The Teviot Smokery, Restaurant and Water Gardens are situated on the banks of the River Teviot and surrounded by picturesque rolling countryside in the heart of the Scottish Borders, close to the market town of Kelso.
This interesting, family run visitor attraction is clearly visable from the road. From the outside it looks like “just another garden centre”, its exterior does not do it justice – it offers so much more, it is worth stepping inside!
We visited, primarily for Sunday Lunch and to break our journey when travelling from North East England to South West Scotland. We had planned a short stop, but there was so much to see we couldn’t help lingering and exploring the water gardens – even though it was a cold, blustery day in early March and Spring had not yet reached the Scottish Borders!
The Teviot Smokery is set in its own grounds which provide good, free car parking, including disabled car parking. There is level access from the car park to the property.
Stepping through the door takes you immediately into the extensive gift shop and garden shop which sells a huge range of products, from food to plants, clothing, candles, soaps, ornaments, books, wines, liquers, the list is endless!. Most of the products are Scottish, many being locally produced. The Smokery traditionally slow smokes meat and fish over oak chips and it is particularly known for its smoked salmon, the nearby Rivers Teviot and Tweed, of course being widely known for their Salmon. A variety of produce from The Smokery are for sale in the shop.
Four or five steps lead from the main entrance to the restaurant. For the less mobile or for wheelchair users there is a Stannah Platform lift. The restaurant is housed in a conservatory style room painted green which blends in with the surrounding rolling countryside of which there are good views from the restaurant.
The restaurant is open until 5pm each day and serves, breakfasts, full lunches, Afternoon Teas, light snacks and coffees.
There was quite a varied menu, but we were after a traditional Sunday Lunch for which the choice was Roast Border Beef or Venison at a cost of £9.95 each. We selected Beef. Service was fairly swift, we were a little disappointed with the meal. Perhaps my expectations were a little high, but I expected the local Border Beef to have a richer flavour than it had. The vegetables were brought in a small serving dish to share (just enough for one in our opinion), so we asked for more vegetables and a second dish was provided, free of charge.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.
W.C’s have level access from the restaurant.
Despite the inclement weather we decided to visit the water garden which is accessible from the Garden Shop which sells a good range of gardening products as well as plants. Entry to the Water Garden is free. The Water Garden is terraced, leading down to the River Teviot, here there are ponds, streams, waterfalls, lots of moisture loving plants. A habitat for wild life and birdlife, it is not uncommon to see Badgers, Otters, Kingfishers and Woodpeckers. No dogs are allowed in the Water Garden. When we visited, having just come through a Scottish Winter, it was not at its best but still a peaceful, interesting and attractive area to visit. We thought it would be a lovely place to visit on a warm Summer’s day.
There are a lot of stone steps in the Water Garden which would make it unsuitable for those with mobility problems. However, from the garden shop there is a door on to a wide and long viewing platform from which there are really good views of the garden, the River Teviot and surrounding countryside. Seating is provided on this platform. This allows those who cannot manage the steps within the garden to enjoy the gardens. When we visited, the door to the viewing platform was not clearly signposted, so it is worth looking out for it or asking where it is, because even if you can walk throughout the garden, the viewing platform is worth visiting, its a great place to sit for a few minutes and enjoy the views.
We left, refreshed to continue our journey, thinking we would return in the Summer.