Ayrshire guest house shortlisted for award

Susan Crosthwaite handing over a signed copy of her book 'A Country Cook's Garden in South West Scotland' at a Ballantrae Farmers Market.
Susan Crosthwaite handing over a signed copy of her book 'A Country Cook's Garden in South West Scotland' at a Ballantrae Farmers Market.

Cosses Country House is one of three Central South West regional finalists to be shortlisted for the Scottish Thistle Awards, a top tourism accolade across Scotland.

The regional finalist winners will be announced at the Central South West regional final at Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow on Wednesday November 4, with successful finalists in each category then going on to represent their respective region in the glittering national Scottish Thistle Award final next year.

Cosses Country House, Ballantrae is run by married couple Susan and Robin Crosthwaite who have been running the business now for over 25 years.

Hospitality has not always been their occupation as Susan explains: “When we got married we lived in Stockport in Manchester where I worked as a primary school teacher.
“Then we moved overseas to the middle east where I began teaching cookery in Dubai which I really did enjoy. I’ve not always worked in hospitality but I have always loved entertaining.”

In 1985 the couple decided to buy Cosses Country House.

Susan, 63 said: “We decided to buy here because Robin had family from Scotland and it was only a couple of hours drive away from Glasgow airport so the location was great.

“We didn’t move here permanently to start with but once we got settled it was great to be able to enjoy walks with the dogs and our children and make the most of the beautiful garden there is here while being able to make a living.”

After running the business for many years now the couple have guests who love it so much they keep coming back to visit.

“Our first guest when we opened was an American couple and they returned around seven years later with their children to visit again which was so lovely,” said Susan.

The guest house can accommodate up to six guests in their two luxury suits and beautiful double bedroom.

Despite being nominated for the Most Hospitable B&B/guest house category, Cosses Country House offers much more than that.

Cooked by Susan, Cosses Country House offers a fine dining experience for guests evening meals as well as a delicious breakfast selection and afternoon tea served to guests on arrival.

All of the ingredients are sourced locally or grown in the garden of the house.

The couple run the business between them with the help of housekeeper Joy Robertson.

Susan said; “Joy really is an essential part of the house, she makes sure that the whole place is spotless and she really does a fantastic job.”

The Crosthwaite’s will be attending the regional final in Glasgow and are very excited.

Susan said: “It is so wonderful to even be nominated for the award we are very pleased. What ever the result it will be a good night out so we will have to wait and see what the result is on the night.”