Great Places to Stay
- Glenteviot Park, near Hawick, Scottish Borders
The Ultimate Rural Retreat
The Scottish Borders is widely regarded as the perfect short break destination in Scotland. Within an hour or so from Edinburgh and Glasgow this is the place to visit to enjoy pure fresh air, stunning landscape, fishing, walking and hill climbing, castles and cashmere, fine local food and great hospitality. A fairly new hotel on the scene is Glenteviot Park, which is an attractive, modern, small country house hotel, open exclusively for resident guests only. Situated a few miles outside Hawick, the house has five acres of mature garden with its own pond and surrounded by tall Sequoia Pine trees, with wide-open views over the River Teviot and the forested hills beyond.
Proprietors Gill and Philip Silver, with long experience as hoteliers in the north of Scotland, have meticulously planned the design, comfort and facilities to offer the ultimate rural retreat; it is their aim to make you feel relaxed and welcome as guests in their home. On arrival as you venture down the drive towards the car park, there will be a named space allocated to you which is a most welcoming personal touch.
For Discerning Guests
There are just five double/twin bedrooms and it is possible to take over the entire hotel for a special occasion or private house party. In addition there is a two-bedroom mobile home in the gardens for short or long term lets, if alternative or further accommodation is required. As Glenteviot Park is a small hotel, ideal for "the discerning guest seeking a peaceful relaxing break", no children under the age of 16 are allowed. In true country house tradition however, you may bring your well-trained dog, who will enjoy some great riverside walks.
The five bedrooms are all quite spacious and individually decorated, offering the choice of twin or double beds - which are in fact huge Emperor sized, suitable for about 3 people! - complete with thick, cosy duvet, piles of pillows as well as a large fat teddy bear for company. In-room facilities include a television, VCR, radio, tea and coffee hospitality tray with fresh milk and shortbread, with the added luxury of a decanter of whisky and a large bottle of mineral water. Two central heating radiators were on when we arrived to ensure a warm room. Top marks for this attention to detail. Room 3 is richly decorated in soft red with reproduction "antique look" furniture. There's a lounge area with two classic "carver" armchairs and small table beside bay windows offering scenic views over the gardens and soft green landscape.
The bathrooms are a good size, strong power shower over the bath, quality fittings and fixtures, Spa Therapy toiletries, cotton wool pads, facecloths and a heated towel rail. Bathrobes are to be added to rooms soon to add a little extra luxury - I have been informed! There is no trouser press or iron, but the guest handbook in the room stresses the fact that every homely comfort and service will be catered for - you only need to ask.
Dining and Leisure Facilities
Glenteviot Park has been purpose built and designed to offer a country house ambience in miniature and contemporary style. The lounge bar features a real log fire, leather Chesterfield sofas and wing armchairs and views over the Glen. Next door an intimate dining room, upstairs a small snooker room and there's even a Spa - by way of a sauna. If this is popular in the northern climes of Scandinavia, then there is certainly a place for a steaming hot sauna in Scotland. It would be particularly warming and relaxing after a day out fishing on the River Teviot near by (fishing permits available), walking or playing golf.
Guests can choose from a bed and breakfast tariff or a very reasonable dinner, bed and breakfast rate. Gill Silver, the co-proprietor is also the Chef and she prepares a four-course dinner with a good selection for each course. All dietary preferences can be catered for if requested in advance although the typical menu includes meat, fish and vegetarian choices. The style of cuisine can best be described as traditional, healthy home cooking using fresh local produce.
Sit by the fire over a gin and tonic as you study the menu. The selection changes every evening but this might include, for instance, Mackerel Pate served with brown toast, Creamy Garlic Mushrooms or Smoked salmon and tiger tail prawns served with brown bread and butter.
Then the soup course such as a rich and creamy Cream of Broccoli and Stilton, which arrives in a huge bowl, despite a generous starter beforehand. Portions here are certainly generous for healthy appetites.
Main courses might include Beef Bourguignon, a beef and red wine stew, or Grilled Border Lamb chops with tomato and mint sauce, or perhaps Haddock Caprice - the fillet is spread with mango chutney and sliced banana, resulting in a most interesting flavour, or Salmon Toravaig - cooked in oatmeal and lightly grilled. Non-meat eaters might be offered Vegetable and Cheese Wellington - a light flaky pastry envelope stuffed with chopped vegetables and melted cheese, or Autumn Vegetable Casserole with dumplings. The main course was accompanied by a dish of broccoli, carrots and roast potatoes.
The wine list is short but comprehensive with house wines starting at under £10. A jug of iced water is brought to the table, which is perfectly fine rather than an expensive bottle of mineral water.
Then to finish a careful selection of light desserts rather than heavy puddings - such as Fresh Pineapple, Creme de Menthe Ice cream or for a savoury tooth, a large plate of Cheese, crackers and oatcakes.
Back in the lounge collapse in front of the roaring fire to enjoy a cup of Brazilian coffee served with mint chocolates. And the bar is of course well stocked with a wide range of malt whiskies, spirits and liqueurs for a nightcap.
You are sure to sleep well in the quiet middle of nowhere seclusion of Glenteviot Park.
At the weekend breakfast is served until 10am and in fact, this is a flexible arrangement and with prior consent we arranged for a late Sunday breakfast at 10.30. Bliss!
There is a small buffet table laid out with all kinds of cereals or the cornflake variety as well as orange and tomato juice, and bowls of muesli, tinned prunes and grapefruit. Although not on display, perhaps fresh fruit and yoghurt might be available if requested in advance. This is such a homely, friendly kind of place, managed by the owners that I'm sure any favourite breakfast dish could be asked for. Porridge is also on the menu to be followed by either the usual Scottish fry up, poached egg, boiled egg or a rather special " Scrambled egg with smoked salmon served with Buck's Fizz."
Perfect indulgence for Sunday brunch.
If you want to find a small, quiet hideaway in the heart of the Scottish Borders, this modern-style country house, only open to residents, might be the answer. Home-cooking, genuine friendly service and homely comforts bring back guests time and again. And with just five bedrooms, sleeping ten people, this is ideal for exclusive use by a family party or group of friends for a holiday or special occasion.
For more information or to make a reservation see the Glenteviot Park Web site. The postal address is Glenteviot Parj, Hassendeanburn, Near Hawick, Roxburghshire.
Return to the Index of Great Places to Stay in Scotland>.
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
News & Views>
All Features Index>
Search This Site>
Scottish Pictorial Calendar>
Places to Visit>