Sunday, 6 July 2014

Summer menu lunches as sunshine continues

It's probably the busiest weekend for the UK,Wimbeldon, the British GP, the Tour de France from Yorkshire, The World Cup and our summer menu lunch.
After months of planning, trials and tests with sous vide and water bath techniques Head chef Paul Sommerville and team have launched our most adventurous menu yet. We hope you can get along to try it soon.
Using as many local ingredients and suppliers as possible the menu is the pioneer for the local food heroes launch in October where the hotel will showcase all the local suppliers in a photo gallery in the Bistro area. Local photographer Giles Atkinson has been commissioned to take photos of the individual suppliers to try and tie together how passionate the hotel and kitchen team are about sourcing local ingredients.
The menu takes on an authentic look, designed by Wolffe design in Edinburgh the menu continues to link the band product of the Selkirk and establish it as a seriously good food destination in Dumfries and Galloway along side the cosy 17 bedroom town house already established and popular.
You can check out the new menu and download your own copy here

Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter is upon us.... again

DIRECTOR - CHRIS WALKER blogs this week on - "Photographs"

Where does time go ? Another year and it's Easter again.... the sun is shining and the lambs are in the fields, the daffodils are out and the Swallows are here.... It's going to be a good Summer. (Fingers crossed)

I've always been a keen photographer, really just to keep for the record and to look back on and cherish the memories. So as  I have been sorting through 70+ years worth of my Mum's photos I realise how much joy they can bring and how they stimulate memories... but in the modern age of digital media - we really don't have albums the same as we used to.

How many of you still keep up to date photo albums ??

We started life in the early days of digital media with Flickr - still one of my favourites - take a trip down memory lane with some of our older pics here

Now we've just joined the world of Instagram - join us here
where I'll be uploading some pics from the hotel and also some from our road trip around France and Spain. As a media savvy society we are keen to share and post our pictures to an instant world, but can we ever get them back, can we look back in time and re live the memories ?

But coming back to all the albums my Mother had painstakingly created I realise that we are in danger as a throw away society of losing at least a generations worth of printed memories to the digital age - I air caution to a younger generation - hang onto your pictures, they are a valuable reference point for the next generation. Print them off or create printed albums with them - maybe just one album of events from a specific year but print them off... in the world of digital media, hacking and cloud based storage one can never be too sure if all the digital memories we create will still be there in 10 years.

Sue and I are taking a few weeks off in May to tour through France and Spain to sample, naturally, the French cuisine, fine wine and Spanish Tapas - look out for some interesting pics heading onto Instagram whilst we are away. Douglas and the team are holding the fort and we'll be running a couple of where in the world is this competitions on the hotel's Facebook page in due course.

Wishing you all a happy Easter - don't forget to take lots of family photos... keep well and take care...

Here's a very bonny Highland Coo I came across the other day - can anyone guess where I took this picture ?


Saturday, 1 March 2014

March madness, nearly but not quite Lent or a little self discipline ?

Co owner Sue Walker writes for the blog this week....

Once something is said , it cannot be unsaid and  sometimes the consequences have far reaching implications.

Today as 1st March was upon us I declared to Chris“ I am going to have a dry March “ Well, once he had picked himself up from rolling around the floor laughing.  My indignation set in. “What – you think I can’t do it?” – more floor rolling, clutching sides to contain his mirth , was followed with a bet for £100 being offered.  Of course the bet was accepted and I am determined to prove my strength of character and see it through.

You may be reading this , thinking I am a raving Alcoholic – No, but I do have a very healthy appreciation of the grape and love my wine – Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chablis, Pouilly Fumee,  ……… name just a few. Well, being in the catering trade all my working life I care to think of it as professional interest and by researching in my leisure time I am developing my knowledge which can only help me in a professional capacity …………… OK I know, a lame excuse, but  sounds good.

So a month of sobriety for me and I suspect much teasing from a few and an insufferable husband who will try and trip me up on the way as he is a tight Yorkshire man, not keen to part with his money !

The £100 will come in very handy now as I have just realised I have washed my IPhone 5 along with the weekly wash – ouch – I really should  get him to increase his bet !!!!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

In the big smoke to keep up to speed with social media

Well - here I am - out of my comfort zone of little ole Dumfries and Galloway. I've headed down to the big city, the big smoke - you know London, to the SES social media and marketing conference at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre.


