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Where to stay, what to do and what to eat in Edinburgh
28.10.16 - 15:13 -

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The Insider Guide: Edinburgh
A bagpipe player in the capital
For a luxury home-from-home in Scotland’s capital, then take a look at the 5-star accommodation at the Old Town Chambers. Found in the city’s Old Town, these upscale apartments include historical features from the 15th century, and all the comforts of the 21st. The townhouse has plenty of old world charm, whilst the penthouse overlooking the city has urban swagger. Your hosts will even arrange for a seductively tasty dine-in box of goodies from the local Valvona & Crolla deli, for breakfast or dinner.
Once an extravagant family home, this 19th-century Georgian house is now a stylish boutique hotel. Found in über cool Stockbridge, a village within the city, this intimate hotel has a lively brasserie restaurant serving British classics. Location is ideal for enjoying a relaxed city stay, close to the Royal Botanic Gardens, art galleries and yet only 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre.
The classic Georgian elegance of city-centre George Street makes for a compelling address while in Edinburgh. Recently renovated, The George Hotel offers up-market 4-star comfort – sophisticated simplicity is the style, with contemporary touches within a grand setting.
Edinburgh’s New Town, home to some of the UK’s finest Neo-classical and Georgian architecture is deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage site. Experience life in a genuine mansion house from the ‘age of elegance’ at the romantic Nira Caledonia. Choose a Jacuzzi Suite for an effervescent stay.
Contemporary dining experience in the city’s fashionable docks area, Leith. Modern Scottish cuisine using regional produce, served in an uncomplicated stripped-back style restaurant space. Well-priced lunch menu or, for a truly memorable evening, try the seven-course tasting menu with matching wines.
Staying in on-trend Leith, enjoy an evening at the warm and welcoming Anfora Wine bar. Specialising in organic and natural wines, this bar and restaurant is in one of Edinburgh’s historic buildings. It also offers seasonal dishes to complement the wines.
This world-class cocktail bar in Queen Street has a cocktail list that will take a while to navigate, but try the Bramble, with Hayman’s London Dry Gin, fresh lemon juice, crème de mûre and just a touch of sugar syrup.
If you don’t stumble upon this bar/kitchen in Advocate’s Close in the city Old Town, then you may well be stumbling out of it, as it’s the place to try Scotland’s finest whiskies. This cosy space, in a former Victorian pump house, has a mezzanine dining area serving modern Scottish dishes, while downstairs the bar offers over 200 whiskies from home and abroad.
Wine and cheese – what can be better? Well, this smart bar in Hamilton Place in Stockbridge certainly believes so. Drop in for a glass of wine and some tasty cheese – choose from seasonal Scottish and European cheeses and Mediterranean cured meats. If you visit in the morning, then try one of their gourmet coffees.
For a relaxed breakfast or brunch head to Fountainbridge and the artisan baker bar Loudons. Spacious venue with free Wi-Fi. It may be a bakery serving coffee, but you can also expect gluten- and dairy-free options.
My old neighbourhood, Stockbridge is one of Edinburgh’s most charming districts. Explore the Sunday market, or stroll through Inverleith Gardens or be mesmerised by the beauty of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The path beside the Water of Leith River makes for a gentle walk too.
Headlined as Edinburgh’s food and drinks yard, the Pitt Street Market is a popular Saturday venue; the place for artisan produce and a great city vibe. Running until 17 December.
For a Scottish take on gin, enjoy a tour of this city distillery that makes gin from an original Bombay recipe dating back to the 1940s.
Edinburgh offers an exceptional arts scene, but you don’t have to wait for the Festival or the Fringe to enjoy the city culture. Check out contemporary art at the Fruitmarket Gallery and head to Scotland’s three National Galleries in the city – Modern; Portrait; and at the National at The Mound.
For up-to-date reviews of these and many more venues in Edinburgh, visit The Luxury Editor’s online guide dedicated to Edinburgh, curated by city resident Ross Fraser.
My favourite deli in Edinburgh, Valvona & Crolla, is also the city’s oldest. Still a family business, this Italian gourmet food and wine store is a pleasure to browse; or a place to enjoy a morning dose of caffeine in the Caffè Bar. There are cooking classes and demos too.
Edinburgh’s Broughton Street is home to independent bars, artisan coffee shops, restaurants and also some cool furniture and gift stores. For a unique and quirky gift, or homeware check out Curiouser and Curiouser.

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