There's no denying the fact that the Fauhope guest house is beautiful, in both the house itself and its surroundings. Upon entering my walking partner and I were really impressed by the decor of the place and the warm atmosphere.
Despite the fact that I did enjoy my stay at Fauhope, there were a few elements that made it less enjoyable than it should've been. Foremost, my friend had called the Fauhope the day previous to our check-in to find out availability and price. Upon picking up the phone, the female owner told him that she was busy serving breakfast and couldn't deal with him right now, brusquely brushing him off. I then called the next day and arranged a room; when I asked the price, we were informed £100. I then confirmed I'd heard £100 because of the poor connection I had, and the male owner with whom I was speaking sharply replied "Yes. We're 5 stars, you see."
After confirming the room he then, unexpectedly, asked me for my card details. Though for all I know this could be standard practice in some areas of the bed and breakfast world, I found this a little strange -- was it for cancellation purposes?
As we were walking in advance of beginning the Borders Abbey Walk, we took the bus from Peebles to Melrose, and walked to Gattonside. When google maps on my phone failed to take us to the right place, I called asking for directions. The female owner then gave me a somewhat confusing set of instructions. I told her that I would possibly have to call her back in case we got lost. After 10-15 minutes of walking, I called her again. She then asked me if I could see a certain landmark, and I said I couldn't. Her tone quickly moved to frustration, upon which I apologised profusely and tried my hardest to find what she was talking about. After some running around in the hope of not frustrating the landmark the owner kept trying to tell me I should see right in front of me (I couldn't), we found the back entrance to which she was referring and made our way down. This being the second time we had encountered her anger over the phone, I didn't know what to expect upon arriving to the Fauhope itself.
However, when we met she was far friendlier than either of us had expected and we quickly settled into the room we had been given -- a beautifully-kept front room that had a decanter of sherry (!). We went out and looked around Melrose, before returning later that evening. We went to sleep and were both woken at sunrise when a pheasant in the front garden began shrieking. As much as this wasn't the fault of the owners, it was clearly visible the day before and it would've been nice had the owners shooed it along so the guests wouldn't have been disturbed at 5am and then again at steady 15 minute-ish intervals right into the late morning. Having a 17-mile walk ahead of us, a decent 8 hours of kip would've been nice.
Nevertheless, we went down for breakfast which was beautifully laid out. Strangely, upon asking to sit in the window seat (we were the first guests up, and it seemed reasonable) we were met with some umming as there was a couple who had 'stayed-on another night' and there were special napkins there for them, and so we'd need to swap them around. With eyebrows raised internally, we did and then sat down. Breakfast itself was delicious, and I can't fault it whatsoever.
We returned from breakfast to find the female owner in our room tidying up. As we had both almost finished packing back up and had already showered, etc., this wasn't much of a problem -- I can understand that a quick room turn around is vital in the B&B industry. Nevertheless, this did startle me somewhat, though she leaved almost as soon as I said hello to her, apologising for her intrusion. We finished packing and went downstairs to leave.
We went downstairs and the owner very quickly emerged and allowed us to pay and (though a little forward, but not enough to cause offense) asked us to sign the guestbook. We did both and then left.
A wonderful place to stay, for sure, and a place of which I would be happy to return. Breakfast is superb and the rooms are absolutely stunning.
Summary: Beautiful, beautiful house; slightly eccentric owners, but not enough to make interaction uncomfortable; wonderful breakfast.