You might of seen my recent post where I visited the lovely old historic town of Biggar in Scotland. We were lucky enough to be staying in Scotland a second night, just down the round in fact at Tinto House Hotel. It’s located just outside the small village of Symington and about a 5 minute drive from Biggar town centre.
Tinto House is a country house hotel set in 5 acres of private grounds with far reaching views overlooking the countryside of the Scottish borders. Having been built 1914, its steeped in history and still has many of it’s original architectural features like the double staircase and stained glass window.
Check in at the Hotel was available from 1pm, but as we’d only been staying down the road we were quite early and thought we’d call in to drop out bags off. There was a minor mixup with our reservation but it was quickly sorted out by the helpful and friendly staff. As we were quite early we went to check out New Lanark, a local world heritage site, a cotton mill village founded in the 18th Century.
We arrived back at the Hotel later in the afternoon, we couldn’t resist looking round the hotel a bit first before going up to our room. The lounge and bar area has a cosy and inviting feel, perfect for relaxing with a G&T or whatever tipple you fancy. The Hotel still has some of its original features like the wooden phone booth and the impressive stained glass window which cascades a mix of bright colours on to the staircase up to the first floor.
There’s a fantastic mix of new and old at the Hotel with the vintage pieces such as the Grandfather clock set within the lounge and the Penny Farthing bicycle nestled at the top of the staircase.
We were given room 17 on the first floor, which is one of the hotel’s superior rooms. It had views of the countryside through the large window to the front The room was clean and tastefully decorated in a modern style with classical details.
The room was a good size, felt light and airy and had a comfortable double bed and came with contrasting furniture. It was such a nice cosy and relaxing environment, perfecting for winding down…. just what was needed!
The room included a wall mounted flat screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and even an iron and ironing board if you need to get those creases out of your shirt! We also got fluffy robes and slippers, perfect for when you’ve just got out of the shower!
The bathroom had modern fittings and including a heated towel rail for keeping those large Egyptian cotton towels warm! It also came with Scottish Fine Soap Co. shower gel and hand wash. It’s the little touches that count! We had some time to chill out and get ready before heading downstairs for dinner.
We’d made a reservation for dinner for 8pm so once we were showered and ready, headed down to the lounge area. We started with drinks whilst we took time to look over the menu. The mixture of the walking round the world heritage site and the Scottish countryside air had made me really hungry (and thirsty!) Our food orders were taken in the lounge before we headed through to atmospherically lit dining room.
For starter I wanted something fairly light-ish so chose the coarse pork, chestnut and chicken terrine and pickled gherkin. Sam fancied trying something traditional so went for the Cullen skink, smoked haddock, milk, potato and and onion soup.
I thought the portion size of my dish was about right for a starter. The terrine was light and tasty, although I did think the amount of pickled gherkins was a bit on the high side given the terrine was the main element of the dish.
Sam really enjoyed the cullen skink and thought it was deliciously taste, an ideal comforting dish. She wasn’t sure what to expect but its fair to say it surpassed her expectations and some!
For main course, the fresh haddock caught my eye. It was served with hand cut chips and mushy peas and tartare sauce. Sam chose the thyme and garlic roasted squash risotto with goats cheese and beetroot crisps.
When the mains arrived, I wondered whether I’d even be able to finish the super sized looking fish! The haddock tasted fresh and was cooked well, being lovely soft and flaky. The dish was served with thick hand cut chips which were so good!
The thyme and garlic roasted squash risotto came presented well. Sam thought it was rich and creamy and thought the beetroot crisps added some extra flavour and texture to the dish.
When I have ever been one to turn down a dessert…. The home made sticky toffee pudding was highly recommended to me, I couldn’t resist giving it a try. After the first bite, I could see why it had!
I’m not usually one to favour sticky toffee puddings, but for me, this was so good! The sponge pudding was soft and gooey and the butterscotch sauce was the ideal accompaniment. It was the perfect way to round off an evening meal.
After a comfortable night’s sleep, and after a bit of a lie in (we were on holiday after all) headed down for breakfast for 9am. There was plenty of choice on the menu for all tastes including muesli and the usual other cereals like corn flakes and weetabix, fresh orange or grapefruit, yoghurts, fruit juice, white or brown toast and tea or coffee.
We both fancied the full Scottish breakfast of bacon, sausage, mushrooms, beans, haggis, grilled tomato, potato scone and choice of either fried, poached or boiled egg. For me, there’s no better choice than poached egg… it is relatively healthy after all!
The traditional Scottish breakfast was really enjoyable particularly the haggis (my new found favourite) and potato scone. Just what I needed to set me up for the long drive back to Yorkshire… after a quick stop off at the local award winning bakery, Biggar Flavour!
Tinto House Hotel makes a great place for a short break countryside break. Its an ideal location for those who enjoy walking (I’m reliably informed there’s so many to choose from)! The staff at Tinto are friendly and helpful and I really liked the comfortable and relaxed feeling there is around the hotel. There’s a great range of locally sourced food and produce on the menu, which is all cooked to a high standard. I would definitely return to Tinto House for another short break (might even attempt one of the challenging walks)!
Have you visited Biggar or Scotland recently? Where did you stay? Let me know by leaving a comment below.