The Beast From The East – my NBF.

The Beast From The East – my NBF.


Footage of freezing people in cars stuck overnight, wind swept, blue eared reporters positioned in the coldest parts of the country.

And where was I? Snowed in at Stobo Castle, a luxury Spa in Peebleshire.

The long suffering husband boozed up one night at some dinner or other came back brandishing a voucher for a night at Stobo Castle -The Cashmere Suite no less, included was  a bottle of Bollinger and a £100 voucher . Yes you can see why I love the man.

As luck would have it my friend Catherine Aitken and I  booked for the 27th February 2018.

Day 1. Arrived.
Day 2. Unable to Leave
Not too upset about it as you can see.


Day 1. We checked in to The Cashmere Suite. Bigger than my flat. A vast suite of rooms. A bathroom with a stone egg shaped bath, Molton Brown products in abundance on every shelf and mounds of white fluffy towels and of course the must wear item – the white fluffy dressing gown.

The bedroom had two king size beds in it. In front of each a wall mounted TV.

A dressing room and a lounge area with two huge sofas, a bar, a library  ceiling to ceiling books and French windows to the garden.

Kim Kardashian and her bum would have been quite at home here. But too bad Kimmy no room for you. We were in town.

Day 2.

Waking up in utter luxury there was a knock at the door, breakfast being delivered. Oh thank you God.

The next knock some time later was from Stobo Castle housekeeper  extraordinaire Fee.

“There is a red weather alert right over the borders so for all our guests safety no-one will be coming or going today. Please relax and enjoy your stay. Everything is on us”.

“Hello am I dreaming?”


In shock we looked out the window. Wow. Amazing. Beautiful. Wild, White, and deeeeeep.

Laughing rather hysterically as we were snowed in at a 5 star Spa Resort and in The Cashmere Suite we vowed to relax and enjoy it. Real life could wait.

And we did.

The pool, steam room, hot tub, the delicious food, the smiling staff, the free glass of champagne before our free dinner. The hospitality was extraordinary.

We were all in it together – well sort of – we had rather lucked out in our exceptional luxury suite within the delightful Stobo Castle.

Wednesday: We wrapped up, went for a walk, came in, ate the contents of our mini bar chocolate, crisps and drank hot chocolate and coffee.

Thursday:  – it was the same situation. The snow had worsened by now the bench outside our room had competly disappeared. We were in lockdown.

With our trusty laptops we set up a work station in the suite.
Catherine a handbag designer she was responding to orders from Japan, USA and France in her dressing gown.

I focussed on finishing my book.

We had the most productive two days in years.

Friday : Despite the wonderful twilight world of luxury and mini bars we had a bit of cabin fever, jaws gnashing,  the jury was out. Still an amber warning….the gritters and the tractor were up and at it. There was a planned convoy at 2pm but Catherine and I were raring to go …Shackleton  eat your heart out…we launched at 11am following Mrs Winyard the Managing Directors wife in her 4 wheel drive to see if we could make it.


Wrapped like eskimos, gloved, hatted and ready Fee the housekeeper gave us a bag full of crisps, water, chocolate, biscuits to sustain us on our journey into the centre of Scotland.

An hour later we were back in Edinburgh.

Was it all a dream?

Scottish hospitality at it’s absolute best.

The bill for our whole stay was about £100 and that was because I developed a liking for the house red and Catherine for the steak. If we had stayed on piste it would not have cost us a penny.

So this blog is basically A HUGE THANK YOU to Stobo Castle.
Efficient, friendly staff, delicious food, a hugely generous proprietor.

Two fully fledged Spa addicts.

Oh and I have finished my book. Hallelujah!!!!!!




Writer & broadcaster.

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