Hotel business is a family affair

Lothian operator celebrates 40 years at helm of village outlet

The village of Roslin received a tourism boost from famous Dan Brown novel The Da Vinci Code.

A MIDLOTHIAN hotelier celebrated his 40th anniversary at the helm of the family business late last month.

Grahame Harris bought The Original Rosslyn Hotel in 1973 when he was just 21 years old and continues to run the business today, along with son Richard.
Since taking on the hotel, which is located in the village of Roslin close to the historic Rosslyn Chapel, the building has been extended, first with the addition of a function room and then, later, a conservatory.
Weddings have been a mainstay of the hotel for the best part of four decades and the family recently contacted couples, via Facebook, Twitter and the local paper, offering a free bottle of wine for anyone that held their wedding reception there in the last 40 years.
To mark the milestone, the original menu from when Grahame first took on the business in 1973 has been served in the restaurant. The three-course menu of prawn cocktail, steak chasseur and Black Forest gateau was available for £15.
Speaking to SLTN, Richard paid tribute to his father’s hard work.
“It’s a 365-day, 24/7 job, especially when you have residents on the premises,” he said.
“There’s ways I find it difficult and challenging, so to do it for 40 years is a magnificent achievement.”
As well as a hotel and function suite, the premises also operates a public bar and restaurant and a lounge bar for guests. Richard said the hotel’s public bar has become a favourite with locals since the 1970s.
“Being here 40 years, it’s not just a business; you become part of the community,” he said.
“The business is part of the community and my Dad’s part of the community. He’s a member of the local rotary club, he supports a lot of local charities and does what he can to help. We’re a family business and we see ourselves as a family environment and hub of the community.”
Positioned as a traditional village inn, The Original Rosslyn Hotel specialises in what Richard described as “home-cooked, hearty food”.
Service has also been a key focus since Grahame bought the business 40 years ago, with Richard crediting the ability to adapt the offer over the years for helping the hotel stay on top.
“I think a lot of people fail through the fact they say ‘this is what we do and that’s it’,” he added. “It’s about being able to morph and change and be different things to different people.”

Image – The village of Roslin received a tourism boost from famous Dan Brown novel The Da Vinci Code.