Luxury Edinburgh boltholes ideal for exploring the city
The best boltholes in Edinburgh
CIRCUS PLACE, NEW TOWN
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.
TWO HILLSIDE CRESCENT, HILLSIDE
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.
G&V ROYAL MILE
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