HUNKERING DOWN IN THE SCOTTISH BORDERS
If you want to talk Hygge – or this year's version Lagom – you’ve come to the right place. At The Studio, situated in the Scottish Borders, it's served with gallons of fresh country air and many a precious pillow hour.
This has to be up there with one of our favourite getaways to date – this divine, modern-yet-homey cottage flung open its newly refurbished doors in September and is SUCH a find. It’s been done up with impeccable taste and is pretty reasonable to go and stay out of season (aka now, when the desire for Lagom/Hygge/hibernation is starting to take hold…)
The Studio's key appeal is it serves as a bolthole for those yearning to escape crowds and noise in search of simplifying life for a few days. It’d definitely work for two friends looking for a break but is especially ideal for couples, plus babes in arms and dogs are welcome. The back of the cottage overlooks a patchwork quilt of fields beneath big big skies right down into the Tweed Valley. Surrendering to the sheer pleasures of these soul-lifting views is therapy in itself.
A calm-inducing palette of neutrals runs through the modern single-floor cottage, which sits on a vast estate on the edge of a working farm. A contemporary clean-lined kitchen with marble surfaces and architectural tables with gold accents are juxtaposed with irregular wooden window sills crafted from recycled sycamore and a blue velvet highly Instagenic sofa. Darker tones ensue in the bedroom – home to a satisfyingly deep blanket box to store away the extensive collection of fat wooly jumpers I insisted on bringing on the three-day trip – and sizeable en suite bathroom. Plus there’s a bit of sexy tech slotted into the equation. Modcons include underfloor heating and built-in ceiling speakers – which sit in happy company with a woodburner.
Our hosts left a hamper of locally sourced produce as well as a homemade lemon drizzle cake and a note written to me, Olly and Luna – a prime example of the little touches that go a very long way. Especially after an eight-hour drive which wasn't nearly as dreary as it sounds thanks to a little holiday excitement and some excellent podcasts (I'll be doing a post on my current favourites soon). And Tebay Services. Google it.
What to do & where to eat:
In contrast to the slick interiors, from our front doorstep we had free run of the untamed rugged countryside, punctuated by craggy stone farm buildings, which we took full advantage of. Whilst it wasn't all that tempting to prise ourselves away much further than this, our inner explorers got the better of us and we wondered the pretty streets of local town Melrose. We also stopped by The Hoebridge – a navy-walled, house-plant-laden and in general on-point restaurant which, on chatting with the owner, we discovered drew inspiration from The Fat Radish, a favourite of ours in New York.
The Hoebridge, Gattonside, Melrose
We were mostly blessed with blue skies during our stay and only fell prey to a damp day at the very end, when we took on a soggy walk in true British style at Abbotsford, home to Sir Walter Scott. During the summer months the gardens are meant to be well worth a visit, as too is the inside of the house. We were happy enough with the footpaths that hugged the cascading Tweed River, where wader-clad fisherman wait like herons in patient pursuit of salmon.
Abbotford House, Abbotsford, Melrose
We also headed to Main Street Bookshop and Deli to meet up with great friends who we rarely ever see who'd come down from Edinburgh – more perks of holidaying in your own country. They also brought along their new addition to the family, baby pug Daphne. Scroll down for pictures of the delicious sharing plates we enjoyed below.
Mainstreet Trading Books, Cafe & Deli, Main Street, St. Boswells