OWNERS of an award-winning Eddleston Hotel have said it’s the ‘end of an era’ after closing their doors for the final time.

On Sunday, April 1, David and Jean Downie from The Horseshoe Inn called it a day after 12 years at the helm.

In a joint statement, the pair said: “When we purchased The Horseshoe Inn in June 2005, we had no idea of the wonderful journey that awaited us over the next 12 years.

“It has been humbling to be recognised within the Industry, from our 4 Star, Highly Commended Bedrooms to AA Breakfast Awards, AA Notable Wine Lists, 2 AA Rosettes, 3 AA Rosettes and of course being AA Restaurant of the Year for Scotland and Ireland in 2007.

“Whilst the awards have been well received, the highlight has undoubtedly been working with an array of talented colleagues and meeting and making friendships with so many of our valued customers.

“We’ve witnessed weddings, engagements (of the staff too), family reunions, birthdays, anniversaries and many who’ve arrived without a booking and who have been blown away by what lies inside our humble exterior.”

And the pair have revealed the hotel and restaurant will be under new management later this month, with ambitious plans to transform the eatery into a gastropub.

“They say that all good things must come to an end, but, whilst it is the end for us, it is simply the start of another chapter in the life of the wonderful Horseshoe Inn – a place where so many come in and fondly remember bygone years and their own personal experiences of visits to The Horseshoe.

“From April 23, The Horseshoe will be under the control of Iain and Fiona Dempster who currently run the nearby Leadburn Inn.

“We’ve got to know the Dempsters over the past few weeks and we’re confident that they will do a wonderful job when taking over the reins.

“There will be changes, there always is when someone new takes control, and the Dempsters plan to be closed for a short period, opening for business on Friday, May 4 – bedrooms will still be available on a room only basis from April 23 until this date.

“The new look Horseshoe will aim to be a gastropub, whilst the eight bedrooms in the Victorian Primary School will remain as they are.

“We wish Iain and Fiona the best of luck with The Horseshoe and we hope that you will continue to visit and support them with their latest venture.

“Finally, a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of our customers without whom, the last 12 years wouldn’t have been as fun and enjoyable.

“We have made some wonderful friendships that will last a lifetime.”