Edinburgh is a fantastic city. I should know. I have lived here for the vast majority of my life, give or take a couple of years travelling. Over the weekend I did something a bit random and booked a hotel room in my own city. Not for a sordid love affair. My dear husband was allowed to come too and it was just fabulous.
We stayed in what many Edinburgh locals know as “The George Hotel”, now named The Principal, Edinburgh. The hotel is situated at the east end of George Street, which remains one of my favourite haunts in the city. George Street has some of the best bars, restaurants, clubs and shops.
Back in 2004, my other home was one of those clubs: The Opal Lounge, where my friend and I had a membership. We could be found there 50% of our week, drinking raspberry Moscow mules and passion fruit daiquiris – still timeless. Luckily for us, this was prior to the days of images being plastered all over social media. We got off lightly on that one and already worry for our daughters. Although I did meet Prince Will there one night and (bless his socks) he spoke to me for a good 5 minutes. He had the manners of a true gent and I am sure he would have been up for a selfie, just to be polite. I digress.
After a quick blow dry at the fabulous Pink salon, (don’t get out much and GHD’s are currently a bit of an accident waiting to happen back home), I grabbed my favourite leopard print case and off we set.
On arrival, the lovely lady at reception asked if we had travelled far. I felt a little daft admitting that no in fact we live a short drive along the road.
A kiddie free break to me is extremely precious. I cherish moments like never before. Simple moments like sitting with a magazine and a hot cup of tea and coffee. Putting my makeup on in peace without having it wrested off me. Listening to music of my choice. Having a hot bath without any plastic dolphin’s thrown in my face. Ideally with a glass of fizz beside me. We had a full 24 hours totally free from the responsibility of parenthood . So why not find a venue as close as possible to home? Does it really matter? The less travel time, the better. I never fully relax until we have checked in and ditched the bags. So why prolong it?
As soon as we got in our room I felt like I had just taken part in a day long yoga session. A huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. An ice bucket and champagne glasses followed shortly after and everything felt ok….. and breath. Parenthood is a crazy ride. We are two sleep deprived, frazzled parents. Parents who love our kids more than anything but also understand that we need a break. You can find more knots in our shoulders these days than the royal yacht Britannia anchor.
I was extremely relieved to see the size of the bed. I love being able to lie in a starfish position and STILL not feel my husband. How times have changed. Sleep is so precious so there is nothing worse than having my covers thrown off me or being bumped into all night. I get enough of that at home with my two year old. We have a king sized bed but it doesn’t matter. He will find a way to ensure I am perched on the end every night. That boy has some kick.
The sheets were crisp, white and of a high enough thread count to give you that happy face when you jump into them.
I was especially impressed with the traditional Edinburgh phone in pillar box red, historic art work and the cram packed complimentary tuck box.
It was lovely to be right in the heart of the city. There is always something I need to grab on George Street and when kiddie free – even better. It’s crazy how quickly you can get the job done. On this occasion it was a new pair of my favourite Mint Velvet Leggings. Delighted to now be buying them in a size smaller after slaying some of my January goals.
Yes, bread has been limited this month but there was absolutely no way I would be passing down on the toasted sourdough, avocado and poachers the next morning. Despite being warned that breakfast is extremely busy on a Sunday around 930am, we sauntered down at 925am with our fingers crossed. There was a bit of a queue to get into the main room but it was worth the wait. The breakfast was absolutely bang on – from menu choice and quality of the produce. The hubs fired into Stornoway black pudding, the juiciest of sausages made with love, posh bacon and of course Heinz baked beans. The orange juice was freshly squeezed which is always a bonus for me.
For those that like it simple, there is also a lovely little cafe in the hotel that provides bacon, sausage rolls and lovely looking coffee. This can be included as part of a bed and breakfast rate. Oh and there is also the option to get the fancier avocado toast or a full Scottish sent to your room. Any excuse to spend more time in those huge beds with the silky white sheets. I certainly milked it for as long as I could. A highlight for me was lying watching tv whilst applying cleanser and serum to my face, with a pot of tea by my side. The simple things.
My background is in account management for luxury hotels and I can say overall the hotel seemed more 5 star than 4. The newly refurbished public areas look great. As for the passion fruit cocktail I sampled from The Printing Press bar (yes 13 years later and my love of passion fruit cocktails is still going strong) – totally delicious. It even had a meringue topping – what’s not to love?
I would totally recommend a kiddie free break here. The only thing I would add to give it the full 5 star experience (perhaps why it is currently 4 star) would be luxury ESPA treatment rooms and a spa area. The long hot soak in the bath was lovely though so I can’t complain. What a great sleep we had too.
My face wasn’t quite so smug the following evening when my littlest came and jumped on my head at 1130pm, just as I was drifting off into a wonderful sleep.
A break in your own city – do it.
Until the next time,