Tweed Valley restaurant and hotel hits gold standard

Windlestraw's owners, John and Sylvia Matthews, with their award.
Windlestraw's owners, John and Sylvia Matthews, with their award.

A restaurant and hotel is celebrating after going for gold and succeeding, picking up VisitScotland’s top quality assurance accolade.

Windlestraw, an Edwardian manor at Walkerburn home to a restaurant, gardens and six guest bedrooms, has secured VisitScotland’s five-star gold quality assurance award for serviced accommodation businesses achieving the highest levels of excellence.

Windlestraw is the only restaurant of its kind in the Borders to have achieved that accolade.

Set in two acres of landscaped grounds, it was built in 1906 as a wedding gift for the future wife of cashmere mill owner John King Ballantyne.

It was also named most hospitable hotel in the Lothians and Borders at VisitScotland’s 2017-18 regional Scottish Thistle Awards, as well as being given one of the tourism organisation’s Taste Our Best awards for its use of local and quality Scottish produce.

John and Sylvia Matthews, the hotel and restaurant’s owners, said: “We are thrilled to have received this award.

“We are passionate about Windlestraw, Walkerburn and the Tweed Valley, and we are absolutely delighted to reach this milestone and be recognised amongst the very best in Scotland.

“Full credit to our small team – head chef Stu and housekeepers Lizzy and Emily – who continue to raise the bar for hospitality in the region.

“We believe that the Borders is a must-everything –visit, stay, do, dine, explore, return – in any Scottish travel itinerary.

“Thank you to the VisitScotland team for all their support.”

Paula Ward, regional leadership director for VisitScotland, said: “Congratulations to John and Sylvia on this fantastic achievement.

“Their restaurant with rooms is a shining example of the quality experience on offer in the Scottish Borders.

“It is great to see their hard work and commitment to providing a quality service being recognised firstly at the Scottish Thistle Awards and now with this prestigious award.

“Our quality assurance scheme helps businesses to reach their full potential and truly shine.

“The scheme is about more than just the stars on the door – it’s about the entire visitor experience, about investing in your business, driving up quality and creating jobs.”

“Delivering a quality experience that meets, and exceeds, visitor expectations is crucial in making Scotland a must-visit, must-return destination.”