Posted on 26th February 2021 by Sarah Johnstone

The Border’s Best AlFresco Dating Spots



Dating in lockdown, it’s impossible, right?

Pre-COVID, pre-lockdown and pre-” I’m so bored of doing nothing every weekend”, my boyfriend and I were big on dating. I should clarify that I mean dating each other before rumours start to spread!

Eating food is one of my favourite pass times; combine it with wine or a cocktail, and we’re definitely onto a winner. In a world that didn’t require face masks and one way systems, going out to eat at restaurants and bars for “date night” was an important part of our relationship. During lockdown, we have turned frequent Saturday evenings into an in-the-house-date night where we’ve lit the candles and made a lovely three-course meal, but somehow it’s just not the same. Perhaps having to cook it ourselves spoils the magic slightly.

However, adapt and overcome is one of my favourite mottos, and I am pleased to announce that we have found a new form of dating that fits perfectly into this strange new way of living… cute little alfresco takeaway vans.

We’re currently in the process of touring the Borders, sampling the delights that you can find in unexpected places such as artisan coffee brewed in the back of a horse trailer or fish and chips at the side of the local pond rather than at the seaside.


Here are a few of our favourites and how to find them;


1. Orchiltree’s Cafe at the Abbotsford Visitor Centre, Tweedbank

Here you will find a charming little converted horsebox that offers coffee, tea, pastries and lunch. I couldn’t decide between steak and caramelised onion or a pork belly with sweet chilli sauce on my bagel, so we ordered one of each, and the chef cut them in half for us to share. I cannot stress enough that you should also order chips; they are to DIE FOR!


2. The Haggis box

Touring the Borders in an instantly recognisable, shocking Green kitchen, serving haggis, neeps and tatties that Robert Burns himself would be proud of. All you have to do it choose your sauce, choose your drink and enjoy; it’s that simple. Oh, and they do a vegan option too!


3. Bean ‘N Gone Borders

This business was born in lockdown thanks to a young entrepreneur’s vision and is another gorgeous converted horse trailer. Bean ‘N Gone specialises in luxurious coffees and refreshing milkshakes with a side of “moreish” traybake.  You can often find them outside the rugby club in Melrose but best to check their Facebook to see where they are popping up next.


4. Jimmy’s Chipvan 

Jimmy’s Chipvan does what it says on the tin, but I can vouch that they do it very well! With a different stop every night of the week and an extensive menu, you can get your favourite “chippy” fix under the stars.


5. Out-there Artisan

Located at Harestanes, Jedburgh, you can work up an appetite enjoying their array of countryside walks, then tuck into toasted pittas, soup of the day and GLORIOUS waffles (regular or gluten-free/vegan). They’ve got toppings a-plenty, including fresh fruit, ice cream, Biscoff and brownie bites.


Dating just got a lot more exciting here in the Scottish Borders!

You can find out more about all of these businesses and where they are scheduled to touch down by searching each on on Facebook.

#ladiescountrysidecommunity  #lccscotland  
Sarah Johnstone

Posted by Sarah Johnstone

Regional Reporter - Scotland

A short, artificially blonde, just-turned-30-year-old with a healthy mix of positivity and sarcasm. We are based in Tweedbank in the gorgeous Scottish Borders and I own and run my own equestrian performance brand. My two loves (excluding my long suffering non-horsey other half, of course) are horses and wine and during normal non-pandemic summers we spend most of our free weekends competing, mainly eventing, plus we have recently welcomed our first foster dog to our family. When I’m not on the back of a horse I’m probably walking, eating, drinking or watching trashy films on Netflix … usually a combination of the above!

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