The Bruntsfield, Edinburgh: ‘Mad Men-chic that won’t break the bank’ | Travel


What is the story?

Originally three 1860s townhouses, then a Best Western, this handsome four-storey hotel acquired new owners last year, and so far they’ve spent around £1m fitting out its 72 rooms. The frame is the real star; Overlooking Bruntsfield Links Park in the leafy, thriving ‘village’ of Bruntsfield, the hotel feels miles away from the summer bustle of Auld Reekie, yet it’s a 20-minute walk through meadows to the Royal Mile.

What do we like?

The price, for starters. Edinburgh’s four-star hotels don’t come cheap, so £75 for a double room – or £90 for a family room – is a bargain. A high-ceilinged lobby creates an elegant setting Mad Men– Chic vibe, with crimson and creme de mint crushed-velvet sofas, eye-catching geometric artwork and chandeliers. The service is exceptional friendly, with reception staff quick to chat and breakfast servers welcoming diners like old friends; most employees have been at the hotel for at least 15 years. No wonder 30% of customers are regulars, or the bar and restaurant attract a loyal band of locals. It’s no coincidence that they renamed the restaurant “The Neighbourhood”.

Drinks in the yard

LAURENCE WINRAM PHOTOGRAPHY

Philippe Starcks beware: the decoration of the room is not boutique. The leather sofa looks a bit like Ikea, and the AmazonBasics label on the throw is about right. However, the ceilings are high Victorian, the bathrooms are fresh out of the box, and floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the park or quiet courtyard. There are eight family rooms – three have second bedrooms with bunk beds; the other sofa beds – and dogs are allowed in all rooms, with beds provided.

The food, like the rooms, is simple and cheap; expect pub fare like burgers, pizza, steak, and fish and chips. Guests can eat under fairy lights in the courtyard, at an informal restaurant next door, or at a fun Boston-style pub with quirky Victorian medical booths and prints (the townhouse owners were all doctors).

The Bruntsfield was originally three townhouses from the 1860s

The Bruntsfield was originally three townhouses from the 1860s

So who is it for?

Well, dogs and families are the obvious targets, but if you’re tired of paying city center premiums for fancy frills, the Bruntsfield is for you too.

What’s nearby?

Bruntsfield Links Park and the Meadows are just outside for walks under the castle, and there’s a string of hip boutiques, community grocery stores, and cute cafes within a two-minute walk. Our choice ? The French bakery La Barantine, the Black Ivy bar and the new Thorne Records.

Friendly and family; accepting dogs; accessible; restaurant

Jeremy Lazell was Bruntsfield’s guest. Double rooms only from £75; mains from £9 (thebruntsfield.co.uk)

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