In chapter 5 of my book, I write about a hotel called The Bonham. Edinburgh’s first ever boutique hotel, which for years was dubbed ‘the coolest hotel in the city’. I worked there for 7 years, in the Sales and Marketing team when it was called The Town House Collection. We looked after 5 hotels including the 2009 launch of Blythswood Square in Glasgow.
The Bonham hotel can be stumbled upon in a quiet leafy crescent in the exclusive West End of Edinburgh. It has a luxurious feel, with fully refurbished rooms and suites. It looks over the peaceful and privately owned Drumsheugh Gardens, which guests have full access to during their stay. I used to enjoy the odd lunch break here on a beautiful day.
I was recently invited along to it’s relaunch. It was an incredible night with no expenses spared, the champagne and oysters were on tap (I love a good oyster), there was a gin bar, whisky cocktails, dj’s and live music and of course delicious food. It was a wonderful night and I came home with a big smile on my face.
I have a lot of great memories of The Bonham hotel. From entertaining clients and enjoying some beautiful meals, to making great friends (one of them who introduced me to my now husband), celebrating my pregnancies and having lots of laughs.
I’ve seen The Bonham in the thick snow with the cosy roaring fires and the warm summer days, as they open the doors and windows. The refurbishment is absolutely stunning and the team have been cleverly sensitive in terms of keeping the original features and ensuring it has the perfect blend of classic and contemporary. It certainly feels more 5 star than 4, however I was assured that they want to be the best 4 star in Edinburgh and are comfortable with the rating. I think this is a great goal and focus to have.
I have been fortunate to stay overnight in The Bonham on several occasions. The highlights for me are –
The incredible views. Many rooms offer stunning views either over Drumsheugh Gardens or looking North over the New Town towards the Firth of Forth and the Kingdom of Fife.
Food and wine. Over the years, the hotel has built up an amazing reputation with foodies for it’s top quality dishes. I have had some stunning meals in the restaurant and will never forget the seared wood-pigeon I ate there in 2011, whilst entertaining clients. Other highlights include risotto, sea bass and fillet of beef. Don’t get me started on the desserts.
The interiors. I love the quirky blend of the old and the new which contributes to a relaxed and all round lovely experience.
The staff. The team are amazing, so helpful and friendly. A huge shout out to Iain Harris, who looks after the front of house. This boy comes from the Orient Express and understands customer service. A huge asset to the team.
The history. I love a story. The buildings the Bonham Hotel now occupy have a fascinating history dating back to the mid-19th century and were originally constructed as 3 separate townhouses in 1872. In 1939 the houses were sold and became cknown as the “Private Clinic”, a private medical practice specialising in maternity care. Over the next 12 years many hundreds of babies were born on the premises, now fondly known as “Bonham Babies” when they come to visit. It was wonderful to meet some of The Bonham babies at the relaunch party.
A huge thanks to the team for a great night. I’ll be back and I need to donate one of my books to the stunning library. I’m looking forward to using my new luggage tag when I take a wee trip to Spain next week. Send me a selfie if you go folks.