Well in order to keep our pencil sharp and keep up to speed with all the latest trends and analytics in the on line world I needed to come to hear the likes of Bruce Daisley MD of Twitter UK and to hear from Google as to the importance of Google +

One of the areas that many of you with web sites will need to be aware of is the need for your site to be responsive ( ours is just being re built thanks to Kyle the Designer ) to make sure it can cope with the mobile and tablet world. 60% of purchases on line and hotel bookings are now done by a tablet device. Considering the first iPad didn't come out until 2010 that's quite an amazing statistic.

So some of the things to look out for in the next year are the growth of google +, ok google and google now. Google ads words will still play an important part in your on line campaign but there will be an increase in image ads as we process image data 60,000 times faster than text.

China now incidentally have 60% of users on mobile devices and only 40% on desktop PCs - what are you reading this on ? I'm typing it on an iPad.

So armed with all this information I and my media marvel buddies Giles and Bruce are running a 2 day workshop next month. You can come as a residential guest or as a day delegate - full details are on the web site just follow the link here

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Galloway wee wildlife wanders - strolls around town

 Pam Woods is a regular customer with us here at the Selkirk and we appreciate her business. But you never really know your customers that well and I was surprised and delighted a wee while ago when she told me all about her Wildlife wanders. The principle is simple - you book a knowledgeable nature guide for a short stroll of your choice of 4 walks in the beautiful Stewarty district of Galloway.

The walks can be from half an hour to as long as you fancy and are all based around the towns of Kirkcudbright, Castle Douglas or Gatehouse of Fleet.

So what are you looking for ? The trick is learning how to look and most walks are suitable for families and disabled as they are on the flat

You can get in touch and have a natter with Pam on 07754801697 or e mail her at or follow her on twitter @gallwwwanders

Prices are from £6 pp - you'll be surprised what you see and as I was surprised what you find out.

Here's a lovely painting currently hanging for sale at the hotel by local artist Jane Gibson - I just love seeing Deer out on walks - such majestic creatures

Friday, 31 January 2014

A poem to brighten up your day by Sarah Clark

Every month I send out an e mail with all our deals and what's on news and I get quite a few regulars just acknowledging my communication and wanting to say hi which is lovely. Today however I got a rather nice poem written by one of our customers who was here visiting Kirkcudbright last summer.

Many thanks to Sarah Clark for sharing this with is

Reflections of a Walk by the Dee
by Sarah Clark

Driving along the banks of the River Dee
Across the water from Kirkcudbright
We stopped to walk along the shoreline

Enjoying the views and beautiful sunshine
Gathering pebbles as we walked along
Ears delighting in tuneful birdsong
We saw some fascinating things that day
But my favourite I just have to say
Is the magic pond I happened to spot
Formed in the lichen covered rock
In it was the sun reflected in all its glory
It surely must inspire a magical story
Perhaps the mermaids gather there
To use this mirror whilst brushing their hair
The fairies from the banks of the river Dee
Coming along to keep them company
If you meander along that watery way
Make it the right time of day
To see the sun shining bright

Out of the water in broad daylight

If you would like to join our e mail list for our monthly e news please follow the link below - I only send out one a month so we won't bombard you with e blasts !!!

Monday, 20 January 2014

What's on 2014

A happy new year to you all from all the team.

Welcome to our new look blog linking our social media activity with a monthly blog update of what's on and what we have been up to.

We've a busy year ahead as we fast approach Burns Night - a big celebration here at the Hotel as Robert Burns is reputed to have written the SELKIRK GRACE at this very hotel. Now although Wikipedia makes no reference to the Selkirk Arms Hotel, Burns was visiting the Earl of Selkirk who had a home on St Mary's Isle - just outside the town - many references refer to his home but the one of John Paul Jones's letter is most amusing and relates the account of the pillaging of the Silverware at  Earls home in 1778 - it was 16 years later that Burns would visit and write the Selkirk Grace.

