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Seeing stars in the Scottish Borders

Press Release   •   Feb 20, 2017 12:22 GMT

John and Sylvia Matthews with VisitScotland Regional Director Doug Wilson

A LUXURY restaurant with rooms situated in the heart of the Scottish Borders will re-open for the tourist season with its five-star Quality Assurance award from VisitScotland.

Windlestraw, an Edwardian manor overlooking the Tweed Valley in Walkerburn, is home to an intimate restaurant, gardens and six bedrooms. It was awarded the five-star accolade in VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme following the latest grading visit. It is the only restaurant with rooms to hold the coveted five stars in the Scottish Borders.

Set within two acres of landscaped grounds, Windlestraw was originally built in 1906 as a wedding gift for the future wife of the Scottish cashmere mill owner, John King Ballantyne. The establishment offers a unique venue for a variety of events, from corporate meetings to special celebrations or for guests seeking a romantic getaway.

The ‘restaurant with rooms’ also boasts a Taste Our Best award for its use of local and quality Scottish produce. Taste Our Best is a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government. Launched in 2013, the scheme is designed to recognise businesses including hotels, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, visitor attractions and B&Bs that not only offer a quality food and drink experience, but include and promote Scottish produce on their menus, to give consumers choice.

VisitScotland’s Five Star Quality Assurance award recognises serviced accommodation businesses which achieve exceptional levels of excellence. Businesses that achieve the award excel in areas of hospitality and friendliness, service and efficiency.

John and Sylvia Matthews, owners of Windlestraw, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the five-star award from VisitScotland. We fully appreciate and support VisitScotland initiatives to raise awareness of the Borders as a tourist destination. Windlestraw offers guests a unique stay in a picturesque location whilst enjoying five-star hospitality and our chef Stu Waterson creates a culinary experience from the finest of locally sourced ingredients. We are delighted to receive this award and look forward to the next chapter in the house’s history.”

Doug Wilson, Regional Director of VisitScotland, said: “Congratulations to Windlestraw on receiving this well-deserved accolade. The award is a welcome boost to the business as well as the region as a whole.

“Developed and improved for over 30 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. They allow you to not just meet visitor expectations, but exceed them.

“Quality Assurance is about much more than just the ‘stars’ on your door – it’s about the entire visitor experience, it’s about investing in your business and making it as economically sustainable, and profitable, as it can possibly be.”

VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes can open the door to new customers. It is a powerful marketing tool and works well with online review sites in using an independent perspective to measure visitor experience against tried and tested criteria, so visitors know exactly what to expect.

For more information, visit: www.windlestraw.co.uk

For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, please visit www.visitscotland.org/quality_assurance.aspx

John and Sylvia Matthews with VisitScotland Regional Director Doug Wilson

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