The Caledonian is the grand dame of hotels in Edinburgh. This epic historic building on Princes Street is the perfect place to stay for a weekend trip to Scotland. After a recent £20million renovation the hotel, restaurants and Guerlain spa are looking better than ever, making it the ideal time to visit.
The grand entrance instantly reminded me of Paris, with elaborate marble flooring and an impressive chandelier. Check-in was swift and we were soon admiring the unbeatable view from our top-floor suite. The emphasis is on comfort, with soft materials and lovely furnishings, nostalgic black and white photos on the walls, and a lovely natural glow from the daylight streaming in through the windows.
The bedroom is simple and sophisticated with just the necessary bed, desk, wardrobes and bedside table. No clutter to confuse guests, just the luxurious essentials. Colours are stylish shades of muted grey, cream and dusty blue and in the sitting room area a nespresso machine, tv, speakers for your ipod and sofa encourage you to sit down and relax.
The bathroom is even brighter with large windows sunken into the sloped ceiling. I was disappointed not to find a bathtub but the power shower is wonderful with a huge rainforest fitting that soaks you in seconds. Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul toiletries are gentle and fragrant on hair and body and huge enveloping bathrobes are wonderfully comfortable, the perfect attire for an evening in.
Foodies will delight in the two restaurant options from renowned chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin. We experienced breakfast and lunch in the lovely Brasserie de Luxe though sadly didn’t have time to try the more prestigious Pompadour. Everything and anything is available for your morning meal, we chose a selection of flaky pastries and hot french toast, though the highlight for me was the fresh red berry smoothie made to order at the fruit counter.
For lunch the menu focuses on classic French recipes to match the Parisian design and character of the great room. The dishes lend themselves to sharing and it is a great way to try an assortment of the Galvins’ culinary ideas. Snails were just as they should be, buttery, garlicky and utterly scrumptious. Then for mains the speciality grilled langoustine was indulgent and fresh and my breast of guinea fowl with pommes fondant and hispi cabbage was sweet and succulent, carefully seasoned and cooked perfectly.
Sides should be mentioned, creamed potato and sautéed tender stem broccoli were especially tasty and provided some much needed green accompaniment to the meal. The sommelier is happy to appropriately match your food to wine and we tasted a delicious light white with our meal after a welcoming glass of champagne.
Desserts are tempting and traditional, with chocolate and fruity options to suit all cravings. Of the dishes we tried, I particularly loved the Tarte Tatin aux Pommes, a classic caramelised cake with a dollop of contrasting cream.
On departure I was heartbroken to hear I was expected to stay two nights… I could not imagine anything more wonderful than a second night in this dreamy hotel… in fact I would have happily stayed the whole week in Edinburgh’s Caledonian, you feel like queen of the castle.
More information and book here.
Thanks to the Edinburgh Tourist Board.
Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled with East Coast Trains. East Coast operates regular services each weekday between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh. Customers travelling First Class can enjoy East Coast’s complimentary food and drinks offer plus unlimited Wi-Fi. Book advanced return fares online at www.eastcoast.co.uk. Times and fares can also be found via 08457 225225 or from any staffed stations.