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
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
- 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
- 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017