Here’s how to feel like a real Game of Thrones princess – Hayley Matthews

A 12th century boutique hotel makes Hayley Matthews feel a bit like royalty in the hit series Game of Thrones – and not in a bad way.

Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 7:45 am
A stay at Schloss Roxburghe was just what the doctor ordered for Hayley and family

To say things have been stressful in our household the last year would be an understatement. We haven’t been on holiday this year or last, and I can see my partner Kenny has sprouted a few more greys. I decided for his birthday to head down to the beautiful Scottish boutique hotel Schloss Roxburghe that lies just outside Kelso. To say it was peace and quiet that was well needed is an understatement. The place just oozes comfort. However, we took the boys with us and with them only being tiny (one and seven) the peace was very quickly turned in to a full-blown chasing match.

When we arrived I handed Kenny his overnight bag and said happy birthday. However, Harris had pointed out earlier in the day that he could have a shower where we were going and asked if there would be a swimming pool. Never tell kids to keep a secret – they can’t hold their own pee!

I explained to Harris how old the place was and he looked amazed. I love history and with the Schloss being a 12th century building there was something very special about it. I can see why they made it to the 2019 hotel awards. With numerous original fireplaces and a comforting smell of burning wood, we were all in our element soaking up the country atmosphere. If Henry VIII had walked past the dining room it wouldn’t have felt out of place. I have to thank the incredibly patient staff in the restaurant who helped us juggle a very, very restless one-year old whilst trying to decide what to choose from the incredible local menu.

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I tried to get Harris to order something different from his usual, especially since we were somewhere dedicated to sourcing sustainable, fresh and local produce. I always make the point of relaying the message about how important it is to source local and tell him that’s how they did it in the old days, before we made a mess of the world and invented mass convenience. Despite my best efforts, he just wanted a burger and chips, but mind you what seven-year old doesn’t...

We took it in turns to watch Oryn as the waiting staff sympathised – many mentioned they had young kids too. However, I had to call it a night early so I took Oryn up to bed. Harris and Kenny had a night-cap in the lounge and to be honest I think they had a ball as they stayed up quite late.

I sat in the huge bedroom with Oryn feeling like Rapunzel at the top of a tower. I won’t do it justice by trying to describe my emotional moment with Oryn upstairs but the room was dark and as I could see the building’s exterior from the window I felt like a character from Game of Thrones – and in a good way!

I looked out and could see the smoke from the log fire blowing past greenery as far as the eye could see. I was on a four-poster bed nursing Oryn to sleep and it all felt very special. I wondered how many women through the centuries had nursed their babies in that room and wondered what deep history lay there. It was surreal and I could hear a pin drop.

I savoured every single bit of tranquillity and I’m glad I did as few hours later the two boys were bouncing on the bed, pulling the flower vases over and banging the wardrobe doors – normality was restored. Mind you, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve been dropping hints to Kenny about going for Christmas, but I don’t think Santa does weekends away.