Edinburgh is just the kind of city that is busy all year round, whether it’s the summer months with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, or celebrating Hogmanay at the end of the year. Most people look for hotels near the Royal Mile when visiting but there is so much more to Edinburgh than this historic thoroughfare.
The eponymous hotel, The Bruntsfield, is named after the local area, a homely locale with eclectic world cuisine restaurants and a cultural hub. The captivating views of Bruntsfield Links are a million miles from the tourist-laden streets of the old town.
Kudos to the hotel designer, as this was originally three townhouses owned by surgeons though you never feel the space isn’t one entity. The new owners who acquired the hotel in 2021 have been spending their fortune renovating this historic space. The lobby area has been given a colourful makeover with bold, technicoloured prints adorning its walls and sharp red, velvety couches to make you feel the Edinburgh welcome. The most significant refurbishments have taken place in the bedrooms and the restaurant, but more on that later.
For an independent, boutique hotel, it is significant in size with 72 bedrooms, though with staycations still in ascendance, you might find their rooms are booked up quite quickly.
There are four categories of rooms: standard, executive, family and superior, ranging from 18 to 35 sq. metres. The beds are generally queen or king-sized beds with 1200 pocket spring mattresses enhanced with a luxurious mattress topper. You are assured a heavenly night’s sleep with a hollow fibre pillow and sumptuous, high-thread-count linen with an incredibly soft, snuggly duvet. Generally, there is a cabin lodge vibe with plenty of reindeer motifs.
The hotel has made a clear statement about their eco-credentials by offering amenities from Beekind. There is complimentary tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits to boost your energy levels, as well as speedy Wi-Fi in all parts of the room and in the building, as well as a 40” plasma screen offering a wide array of international channels.
To the uninitiated eye, the Neighbourhood kitchen, bar and garden might seem like your standard, local pub but on closer inspection you will notice thoughtful touches to the décor including prints on the wall that reflect the surgical origins of the buildings.
The menu focuses on Scottish classics and popular crowd-pleasers. Is it the most inventive you’ll see in the area? Perhaps not, but you will be pleasantly surprised at the expert execution. The iconic Cullen Skink is lightly curried and more refined than your typical stodgy variety. Whilst the grilled Scottish salmon is served in a mouth-watering vegetable broth topped up with appealing tiger prawns and saffron potatoes.
Breakfast includes a combination of a substantial cold buffet and a la carte hot dishes made to order such as scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Service is always delivered with a hearty Scottish smile and plenty of engaging conversation. If you are a fan of spirits, make sure you check out their bar for a handpicked selection of malt whiskies and craft gins.
Talking of imbibing, one of the quirkiest activities to do is to head out to Buck and Birch for innovative wild food and drink tasting. It isn’t in Edinburgh, it is situated in an industrial estate but once you step inside, it is like transporting yourself to the world of Narnia with quaint bottles adorning their many shelves along with an assortment of foraged items on display.
Tom, one of the founders, will guide you through their genre-busting alcoholic offerings. The highlights include a berry-centric, wild elderberry liqueur and a refreshing rosehip rum liqueur which makes for an upscale version of the popular Aperol spritz. What makes the experience so unique, is the other founder, Rupert used to be the head chef at Browns Edinburgh, so along with your drinks are paired food items. You get offered a dark reindeer carpaccio to pair with the elderberry liqueur for example.
The ingredients for making their wild botanical spirits are locally foraged and you can not find better ambassadors for the local region than the team from Buck and Birch.
In a nutshell
For guests looking for a townhouse feel with a local village vibe, The Bruntsfield is just the hotel for you. Whilst it is set away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist centre, it is still centrally located enough for everything to be within walking distance.
The Bruntsfield, Edinburgh offers rooms from £75 per night.