As I sit here en route to the capital I thought it’s the perfect time to pop my headphones in, block out that screaming child at the end of the carriage and tell you all about my trip to the Scottish capital. Last weekend my other half and I travelled with my parents to Edinburgh to help them celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. They used to take my brother and I frequently as children so it seemed the perfect location. So here is my round up of the places we visited and the exquisite interiors of our hotel, The George.We travelled by train from York on Saturday morning which is a lovely route along the east coast with sights of Lindisfarne and sandy beaches while sipping a celebratory glass of prosecco. This now seems a distant memory compared to my current journey trapped in a corner table seat, clutching my disposable Yorkshire Tea paper cup and fighting for leg room with the man opposite! I can practically hear my Dad saying ‘You should of booked first class’ – I must admit there were no screamers in first! We arrived at just before 11am and went straight to drop our bags at the hotel before heading out for a wander around the city. With Anthropologie just a hundred yards from the hotel it would seem rude (and silly) not to take advantage of their 20% off offer, so with my two Lou Rota plates in the bag we headed for lunch. We found a little tea room on Frederick Street called eteaket Tea Room which was a little underground (well street level) haven from the hustle and bustle of busy George Street. With a beautiful selection of sandwiches, salads and cake not to mention an endless list of teas, (the Royal Earl Grey was amazing.) we were soon refuelled for our walk up to the castle.
As we walked the Royal Mile to the castle we joined the masses looking down on the cityscape of Edinburgh below, we decided to head for Holyroodhouse at the opposite end of the Royal mile. This is the official, and principal residence of the Queen when in Scotland for the summer. Photography was not allowed unfortunately, but I managed to get a couple of snaps before I was told! The Palace is adorned with panelled walls and heavily carved ceilings, which with many of the old houses has not had any redecoration for decades showing no insight into the modern Royals. From Holyrood we headed back to check in to the hotel and freshen up for dinner.
The George Hotel has recently undergone a massive renovation under the management of the Principal group. Each of their hotels have a distinct style with both the York and Manchester hotels boasting the same imposing soft grey panelled walls, however this hotel still had a highland fling theme to it. With heavily draped arched windows, tiled floor and soft lighting, the lobby and reception were stunning. The light flooded in from George Street and lit the room bouncing off the tiles and onto the dark wood furniture, highlighting the carefully placed towering palms.
We headed to our Junior Suite on the first floor which overlooked the imposing Dome restaurant opposite the hotel. Our room was gorgeous with panelled grey fabric walls and complimentary dramatic curtains, the muted tones were carried throughout the room with its grey furniture and cream upholstery in the form of two comfy armchairs and a buttoned backed loveseat.
The king-size bed, like the love seat, was festooned with heavy feather filled tartan cushions carefully selected to continue the soft grey interior theme. The only colour to this room was the post-box red telephone on the bedside table which popped against the stark white bed linen and grey walls. The bathroom was equally striking with a roll top bath, walk in shower and marble topped sink which was laden with complimentary Elemis products.
After lots of ooo’ing and arhh’ing at the room (and a relax with a Taylors earl grey watching the world go by) we got ready for dinner at The Printing Press within the hotel. The resturant is in the new part of the hotel but has been designed and decorated in a sympathetic way as to compliment the rest of the hotel with parquet flooring and ornate ceiling. The restaurant was not my favourite part of the hotel having experienced a similar situation in the York Principal of small portions which is not good for a Yorkshire appetite! However my choices were all delicious so I won, I chose the chorizo and feta salad to start, followed by the Dry-aged tweed valley burger and concluded with a passion fruit sorbet. Feeling full and content we retreated to the lobby for a Gin & Tonic before heading up to bed.
On the Sunday morning we set our alarm early to make the most of the day and headed down for breakfast which was a great selection of cereal, pastries and fruit along with a cooked buffet and free flowing tea, coffee and juices. I opted for the cooked buffet after a bowl of Greek yoghurt and muesli, whilst Dave opted for the smoked salmon and poached eggs on a sourdough from the menu. After breakfast and chatter with my parents we grabbed a cab to the Royal Yacht in Leith to beat the crowds.
For me as a big Royalist the Royal Yacht is an absolute must! The floating Royal residence is a real insight into the Queens personal taste as she was in charge of the ships decoration when the ship was built and decorated. The ship showcases a glimpse into the Royal life as well as a classic style that feels like your visiting your favourite grandmother.
The ship was decommissioned in 1997 but holds regular events, including a drinks reception to celebrate Zara Phillips wedding which was held at Holyroodhouse. For me, the Royal Yacht is fascinating as it has true and real connections to our current monarchs unlike other residences that remain untouched since the Victorians. I would recommend you get there early as we practically had the ship to ourselves and got round the tour at our own pace, (plus the upside of nobody in your photographs, which is a pet hate of mine haha). We chose to complete the whole tour while it was quiet before we stopped for a tea break. They have built/ converted a part of the ship into a tearoom meaning we could enjoy our Brodies tea and Victoria sponge while overlooking the now busy deck below.
With every inch of the Royal Yacht explored including a stop to dress up and hold a plastic pint in the Verge Inn we hollered a cab back to the city. We headed back to the hotel to boost my always dying phone and lose my coat as Edinbrrrr was surprising warm before hitting the shops. With the shops browsed, and H&M home scoured we made our way the St Andrews Square to meet my parents for an afternoon pit stop at Harvey Nichols. With the obligatory comedy sunglasses tr
y on complete we grabbed the lift to the fourth floor to the Chocolate
Lounge. The Chocolate Lounge can only be described as a Yo Sushi for chocolate and cake, who make an amazing Jammy Dodger cupcake!
Following a long soak in a bubbly Elemis roll top heaven we headed over The Dome to the Grill Room for dinner celebration (part 2). The building which was a former bank is stunning with towering marble columns and an opposing domed glass ceiling, which was lit with subdued orange lighting. The food was equally as amazing as the surroundings! I chose the smoked salmon for started with a main of Garlic and Herb Chicken Breast followed by a mouth watering sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch ice cream – delicious. Feeling full, sleepy and maybe a little tipsy from sampling the cocktail menu, (obviously only in the name of research!) we wandered back over the road to bed.
On Monday we had a later breakfast and checked out, not before I made sure I had all the Elemis from the bathroom. We left our luggage with the concierge to collect before our train and headed out exploring the park that runs alongside Princes Street then headed to the castle. We made it to the castle just in time for the firing of the gun at one o’clock, which took me back to memories of being a child watching the gun fire with my Dad while my mum went Christmas shopping. With time to spare we explored Edinburgh Castle and climbed the tower to see the Scottish crown jewels which are still housed there. With the train looming we grabbed a cab from the castle back to the hotel for our luggage, via the Balmoral Hotel for a wee snack and cup of tea. With scones devoured and tea drank it was sadly time to collect our luggage and head to the station to end our Scottish expedition.
Well my train has just got to Stevenage and my tea dregs have gone cold which means two things, I have rambled on for long enough and it’s time for me to start packing my things away ready for my 20.25 arrival to Kings Cross to see my Mr Midweek Londoner.