The Roxburghe, under general manager Duncan Evans for the Duke of Roxburghe, shows all those personal touches that we love in privately owned estate hotels.
   It’s a typically solid Victorian house, scented by wood smoke and whisky. There are open fires, tartan carpets, tables piled with books, and family photographs and portraits. The drawing room, in particular, owes everything to a combination of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, and a particularly sensitive designer.
   The bedrooms are just right too, in classic country house style. Though our room was hardly trendy, it had character in spades. A fire crackling in a freestanding grate (logs in the basket, coal delivered on request), completed the happy mood. Our one criticism of the decoration is the oddly bleak arrangement of furniture on the wide first-floor landing.
   It's also an ideal sporting hotel. Riding, golf on a championship course, fly fishing and clay-pigeon shooting (both with renowned experts) are all close and at discounted prices. World-class salmon fishing is possible on prime beats of the Tweed and the Teviot. Even when bad weather might make your visit seem in vain, the Roxburghe’s charms can make the journey seem worthwhile.