Edinburgh is one of my favourite UK cities, it’s teeming with medieval buildings, gothic architecture and the breathtaking Edinburgh Castle. The city has great nightlife ranging from 16th century pubs to hip wine bars.
Our weekend got off to a swanky start with pre-dinner cocktails at the famous Hotel Missoni (the Biennale made with home-made fig and vanilla puree, Fig liqueur, Prosecco and Angustura Bitters was divine).
There are over a thousand restaurants in Edinburgh so it’s hard to make a good choice without insider information.
Some local recommendations include Iris modern European cuisine in an intimate cosmopolitan atmosphere, The Witchery By the Castle traditional Scottish dishes in a beautiful and romantic setting or head over to Leiths Ship on the Shore for a huge range of delicious sea food.
Edinburgh has a wide selection of hotels to suit all budgets.
Looking for somewhere in the newer part of the city, we opted for the Blue Rainbow Serviced Apartments. Having already stayed at the Manchester Blue Rainbow, I had a good idea of what to expect, namely good value well equipped and with plenty of space, I wasn’t disappointed. Whilst Blue Rainbow Edinburgh is technically serviced apartments, it feels like a hotel. There is plenty of security, you need your key card to move around the building but there is also a 24×7 manned reception and a 24×7 bar should you need it and you are welcomed with a warm greeting and a friendly smile.
We were lucky enough to be upgraded to the Penthouse Suite on the 6th floor and it far exceeded all of my expectations. There was a huge bright open lounge and kitchen area with a mixture of skylights, windows and even French windows out to a private balcony. A large TV, iPod dock, a great selection of books and the huge comfy sofas made it so homely I was actually reticent to go out.
The kitchen was exceptionally well equipped with cooker, microwave, Nespresso machine, a huge selection of teas and coffees and a large tin of shortbread biscuits. Breakfast had been thoughtfully left for us, with fresh milk, bread and a selection of preserves and spreads to be found in the fridge meant that we could enjoy a lazy morning out on the balcony taking in the stunning view.
The penthouse has two double bedrooms and two large bathrooms; there are big fluffy robes and gorgeous full size Elemis toiletries. Many of the facilities at Blue Rainbow are akin to what one would find in a five-star hotel but with the added benefit of having the space and freedom to run to your own schedule. I’m told that Blue Rainbow is popular during the week with lone female business travellers, within a minutes’ walk away from Harvey Nics and the fabulous George and Thistle streets, I would highly recommend it for a mini-break or girly weekend too.
Shopping in Edinburgh is a civilised affair and besides all the usual department stores, there are lots of interesting little independent boutiques. I spent the afternoon with professional stylist and co-founder Sarah Cosgrove at Arkangel and Felon in Edinburgh’s West End. Sarah managed to steer me completely off-piste to try all kinds of outfits that I wouldn’t normally consider with amazing brands such as Anglomania, Ilse Jacobsen, Almost Famous and Paul Smith, I had a complete ball.
Carolyn Pearson is the CEO and founder of maiden-voyage.com. She spends much of her time sourcing great female friendly hotels to recommend to her global membership of female business travellers.