Great Places to Stay
- Borough Hotel, Edinburgh
The Borough is a very informal, private, intimate place to stay, for business or pleasure, perhaps attracting younger guests or those who will appreciate the cocktails, young friendly staff and a buzzing ambience in the late night bar. Travel writer Vivien Devlin gives you her impressions.
A Boutique Hotel
Hotels and restaurants are opening up right across Edinburgh in all shapes and sizes, with a great trend to convert and renovate former banks, warehouses and factories. On the southside of the city, just beyond the Meadows, a dilapidated building, once a Snooker Club, has been magically turned into a state-of-the-art boutique hotel with just nine bedrooms. For those people who don't want to share their living space with hundreds of other guests or traipse down endless corridors, this is the perfect answer.
The reception desk leads straight into the bar and comfortable lounge and therefore a most welcoming sight for the weary traveller. The interior design by Ben Kelly Design of London is as you might expect from a brand new 21st century hotel, gleaming and shiny, with good lighting, mirrors, chrome, steel and polished wood. The impressive wide staircase leading upstairs to the bedrooms from the lounge is in fact created from the Douglas Fir, in a soft honey shade. Everything is so new you are terrified of marking the floorboards or scratching the smooth black leather sofas.
The nine bedrooms are all of a compact standard size, fitting a king sized bed neatly, a TV suspended high up the wall, and small bathroom. Smallish perhaps but this is made up for by the utter comfort. Quality, duck-down soft pillows, crisp linen, rich fabrics and drapes to induce a good night's sleep. The design is again very contemporary with neutral shades of beige, cream and green together with a vibrant colourful modern art print on the wall to wake you up in the morning.
The lounge bar is a perfect place to collapse over a coffee and newspaper in the morning or for a cocktail before dinner when there is lively atmosphere. The Borough pride themselves on their cocktails with a house-speciality using iced-tea. I had an Ice Bellini - peach flavoured Lipton Ice tea, Chambord and champagne. Cool and refreshing. Then into dinner.
The chef is Mark Abbot, formerly of the exclusive Pomadour Restaurant at the 5 star Caledonian hotel, down the road. The menu is simply excellent and too good to choose from easily. For me six oysters, then Pan Fried Seabass, on a bed of crushed potatoes and bouillabaisse sauce. For him, scallops with baba ganoush followed by sweet potato and Ricotta cheese ravioli. There were also soups, mussels, steaks, lamb, duck and lots fish and seafood. We sipped a smooth Australian shiraz and slowly digested our exquisite feast. Then a coconut ice-cream for me and rice pudding, with peaches and peach ice cream for my partner who could resist a childhood favourite. The Bill: Starters around £5.00. Main courses £10. Puddings, £4.50.
Where to Find the Borough Hotel
The address of the Borough Hotel is 72-80 Causewayside, Edinburgh EH9 1PY. Causewayside is one of the main arteries heading south from the centre of Edinburgh. Their e-mail address i firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone number is 0131 668 2255 (omit the leading zero if dialling from abroad). Double rooms are £85.00, single occupancy costs £65.00 (at end 2001).
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