Lux­ury Ed­in­burgh bolt­holes ideal for ex­plor­ing the city

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - CONTENT - Francesca Syz

The best bolt­holes in Ed­in­burgh


A glo­ri­ous base to rent for a long week­end in Ed­in­burgh, this large, airy first­floor flat in a Geor­gian town­house is a lit­tle over a 10- minute walk from Princes Street and the start of the city’s Old Town. With its bright, fresh tex­tiles, it feels as ex­cit­ing and vi­brant as the city out­side.

The flat has two spa­cious bed­rooms, a lovely loungy high-ceilinged draw­ing room, and a well-equipped kitchen. While the back looks out over south Ed­in­burgh, the front faces large com­mu­nal gar­dens, for which you are given a key on ar­rival.

In this part of town, you are also very close to Stock­bridge, a neigh­bour­hood packed with ar­ti­san shops and cafés. The area is full of great restau­rants, not least The Ta­ble, an in­ti­mate, 10-seater af­fair for which you’ll need to book well in ad­vance. On Sun­days, there’s also a bustling farm­ers’ mar­ket at Ju­bilee Gar­dens, five min­utes away on foot.


Af­ter years of man­age­ment jobs in fives­tar ho­tels, Elaine Adams packed it all in, signed up for a three-month cook­ery course at Bal­ly­maloe in County Cork, then opened her four-bed­room Ed­in­burgh hostelry. It ’s in a listed town­house op­po­site Cal­ton Hill, which Adams en­cour­ages guests to climb for the panoramic city views. All bed­rooms are en suite, spa­cious and peace­ful, and each is dis­tinct. The two on the first floor have baths; the two on the sec­ond have show­ers.

Break­fast is sim­ple and de­li­cious, with home-made soda bread, rasp­berry jam, lemon curd and gra­nola – she’ll hap­pily pass on the recipes – plus dishes such as Scot­tish smoked salmon and free-range scram­bled eggs. For other meals, the ex­cel­lent Gar­dener’s Cot­tage is right across the street, and there’s Paul Kitch­ing’s Miche­lin-starred 21212 on nearby Royal Ter­race. Princes Street is a 10-minute walk away.


There’s some­thing won­der­fully Scot­tish about the very con­tem­po­rary G&V Royal Mile; not least its door­men, kit­ted out in kilts, waist­coats and cardies by lo­cal fash­ion de­signer Judy R Clark. The ho­tel was orig­i­nally opened by Ital­ian fash­ion house Mis­soni, but was re­cently re­vamped by a fleet of hot Scot­tish tal­ent, in­clud­ing Hatti Pat­tis­son and Ti­morous Beast­ies.

So named be­cause of its bril­liant lo­ca­tion right on the Royal Mile be­tween Ge­orge IV Bridge and Vic­to­ria Street, G&V Royal Mile of­fers a mod­ern take on grandeur in a way that feels deca­dent but homely – there’s even a branch of lo­cal florist Snap­dragon in the lobby. The ho­tel has 136 bed­rooms but feels much more in­ti­mate.

Its restau­rant, Cucina, serves tra­di­tional Ital­ian food with a con­tem­po­rary twist, and its cosy bar, Epi­curean, runs cock­tail-mak­ing mas­ter­classes. Af­ter a day out in the city, a treat­ment in the spa court­sey of or­ganic beauty range Ishga goes down a treat, as does a gin-in­fused af­ter­noon tea. Be sure to try honey from the ho­tel’s own rooftop bee­hives.

On the town A home from home at Cir­cus Place

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