For the love of tartan

I love Scotland. I love the accent, the landscape, the colours, the people… I love its haggis, its history, its heritage and other things beginning with h that I can’t think of right now.

I also have always loved tartan, so when my wonderful pal Emma suggested I go on a two day Scottish trip with her and some other bloggers to meet Anna, founder of Scotland Shop and learn all about how tartan is made, I leapt at the opportunity.

We met at Kings Cross and grabbed croissants to eat on our 4hr train journey… heaven. 4 hours of nothing. 4 hours of daydreaming, imagining, stopping and looking out of windowing.

Scotland Shop Tartan

How many bloggers can you get on a bridge?

And before we knew it, we had arrived in Berwick-Upon-Tweed… then it was just a few steps over the (slightly swaying) suspension bridge (it is the oldest one in Britain after all!) and we had arrived in the Scottish Borders.

Scotland Shop Tartan

We stopped for lunch at The Collingwood Arms and enjoyed some exquisite traditional Scottish cuisine, with a modern flair…

Scotland Shop Tartan

Lunch at Collingwood Arms – their take on the traditional haggis dish

And we enjoyed dessert outside and wrapped up in some of Scotland Shop’s finest tartan to keep us cosy in the breeze…

Scotland Shop Tartan

We set off again after our meal and soon arrived at Scotland Shop, which lives in a converted granary that’s over 150 years old! We were invited into the hub of the company to see all the hundreds of different styles of tartan they sell and learn a little bit about the process of how the tartans themselves are chosen and created…

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Every style of tartan has a name, a number and a history… Anna very generously invited us all to select a piece we liked, and I very quickly chose the Help for Heroes blanket. It was love at first sight –  I immediately wrapped it around myself and transformed the blanket into an oversized scarf! Needless to say, it didn’t come off my shoulders for the rest of the trip…

Scotland Shop Tartan

The Help for Heroes plaid was designed and manufactured in the Scottish Borders. Taking the recognised colors of the British Armed Forces including navy blue for the Royal Navy, the lighter blue of Royal Air Force and red for the Army.

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

I also love the story of this particular tartan – “support for our wounded” – by wearing it I feel as though I am raising awareness in some small way…

Scotland Shop Tartan

Me in my new Help for Heroes scarf

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

So many of the colours in tartan are chosen based on what can be found locally in nature…

We then left Scotland Shop HQ and headed towards Chirnside Hall Hotel, where we’d be spending the next two nights…

The house was built in 1834 as a holiday home for an affluent Edinburgh businessman....

The house was built in 1834 as a holiday home for an affluent Edinburgh businessman….

We settled into the cosy living room by the fireplace and had a very special tartan making lesson, from someone who makes all her tartan by hand – a traditional and highly valued trade! She was fabulous. Until she drove off with Anna’s car keys by mistake. But then she came back and was fabulous all over again.

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Everything is measured precisely

Scotland Shop Tartan

All of us had a go – this is Lindsey ;)

And before we knew it, it was time for dinner…

Scotland Shop Tartan

Delicious ravioli

I slept incredibly well…. and when I woke up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. What a sensational view of the Cheviot Hills!

Scotland Shop Tartan

I had Scottish porridge for brekky and felt fuelled up and ready for the day ahead – we were off to the factory, so see precisely how tartan is ACTUALLY made. If you follow me on snapchat than you will have already seen this process in detail, but here are a few more shots to give you a little taste of this amazing experience…

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop design tartans for all kinds of people and fashion houses… some a little more famous than others…

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Scotland Shop Tartan

Checking for imperfections…

We learnt so much about this historical craft and in turn, a great deal about the pride and stories behind each design, maker and process. Tartan making is a trade steeped in history yet is still a fundamental part of our much thriving and loved fashion industry…

We had just enough time to grab some lunch before heading back to London, and the lovely Anna had organised a delicious picnic for us by the river, where we chatted, laughed and contemplated whether we could spend the rest of our lives being clothed head to toe in tartan – something Anna does VERY well!

Scotland Shop Tartan

Our wonderful picnic

Thank you Anna, for a wonderful experience and giving us a glimpse behind the tartan curtain…

I loved every minute.

Poppy Loves - a London Lifestyle Blog

Our little tartan army consisted of Ropes of Holland, Musings from a London Mum, Life of Yablon, South Molton Style and The Stylist and The Wardrobe

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2 thoughts on “For the love of tartan

  1. WOW what a fabulous experience! I’m very envious. Scotland Shop looks incredible and the tartan blanket you chose is stunning (just like that view).
    I too love all things Scottish but have, sadly, never visited. It’s on my bucket list though ;)
    Suzy x
    http://www.suzyturner.com

  2. Very glad you enjoyed your visit, I’m very proud of my country. I loved the tartan you choose and must look out for it. ‘Haste ye back.’

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