At the heart of Kirkcudbright, in a simple townhouse, you’ll find a charming peaceful privately owned hotel. It’s where Robert Burns wrote the Selkirk Grace in 1794. Now, with 17 comfortable bedrooms, the bar lounge and bistro are light and cosy and the newly refurbished restaurant mixes contemporary furnishings with classic Glasgow School of Art paintings.
Food is a big part of the charm of the Selkirk Arms, with a choice of dining to suit every occasion, from casual snack to romantic dinner. Whether it’s locally-landed seafood, a classic Cullen Skink or a hearty Galloway steak that takes your fancy, the menu is versatile. Lobster with linguini makes pasta a luxury, while a Mull Cheddar soufflé – dressed with tarragon – will satisfy the most discerning vegetarian.
For the sweet-tooth-satisfier chocolate orange truffle cake should hit the mark … or for a more subtle sugar boost, try the Selkirk mess – the hotel’s own take on the popular fruit-meringue-cream concoction. Local produce is an important feature so there’s Ecclefechan tart and Cream of Galloway ice cream.
Think you have to head to the city for the best of the arts? Think again: Kirkcudbright has the answer. The picturesque harbour town has links to some famous authors and artists. For a century from 1850, Kirkcudbright was an artists’ colony associated with many leading painters including Glasgow Boys Sir James Guthrie and EA Hornel. Today it is home to both contemporary artists and galleries and at the heart of the arts activities is the Selkirk Arms, which itself is believed to have connections with John Keats, Robert Louis Stephenson and Dorothy L Sayers. With its charming peaceful atmosphere and delightful bedrooms, the hotel is an ideal base to explore the town and the glorious south-west of Scotland. Check with the hotel for themed breaks – painting, star-gazing or music might be on the agenda.