We were given, as a gift, Afternoon Tea for two at The Collingwood Arms Hotel, Cornhill on Tweed. We found this to be a lovely experience not only was the food and service good but the homely environment too, it all added up to a nice relaxing afternoon.
This former Georgian Coaching Inn is situated in the heart of the village of Cornhill on Tweed. It is surrounded by the rolling countryside of the English/Scots borders and stands alongside the A697 which links England to Scotland
The Collingwood Arms is set slightly back from the road which allows it to have its own private car park. I am a blue badge holder, I could not see any disabled car parking bays or signage for disabled car parking so we parked in an ordinary parking bay close to the hotel entrance. I later discovered the disabled signage and bays were further along away from the main entrance, at the side of the hotel.
Once parked we made our way through the rather impressive stone entrance into the Reception Hall. This is a lovely area with a welcoming open fire , sofa’s and tables. The Receptionist greeted us with a smile and showed us into the Residents Library to the right of Reception.
Residents Library does sound rather formal, but this room is informal and homely, designed as a place for guests to sit and relax, to feel at home. Sofas and armchairs with cushions surround an open fire. Tables display magazines and newspapers. Cabinets and book cases hold a superb selection of books – I could see why it was called The Residents Library. Table and Floor lamps provide good lighting. As I relaxed into one of the comfortable armchairs beside the open fire I could not help thinking that in its previous life this would have been where the Stage Coach passengers rested.
Whereas many hotels serve Afternoon Tea in the restaurant, here it is served in the Residents Library, which made the experience very homely and relaxed. Sat in our armchairs we ate from the coffee tables in front of us. It was rather like having afternoon tea in a good friend’s home.
Our nicely displayed afternoon tea consisted of: Sandwiches of egg and cress, salmon and cucumber, cheese and tomato – they were daintily cut but substantially filled. The bread was light, the fillings tasty and full of flavour, the type of flavour you only get from locally quality produce.. My husband said he could have done with some meat, but I thought this was an good selection of sandwiches. Then there was the most melt in the mouth scones, served warm, there were cheese scones and fruit scones which were firm enough not to crumble but soft enough to eat easily. Cream and home made jam served in small pots accompanied the scones. There was a good variety of dainty but filling cakes – cream cakes, sponges, biscuit based cakes, all with very different flavours and textures. Our food was served on beautiful china plates.
There was a range of tea’s and coffee’s to choose from. Large pots of tea provided a plentiful supply, which we drank from china tea cups. By the time we had eaten and drank everything, we were fit to bust!
Service was excellent. I say excellent because it was friendly, unfussy but professional. We really could not have asked for better service.
Had the afternoon tea not been a gift we would have paid £14.95 each which I think is good value. For those wanting to spend a little less a smaller Afternoon Tea can be purchased for £6.95.
We found the food was just part of the overall experience. We spent most of the afternoon in the Residents Library, reading the newspapers, magazines and browsing the many books, this all added value to the experience.
There is a ground floor bar leading off to the left of Reception and a Restaurant behind the Reception area. The hotel is open to non residents for Lunches, Afternoon Tea and Dinner. I glanced at both the bar menu and restaurant menu and they looked tempting.
For those wanting to stay The Collingwood Arms has 15 rooms/suites. As it has links to Vice Admiral Collingwood the bedrooms are all named after the ships that took part in the Battle of Trafalgar. I did not see the rooms but as I have some mobility issues I am always interested in the provision for disabled people and I was pleased to learn that on the ground floor they have an accessible bedroom.
As for other facilities for disabled guests in the Public Area. There is a disabled W.C., however its signage I did not find to be easily noticeable. I had to ask if they had a disabled W.C. and how to get to it.
Outside to the rear are some rather gorgeous gardens which guests have the use of and I imagine, in the Summer the gardens will be a lovely place to sit.
The location of this hotel means it lies amongst beautiful countryside but it is just around 1 and a half hours driving time from the city of Edinburgh. It is close to the market town of Kelso known for Floors Castle and its Abbey. Melrose with its Abbey and attractive Harmony and Priorwood Gardens is a short drive away. The stately homes of Mellerstain House, Manderston House and Abbotsford House are within a short driving distance. The historic east coast border town of Berwick Upon Tweed with its 14th century town walls is just 15 miles away. The immediate area surrounding the Collingwood Arms Hotel offers charming villages, riverside and countryside walks. The River Tweed is known for its salmon and fishing licences can be purchased locally.
All in all a very enjoyable afternoon with good food and good service.
“collingwood arms hotel”:http://www.collingwoodarms.com