Putting It about In Peebles


You don’t have to gunfight for your picturesqpfigcen‘ory

A touch of class in the Borders. Words: Louisa Pearson

lame it on Madonna. Ever since she decided to make

the change from material girl to Mrs Ritchie by tying

the knot in Dornoch. Scotland has been experiencing a romantic revival not seen since Sir Walter Scott's day. And who can blame VisitScotland for taking advantage? Whether it‘s a full-blown wedding you're organising orjust fancy getting to know that special someone a little better there‘s now a tailored brochure and website (www.romantic- playing love doctor and administering to your every need.

Determined to sample the Romantic Scotland campaign for myselfl cajolcd my good-lovin' man into accompanying me on a trip to the Peebles Hotel Hydro. Talk about old— school glamour. As we made our way up the driveway. perched high above the scenic Borders town. my overactive imagination began making comparisons with the hotel in The Shining. But rest assured there's nothing unwelcoming about it behind the grand facade are all mod cons from the swimming pool and sauna to the health spa. Fresh air lovers can even meander down to the croquet lawn or tennis courts and pretend they‘re in a Merchant Ivory production.

Initially freaked out by the request for ‘all gentlemen to wear a shirt and tie to dinner'. we got over it by deciding to enter into the spirit. although stopped short of the idea to masquerade as Lord and Lady liarquhar. The dining experience was accompanied by cool jazz on the piano and. under the chandeliers with a fine bottle of wine and the full three courses. ordinary life seemed far away. If. like me.

your budget for a fun weekend usually stretches to Safeway"s wine of the month and a video from Blockbusters. then finding a bottle of Moet. grapes. luxury chocolates and. wait for it. towelling robes in your room is going to come as a very. very pleasant surprise.

There’s only so much eating. drinking and whispering sweet nothings a girl can do. so we set off on a walk along the river Tweed. admiring the gently rolling scener and the baby lambs. Romantic boyfriend didn‘t add to the ambience by reminding me (a sheltered vegetarian) why one day the fluffy little lambs are there. the next they're gone. Banish such thoughts. The most amazing thing about the Borders is that it‘s so close to Glasgow and Edinburgh and so scenic. but is often overlooked in favour of heading north. We’d planned to finish our trip with visits to Traquair House and some of the picturesque gardens nearby. but rain stopped play.

Getting soaked is definitely not romantic. but as it's almost guaranteed to happen on a Scottiin holiday be grateful there‘s a fine solution available: the local pub with a log lire. Now Lord Farquhar. pass me a dram and let‘s start planning our next romantic break.

Finding a bottle of Moet, grapes and chocolate in your room is very pleasant

I The List stayed at Peebles Hotel Hydro, Peebles EH45 8LX, 01721 720602, www.peeb/eshote/ For details of romantic breaks in Scotland phone 01997 423079 for a brochure or log onto www.romantic-scot/and. com

\Mn a luxury weekend

If this sounds like total bliss to y0u then enter our competition to win a lovely weekend for two and experience ‘Romantic Scotland’ for yourself! The Peebles Hydro is offering one lucky reader and their partner the chance to win two nights at its glorious hotel, including dinner, bed and breakfast.

To enter just tell us: Which river does the Peebles Hotel Hydro sit beside?

Answers on an email marked ‘ROMANTIC SCOTLAND‘ to or on a postcard to The List, 14 High St, Edinburgh, EH1 1TE. Deadline for entries is 28 May 2002. Please include a daytime phone number.

TERMS & CONDITIONS: The prize draw IS open to those 18 years and over. Travel must be completed by 31 Oct 2002. No cash alternative IS available in lieu of the holiday. Transportation IS the responsrbility of the Winner.


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