Edinburgh: Georgian and Gorgeous

Get your kilt on and get to Edinburgh where the city’s patina is appreciated best on those magically sunny days.

Appreciating Edinburgh at ground level and from the heights of Holyrood Castle, this city is both royal and pedestrian at once.

Said to be built upon seven hills just like Rome, no one is quite sure which hills are incuded. In any case, bring your walking shoes and refer to this old Scottish ditty, then you decide: “”Abbey, Calton, Castle grand, Southward see St Leonards stand, St Johns and Sciennes as two are given, and Multrees makes Seven.

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Edinburgh: Both Royal and Pedestrian at Once

edinburghFeeling ever so royal, there’s always the Balmoral Hotel (Rocco Forte Hotels), the Caledonian (Waldorf Astoria Hotels) and the Scotsman, sharing the honors as historic landmark properties crafted at the turn of the last century – one as a hotel, one a railway station and the latter a former newspaper building. All these handsome properties feature recent multi-million pound renovations, all feature excellent dining experiences, including Number One at the Balmoral where (what a name for a cook!) Chef Jeff Bland rocks his Michelin star for 12 years running.

Edinburgh’s newest star went to Castle Terrace Restaurant in 2011, in its first year of operation, where native son Chef Patron Dominic Jack and his “sister” Tom Kitchin at The Kitchin have made wonderful dining things happen in this city. One more “sister” is The Scran & Scallie in Comely Bank Road, called a public house with dining, otherwise known as a gastropub.

In an elegant Georgian townhouse, Chef Paul Kitching also turned a star in year one in 2010. The only one of Edinburgh’s five starred restaurants with sleeping rooms as well (just four overlooking the gardens or the Firth of Forth), the drawing room at this Royal Terrace is captivating for a pre-lunch or dinner cocktail. While it’s named 21212, this spot bears absolutely no resemblance to a Manhattan zip code.

Come August, half the world it seems — or at least half the UK — descends upon Edinburgh for The Fringe Festival. By October, the students are back. And by December, it’s time to look forward to the Christmas cheer and Hogmanay celebrations on December 31st which certainly do rival Manhattan’s.

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