valley at Galashiels Road, has been awarded a five-star Quality Assurance award from VisitScotland after its latest grading visit.

Now part of an elite group of just 9 restaurants with rooms across Scotland with the accolade, Windlestraw was handed the award in recognition of its exceptional levels of excellence.

Built in 1906 as a wedding gift for the future wife of the Scottish cashmere mill owner, John King Ballantyne, the manor now has a restaurant, gardens and six bedrooms.

John and Sylvia Matthews, owners of Windlestraw, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the five-star award from Visit Scotland. We fully appreciate and support VisitScotland initiatives to raise awareness of the Borders as a tourist destination. Windlestraw offers guests a unique stay in a picturesque location whilst enjoying five-star hospitality and our chef Stu Waterson creates a culinary experience from the finest of locally sourced ingredients. We are delighted to receive this award and look forward to the next chapter in the house’s history.”

Doug Wilson, Regional Director of Visit Scotland, said: “Congratulations to Windlestraw on receiving this well-deserved accolade. The award is a welcome boost to the business as well as the region as a whole.

“Developed and improved for over 30 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. They allow you to not just meet visitor expectations, but exceed them.

“Quality Assurance is about much more than just the ‘stars’ on your door – it’s about the entire visitor experience, it’s about investing in your business and making it as economically sustainable, and profitable, as it can be.”