Food – Pathhead: House of Soutra. A great wee cafe located on the A68

House of Soutra isn’t particularly well signposted on the A68, so be aware.

Travelling home from a recent holiday in Northumberland, I decided to forego the faster, but much more monotonous route of the M6 and A74 (M). And so I found myself on the much more scenic A68 which winds its way from Hexham to Edinburgh.

Having been on the road for a couple of hours I was looking for a place to stop for a cuppa, and, as luck would have it, just at the bottom of Soutra Hill I saw a sign for a café called House of Soutra.

This cafe/restaurant is located off the main road, so you don’t need to detour to reach it – handy if you’re on a tight schedule. It is, as I said, at the foot of Soutra Hill just near Pathhead.  It’s open from 9am to 5pm during the summer season of April until October and 9am to 4pm in the winter months. There’s a large car park with disabled parking also available.

There’s plenty of space in the car park

The café advertises itself as being mother and baby friendly, and at the time of my visit, there were several mums present with pushchairs.  There are high chairs for little ones plus a super toy corner with kitchen, train set, dolls house, garage, toys for babies and a colouring table. Plenty to keep them entertained while you enjoy your coffee or lunch.

There’s plenty of space and access is disabled friendly with low gradient ramped entry.

The interior is open plan and has ample room to spread out, with several tables providing stunning views over the surrounding fields and distant hill.  If the weather plays ball, then there’s even a nice outdoor seating area.

You won’t need to worry about space inside either – there’s plenty.

The café offers a selection of teas and coffees, the latter being made by a proper machine, along with a choice of cold drinks located in a chiller cabinet.  Don’t expect the usual culprits of Fanta, Sprite etc – these tend to be much more upmarket bottled thirst quenchers.

It also has an amazing selection of cakes, pies, traybakes and biscuits all of which are homemade. It was also nice to see that they support others too with their use of  Scottish Borders and Lothian’s ingredients being sourced locally.

Now, that’s what I call a cake display!

If you’re looking for something a little more filling, then hot lunches are available, along with a good selection of sandwiches, flatbreads, paninis, and baked potatoes in addition to a choice of soups.

The friendliness of the staff at the time of my visit was noticeable, as they engaged, and even helped bring drinks to the table for me.

Our choice of the Mars Bar chocolate crispy cake was an inspired one – sticky and gooey, with a good coat of decent chocolate on the top along with some extra wee bits of Mars Bar, but still with a crispness – so moreish!

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It’s a great place to stop off and I fully intend to make a return visit to check out the soups and deli sandwich range.

For more information and a menu, visit the website here.

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