The Old Millhouse Featured in Scotland on Sunday

Goose-bumps. Even as a grown-woman, I still get the occasional goose-bumps accompanied by that rush of excitement as if I were 12 again. Granted, no-where near as often, but this Sunday as I bought my copy of the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, I have to admit I was flushed with excitement.

All fingers and thumbs, I flicked through to find the magazine, knowing that my interview would be in it. Expecting at most a double page spread at the back somewhere at the very most, I nearly collapsed in the newsagents as I saw my wee business on the front cover of the magazine! It didn’t end there, there were four pages inside, with great pictures of our new spa, the Orangery and bedrooms.
Goosebumps? I was weak at the knees, a-quiver with a mixture of surprise and delight that the thing I do every day was presented in the same way as Gleneagles or Archerfield have been in the past. Blushing, I bought another few copies, for my mum, of course.

It’s a funny thing, when you work in hospitality, it’s as if there are two worlds. The world your guests see is luxurious, calm, glamorous almost. And behind the scenes there’s the hard work of cutting the grass, cleaning out hens and checking every inch of the house is spotless ready for new guests arriving. I’m very lucky to get to straddle both worlds – when I don’t have guests I live in the house and appreciate that it’s in a truly lovely spot and is, in my opinion, something special. I think this also gives me unique insight to my product, I know inside out and back to front what the guests experience and so I’m well placed to continue to improve what we offer to make every visitor’s experience as special as possible. The swim spa has been the latest addition. What is now a mid-size outdoor heated pool is a perfect example of how a load of mud and soggy work through the winter has transformed into a glamorous stage for outdoor entertaining. The grounds are totally secluded and guests would already want to spend a lot of time outside, so it seemed obvious to give that outside space a focus and add another dimension to what we offer.

There are times I sit outside at dusk, well earned G&T in hand, looking up at the house and I have to pinch myself. The vision from 2012 has become a reality. And it’s not just me who believes its special anymore, somehow the great coverage in the Scotland on Sunday magazine has validated what I hoped was true. When you see your work – and your home – in print with such a glowing recommendation, even the most modest of Scots – I was thrilled to bits. Goose-bumps? Are elephant-bumps possible?

Thanks to Claire at Coolstays for her support – and of course to the Scotland on Sunday for their incredible coverage.


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The Old Millhouse 40 Newmills Road Dalkeith EH22 2AQ

Phone: 0131 660 1767

Mobile: 0782 477 3060