Maplehurst Guest House – Arts and Crafts home in the Scottish Borders town of Galashiels
Review by Tina Fox We booked this lovely guesthouse for just one night to celebrate my other half’s birthday. We are both big fans of the Arts and Crafts movement and we had picked up a leaflet on it somewhere on our travels. We were not disappointed. Although it was expensive to stay there, it was lovely to travel back to the turn of the 20th century but still have all the modern conveniences! The guesthouse was set in beautiful grounds off the main road into Galashiels. The exterior was lovely – typical arts and crafts; lots of lovely stained glass; an imposing front door; and nice details. The hosts were welcoming and gave us tea and coffee with homemade cake in the reception hall, all oak panelling and stained glass with some sympathetic metalwork. A lovely wide oak staircase led to the three guestrooms. All were en-suite, with original doors and walk-in wardrobes. They were decorated with some sympathy for the house, though I felt the curtains and furniture in our bedroom seemed out of place. We had a great shower room in the ‘tower’ with underfloor heating and real coffee in the room instead of the usual instant that you are given. We were given a quite extensive menu the night before to choose breakfast from. We were also to choose the time of our breakfast: the hosts would be more than happy to cater for any tastes/allergies, and they also offered an evening meal. I was sorry we did not book for that after we had the wonderful breakfast! The bed was comfortable if a little too warm for my taste. We did not notice the optional blanket until the next morning, which would have been better than the thick quilt. There was also a lovely little cosy nook on the landing for guests with views out into the garden and a complimentary glass of port or whisky. Loads of appropriate books also to browse through so very pleasant all round. The next morning we were astonished by the wonderful breakfast – I had a lovely fruit salad (fresh not tinned) in an elderflower syrup and Tom had a plate of orange and grapefruit with a crystallised finish. We also had fresh orange juice and blackberry smoothie and the usual tea and fresh coffee. The food was lovely but the portions far too generous, something I do not often say! I had ordered bircher benner muesli as my next course. Again it was lovely but too much, particularly because we knew there was a cooked breakfast to come. Tom wisely decided to skip the cereal course! There was also fresh homemade bread. The cooked breakfast was generous and interesting with Quorn sausages, eggs, caramelised mushrooms, baked cherry tomatoes and baked large tomatoes, and a round courgette filled with various veg. It was far too much for a breakfast so I hardly ate at all the rest of the day. They always say you should breakfast like a king and we certainly did that day. All too soon we were on our way back home but it had been a very successful break and one that I would heartily recommend.
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