So to celebrate here's a video taken from last year's Kirkcudbright Rotary Club's Burns Supper with the excellent Mark Williams ( Of Galloway Wild Foods fame ) and Tam O'Shanter

Throughout January………….
It's back - 2 courses for £10 starts again on Monday 6th January 2014.Available every lunchtime Monday to Friday from 12noon - 2pm.Come and enjoy our amazing value starter and main course menu for just £10.
Tuesday 21st JanuaryBurns supper with Kirkcudbright Rotary Club
An open event for both Rotarians, their partners and non Rotarians coming together to enjoy a traditional Burns night with good food and excellent speakers. From 7pm price £15pp

Friday 24th JanuaryAny Excuse of a party – 4 decades of music
What a great way to start 2014 - it's an action packed party with all the hits over 4 decades, 50’S, 60’S, 70’S and 80’s to dance the night away to plus games, a quiz and a delicious 3 course dinner - all for just £25pp or why not come and stay overnight and enjoy a fully cooked Scottish breakfast in the morning for just £60pp

During February
Pie, peas and chips £9.95
Come and celebrate the great British Pie with us - a choice of four award winning pies from local suppliers available very Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in February at both lunch and dinner. £9.95

Friday 14th February – Valentine’s Dinner
Be my Valentine - take the one you love out to dinner here at The Selkirk Arms Hotel in Kirkcudbright - we'll be cooking up a delicious 4 course dinner with coffee for £29pp or why not stay overnight and wine, dine and recline for £79pp which includes a bottle of house wine in your room for arrival, Valentine's dinner and a full Scottish breakfast the next day. Booking now 01557 330402

Throughout March
March 7thweekend Art course with Peter Jones – 2 nights £249
This creative weekend, providing a unique experience of Kirkcudbright the Artist’s Town, will have both an art historical and a practical element. Visits to the Tolbooth Art Centre and High St Gallery as part of a guided walk around the town will provide context for an illustrated talk later on the Saturday looking at the artists of the so-called Kirkcudbright School.
A sketchwalk, taking in the historic High Street with its fine Georgian Townhouses, at one time said to be the home of over 50 artists, will be the basis for producing finished sketches, which we will share with one another later on. Whilst some experience of drawing and watercolour would be preferable, different levels will be catered for and the emphasis will be on the thrill and pleasure of drawing and painting ‘en plein air’. There will be further opportunities to work around the town, or indoors if wet, and one to one tuition will be provided
2 night package arriving Friday 7th March includes the following for £249
               Welcome drink and canap├ęs on Friday & Saturday evenings
               Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Friday & Saturday ( Dining on tables of 8 )
               Soup and sandwich lunch Saturday and Sunday and teas and coffee breaks
               No single room supplement

11th March Social media residential workshop

A 2 day residential workshop for those starting out or wanting more from Social media and how best to use it in their business. Led by Hotel owner Chris Walker and his media marvel partners Giles Atkinson and Bruce Mackenzie there will be a series of presentations, brain storming and information gathering workshops alongside real one to one business planning and social media marketing strategy planning - tailoring the workshop to suit your needs and your current level of social media understanding and use.
·      Arrive Tuesday evening for a welcome drink and dinner before a brief overview on the workshop.
·      Wednesday starts at 9am with breakfast a soup and sandwich lunch and dinner again in the evening
·      Thursday we work through until 3pm prior to departure and again includes breakfast and a soup and sandwich lunch.
·      Topics include, Managing your social media, who, when, where and why, Set up and costs, effective media marketing,
·      The total cost is £350pp with no single room supplement and includes all lectures and tutorials.

Sunday 23rd March – Murray the Magician

He's back with a Lunchtime and an Evening show - come and join us for a delicious 2 course Sunday Lunch and a show suitable for the kids for just £20 per adult and £10 for the children - or for a more adult and slightly spooky theme join us for a 2 course dinner with coffee instead, again priced at £20.
Lunchtime show - Lunch at 12.30pm - show starts at 2pm - finishes around 3pm
Evening show - Dinner at 6.30pm - show starts 8pm - finishes around 9pm

March 28/29 – Stargazing weekend

Following the huge success of the last five Stargazing breaks hosted by Astronomer Steve Owens we are delighted to announce another two weekends the first in March 28/29 and the second 21/22 November

Price inclusive of Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Transport to and from the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park and all talks and lectures from Steve Owens.
£219 per person. No single supplement for single rooms.

We also have another weekend now scheduled for 21st and 22nd November

Mothering Sunday – Sunday 30th March

Traditional Sunday lunch - 3 courses including coffee and tablet £21pp plus a box of chocolates for Mum.
Children under 12 half price, Children under 2 free. Come out and treat Mum this year with a delicious Sunday lunch here at The Selkirk Arms Hotel. Phone now to book 01557 330402 - serving between 12noon and 2pm