Dryburgh Abbey Hotel

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Built in 1840 on the banks of the Tweed, this hefty baronial mansion now serves the needs of well-heeled fishin’ & shootin’ types, but it could also make for an outlandish stopover on a trip north. Formal dinners are served in the first-floor Tweed Restaurant beyond the stag’s head & beneath glittering chandeliers, though the eight-course menu (£35) falls short of its lofty ambitions. The cooking is broadly proficient, but misjudged combinations have included a pea & mint risotto doused with pink beetroot foam, & a starter of smoked sea bass & cold poached egg with a garnish of clunky raw vegetables. For daytime sustenance, head downstairs to the bar-bistro, which offers easy food along the lines of toasted minute steak & caramelised onion sandwich, wild mushroom omelette, or fish & chips. Otherwise, visit the romantic ruined Abbey next door, where Sir Walter Scott is buried.


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