Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Long distance information

Strange goings on at the tourist board today.
At 6pm we had two folk booked in. Then a couple of Aussie tourists arrived in the bar. They'd spent an hour in tourist info while the staff phoned everywhere between Hawick and Newcastle trying to find accommodation for them.

Everywhere except us that is.

I popped round to remind them that we were here (and had been since around 1520) and was told airily that "No, there weren't any problems with getting accommodation, it was just that the cheaper places went first"

So why did they spend half an hour trying to persuade Allerton House to drop their price from £35 to £30 per person when they could have phoned us and got £30 per person straight away?

That was at half past six. Since then, four couples have turned up and booked in (for £28 per person) and we're full.

And no thanks to Jedburgh Tourist Info or visitscotland.bomb

All the rumours are true. Comparisons with a chocolate teapot are appropriate.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I can see for miles and miles

I went for a walk on Sunday. No, let's start again. I was becoming such an utter tetch grumpy sod that L ordered me to go for a walk (preferably a long one). I'd intended to go hillwalking with the Scottish Borders Hillwalking Club, but due to a misunderstanding my lift did not materialise. Undaunted I went on one of the Border walks that actually goes through Jed - The Border Abbeys Way.

This links the abbeys of Kelso, Jedburgh, Dryburgh, Melrose, Selkirk and (incongruously cos there's no abbey there) Hawick. The route from Jed to Kelso starts on the road out of town and initially is shared with one of the marked mountain bike trails. After a short distance the path forks and you take the right hand fork which passes the Jedburgh TV transmitter (not enabled for Digital Terrestrial yet) and then joins a bridleway.

The width and straightness of the bridleway causes puzzlement for a short period until the penny drops - this is Dere Street, the Roman road which runs from the South of Scotland into East Yorkshire and beyond. The route here is shared with St Cuthbert's Way.

After Dere Street the path follows the Teviot along disused railway lines eventually emerging at Roxburgh in what was at one time a railway junction. Two bridges used to carry the railway across the road here. Both have been removed, but the splendid stone viaduct crossing the Teviot is still there.

A few miles further on and the road to Kelso is reached. The last two miles were extremely hard going due to the lack of hillwalking in the last 10 months. Ow!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Going Dutch

Fourteen for breakfast this morning and it's worth noting that 12 of these appeared between noon and 8pm yesterday. One was through - our first booking from them. Who says they're useless?


Almost everyone actually.

Just as we were finishing the washing up, four Dutch tourists arrived asking for breakfast. They had stayed in Peebles overnight, were heading for Harwich and fancied a Scottish breakfast before they crossed the border.

It would be nice to think that almost any Scottish hotel would provide breakfast to chance guests well out of breakfast time, but I have a feeling that a lot of places would refuse. That's a pity because it's not a huge amount of work and the goodwill it generates is enormous.

Thinking about places I've stayed on holiday, it's always been little things that get remembered whether it's the b&b in Tarbet on Harris who said "Come away in boys" and provided home made shortbread, or the place in Dufftown which had the sign saying "showers between 6 and 7.30pm only".

The Dutch tourists will hopefully remember the nice friendly hotel in Jedburgh and tell their friends. Or they'll come back again:-)

It's not even 12 noon yet - Aarghh!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Fully booked

We were full last night including 5 Korean tourists and their harrassed-looking guide. They wanted an early breakfast because they're driving to London. Despite having overindulged in some white wine last night (it was our evening off and it hasn't happened for a while) we didn't have any major mishaps. Just two guests tonight, though a lot of people just turn up in the evening asking if we have any room. That happened several times last night.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Games without frontiers

Border games day is started at 6am with four "cannon" being fired. There's a race around town and then folk come to us for bacon rolls and drinks. It's been a busy day rather than a frantic one - it may turn out to be better than 7s night, but there's still half an hour to go before we close the door. We've certainly got through loads of bottles - WKD and Miller mostly and bucket loads of vodka. Young folks today - tsk.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Uncommon ridings

It's festival time in Jed. The border towns all have common ridings which involve riding horses and drinking life threatening amounts of alcohol.

Sometimes at the same time.

Jedburgh's festival is called the "Callants Festival" I'm sure I mentioned it a few posts back. There are rideouts to various destinations and at the end of it all on Saturday we have the border games. The day before that's called "Festival day" and we open at 9am to serve bacon rolls (and lots of drink of course) That night there's a party that goes on all night. We open at 6am to provide more bacon rolls and of course more booze.

This being our first season there are way too many variables for our liking. How much beer/spirits/food/disposable glasses? Haven't a clue. We'll see what happens.