Family-run Scottish Borders hotel and restaurant Carfraemill put up for sale

The hotel and restaurant, which has been in the same family for 23 years, has been put up for sale.

Published 2nd Jul 2020
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Carfraemill in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders is a privately owned hotel which is made up of extensive public space, including a restaurant, and ten en suite bedrooms.

The area surrounding the hotel is popular with outdoor enthusiasts and has many golf courses and fishing opportunities - making it a popular spot for those visiting from Edinburgh or beyond.

It is situated four miles north of the town of Lauder and just off the A68, a major trunk road linking the Scottish Borders with the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass.

Family business

For the last 23 years, Carfraemill has been owned and run by Mrs and Mr Sutherland who have grown the business into a popular spot for travellers to the area.

The Sutherlands bought Carfraemill in 1997 and reopened it the following year after a major six-month refurbishment.

A thriving restaurant business quickly developed alongside numerous weddings, funerals, parties, and meetings in the hotel’s function room.

The addition of a marquee allowed the functions business to expand Carfraemill as a popular wedding venue for the Borders and Lothians.

The hotel made national headlines in 1997 when Mr Jim Sutherland took on the government following the ban of beef on the bone.

Mr Sutherland was the first person in the UK to be charged after serving beef on the bone to hotel guests at a prohibition dinner.

The case against him was later thrown out at the High Court in Edinburgh and beef on the bone was, once again, back on the menu.

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The Sutherlands have decided to sell Carfraemill in order to pursue retirement.

Mrs Sutherland comments, “After 23 wonderful years, it’s time for us to retire from Carfraemill.

"Jim and I are both much nearer to 70 than 60 and it’s time to live our lives as most of our friends now do - in retirement. We had always planned to retire later this year, though there is no doubt that COVID-19 has made it more complicated than it might have been.

"The dedication and enthusiasm of a new owner is exactly what’s needed at this time. We have a fantastic and experienced team of staff here and a future owner will be incredibly lucky to have them on board.

"Carfraemill is a beautiful building with a rich history and it has played an important role in the big moments of so many people’s lives.

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"It’s a business which has long been important, also, to the local economy. We are sure there is a bright future ahead and know Carfraemill will always be a place for creating memories.”

Future plans

In terms of the immediate future, Carfraemill will remain closed in accordance with the Scottish Government’s guidelines. Plans are currently being developed for the business to gradually reopen after the summer (including for weddings, if permitted), whilst a new owner is sought.

Brian Sheldon, Regional Director (Scotland) at Christie & Co, who is handling the sale, comments, “This is a fantastic opportunity for prospective purchasers to acquire a first class business and property in a great location and to further grow the business.”

Carfraemill is on the market for an asking price of £795,000.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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