A HOTEL owner was “totally blown away” when his business scooped two awards at this year’s Food Awards Scotland.

Patrick Cairney’s Linton Hotel and Steakhouse bagged Hotel Restaurant of the Year South East and then Hotel Restaurant of the Year Overall Winner at a ceremony in Glasgow on November 29 – a double victory that Patrick and his team almost missed.

He added: “It took us four hours to get to Glasgow because there was loads of traffic and we were almost at the point of turning back!

“And then they announced we were Hotel Restaurant of the Year South East, and I was blown away by that fact because some of the people in the final were so much bigger than us – we’re a small business in East Linton!”

But an even bigger surprise was yet to come, when the overall winner for Scotland was announced.

Patrick said: “I was looking to see who was going to win it, and when they shouted out our name I could not believe it.

“This was not something people voted for, this was done totally blind – somebody came in two or three times, picked up on the meals and the overall experience and put us in that category for the final.”

The former butcher, whose work with the Linton is his first foray into the hotel/restaurant industry, explained that he had his team to thank for the win.

He said: “We’ve had the same staff for a long period of time. We look after them, it’s almost like a family.

“They know what people are after when they come out for a meal. They know how to look after people.

“It’s been a hard slog for everyone, through Covid, but to come through that and get these awards is a huge team effort.”

And Patrick says the Linton is “so much more than a steakhouse”.

He added: “Even before we got the award, we were going to change to a bistro in the new year, change our carbon footprint.

“After COP26, people were telling us they want to eat less meat so we’re evolving our menu to suit everyone, although steaks will still be very much a focus.”

The success has also been recognised in the Scottish Parliament, with Craig Hoy, South Scotland MSP, submitting a motion.

He said: “It was fantastic to join Patrick and the team at the Linton Hotel and Steakhouse to congratulate them on becoming overall winner of the Hotel Restaurant of the Year at the Food Awards Scotland 2021.

“It is a great achievement for a dedicated local team!

“I look forward to seeing their achievement being recognised by fellow MSPs in the Parliament soon.”