About Us

Carfraemill gathers people together

Carfraemill is a family-run business and has been part of the Lauderdale community, in one way or another, for centuries. Today, it's somewhere that people gather together over great food and stay in our luxury bedrooms.

Carfraemill today

Carfraemill has always been a place that gathers people together. For happy times, for business, as well as for times of quiet and reflection.

We have an award winning restaurant, working with fabulous local producers to serve up terrific food all day every day. We also have beautiful bedrooms which we've individually designed to make staying with us really feel like a luxury home away from home.

Meet the Carfraemill team

Jo was born in the Highlands and has spent her whole life in hospitality in one way or another at home, as a home economist and at Carfraemill. She loves nothing more than getting friends and family together for a blether or a party, with fabulous food always the centre of things. Jo is Carfraemill’s Managing Partner, and relies on a fantastic and dedicated team to help her.

Jim has been a sheep farmer in Lauderdale since he was a boy and he’s also the financial director of Carfraemill. He famously challenged the government’s ban on serving ‘beef on the bone’ back in 1997, and to this day Carfraemill is famous for it’s roast rib of Scottish beef and melt-in-the mouth steaks.

Jim and his son Dave provide fantastic organic lamb to the hotel, as well as wild rabbit caught in the Lammermuir Hills.

Susan Thorburn is Carfraemill’s General Manager and has lived all her life in the Borders. Susan is one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet (we think so anyway!) and she works tirelessly and brilliantly to make all of our guests feel at home here. She manages all of the day to day aspects of the hotel.

History of Carfraemill

Early History

The ‘Mill of Carfrae’ is first mentioned in ancient documents towards the end of the 12th century.  There has been a flourishing community here for a very long time!  William de Morville, Lord of Lauderdale, was one of the early owners of the Mill and the surrounding lands.

The original part of Carfraemill was probably an inn, with the mill likely to have been on the other side of today’s road beside the Leader burn. What we know is that by the early 1800s, coaches drawn by teams of four horses were running regularly through Lauderdale, with Carfraemill a popular stopping point. James Turnbull of Carfraemill, for example, had four coaches organised to travel between Kelso and Edinburgh around that time.

The last 150 years

One of the most popular owners of Carfraemill when the Inn preceded the hotel of today, was George Henderson (Old Georgie) who, according to the Rev. Archibald Allan, historian of the Parish, was a “mine host” in the traditional manner and much given to telling tales of days of old. Apparently, no one appreciated these tales more than the Marquis of Tweeddale, Georgie’s landlord in that time of well over a hundred years ago.

In 1938, two sisters owned Carfraemill the Miss Walkers. They added on the delightful wood panelled dining room with bedrooms above which gives the building its present form.

By the 1940s and 1950s the car became a popular and more affordable means of transport. Many people from Edinburgh would make a day trip to the Borders and stop at Carfraemill for a High Tea on the way home.

Over the last century or so, Carfraemill has been a popular meeting place for many families and friends as well as an ideal stop for rest, a meal or overnight stay while travelling North or South.

We love the fact that we are able to continue that tradition today albeit it’s more likely that you will now find us by Sat Nav rather than by horse and carriage, as one of our customers once said!