When I received an email from Phil at Skapa PR asking if I'd like to come through to the capital for an intimate dinner and overnight in the luxurious Edinburgh Grand, I couldn't reply 'HELL YEAH' quick enough! The fact that the event happened to take place on my birthday (October 3rd) I simply put down to being a fabulous little birthday treat from the Universe.
THE EDINBURGH GRAND: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Delightfully for someone unable to travel light, The Edinburgh Grand is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Edinburgh Waverley train station, at St Andrew's Square. I arrived a little earlier than my date/roomie for the night, Rachel, and dropped by bags at reception before seeking a liquid refreshment.
The lobby is absolutely stunning and I love the monochrome floor with rich velvet seat and all the beautiful greenery. A suitably grand first impression. The building was the former home to The Royal Bank of Scotland and a number of other banks and financial institutions before it so it has a very expensive feel to it.
THE EDINBURGH GRAND: THE REGISTER CLUB
The friendly girl on reception, upon relieving me of my overpacked bags, helpfully pointed me in The Register Club, located on the forth floor. I clearly looked like a woman in need of a gin 'n' tonic on the ASAP. I'm learning that the urgency with which I need a G'n'T seems to be directly proportionate to my age.
The bar was understandably quiet at 2pm on a Wednesday but I made myself comfortable and ordered a Botanist gin whilst awaiting the arrival of my partner in crime.
The innocent looking peas were unexpectedly coated in wasabi and I nearly blew my head off after I casually threw a handful in my mouth. Note to self: listen to the waiter when he explains what he's given you!
THE EDINBURGH GRAND: OUR APARTMENT
Luckily for me, Rachel (my carer for the evening) arrived before I could do any more damage to the inside of my mouth and we made our way to our duplex apartment for the evening. Our room was located at the very end of a corridor which you needed to enter a code on the keypad before you could gain entry to. The hallway was very dark and moody and dramatic and I loved it.
The Edinburgh Grand isn't a hotel but is apartments operated by Lateral City group. As such, the apartments have a much more homely feel to them with luxurious living rooms, kitchens and dining areas. We got ready for our fast-approaching dinner whilst listening to Ariana Grande on the Sonos sound system in the room and making ourselves at home. In other words, making a complete mess with shoes and outfit choices and hair brushes and make up sprawled everywhere within about 17 seconds of arriving.
We particularly loved the glass staircase up to our bedroom and the fabulous free-standing bathtub adjacent to the bed and there are still traces of the buildings' banking legacy with a safe nestled into the wall on the way up the stairs.
THE EDINBURGH GRAND: THE SQUAD
We met with the other guests for some champagne in the stunning Director's Suite and had our 'family' portrait taken at the fireplace. The photo coming to a Christmas card near you soon...
After we were confident we had nailed our 'Made in Edinburgh' promo shot, we then made our way back to The Register Club for cocktails and some seriously juicy oysters. Being the awesome group that we were, there was no cocktail throwing or sideways glances as well a distinct lack of eye rolling and arguments so, sadly, I think our reality TV careers could be over before they even began...
THE EDINBURGH GRAND: THE PENTHOUSE
We were then shown to the sixth floor of The Edinburgh Grand to the Penthouse suite, the real jewel in The Edinburgh Grand crown.
The three bedroom apartment was beautiful and the perfect setting for our intimate dinner. We had chefs prepare our meal in the beautiful kitchen and attentive waiting staff making sure our glasses were topped up at all times (my dull headache the next morning can certainly attest to that!) and we took in the spectacular views from the enormous outside terrace with views over to the clock on The Balmoral Hotel and up towards Edinburgh Castle.
It really is a place you need to see to believe and I cannot imagine how beautiful it must be watching the sunset here in the summer. It was a little on the windy side to be outside for any prolonged period of time that night but the views were equally impressive from the vast windows inside.
Having a chef cooking for us in such close proximity is so much more exciting than just being in a fancy restaurant and we all felt very much like VIPs.
The food was beyond delicious and the venison, in particular, was sublime. It was cooked beautifully and was perfectly pink.
THE EDINBURGH GRAND: THE NEXT MORNING
We both had an amazing sleep in our enormous bed and it was great to wake up to such beautiful views from our mezzanine level bedroom. The Nespresso machine was verrrrry much appreciated as caffeine was a necessity after all the gin, champagne, cocktails and wine!
The bathroom was beautiful and the powerful shower was just what I needed to blow the cobwebs away. The Malin & Goetz products smelled SO.DAMN.GOOD too.
There was plenty of space for us to catch up on some emails (post coffee) before we sadly had to pack up to leave.
THE EDINBURGH GRAND: THE VERDICT
As you can probably tell, I absolutely LOVED my stay at The Edinburgh Grand. As I mentioned, we were invited to stay the night but I was actually really surprised at how reasonable the cost is. For an apartment similar to ours which sleeps three people, it's just under £250 which I think is actually is really good value for the level of luxury.
If you've got some cash to splash the amazing Penthouse is a cool £2k for a night but the views are incredible and all three bedrooms are stunning.
The service throughout our stay was first class and it's the perfect City Centre location.
Thanks so much to GM of The Edinburgh Grand, Gavin and Phil from Skapa PR for the warm hospitality and for a truly unforgettable birthday. Same time next year?!
The Edinburgh Grand 42 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 2AD.