What's the score?
It turns out that central Edinburgh really is as proud and regal as you've heard it is – its stunning Gothic architecture and old stone ensures the fact. Plus, it's got a castle (we're a sucker for a good castle). Fitting, then, that staying at a hotel named 24 Royal Terrace is a great way to enjoy a city steeped in kingly and queenly tradition and history. The 16-bedroom hotel is awash with colour – a design hotel that's intimate, not airy – and huge art prints, from fun pop art to enormous impressionist-style portraiture, hang anywhere there's space. In fact, if informative plaques were placed beside them, this boutique hotel could double as a gallery.
Our suite was a brilliant clash of old and new. The window looked out to genuine battlements (which I'm sure would have made a great balcony if not for health and safety regulations), while the bathroom was accessible by a sliding frosted glass door and the room came equipped with a wafer-thin, super-modern TV (which I didn't use), a Bluetooth soundbar (which I did – a lot). There was a hefty desk, too, for the business-inclined.
We must have walked 12 miles over the two days we spent in this beautiful capital city, and it never seemed to get less majestic – all tall, sweeping streets made of faithfully restored old stone, even around the outskirts. The Royal Mile and a trip up to the castle (told you) is a given, and Holyrood Park and the Royal Botanic Garden are both walkable.
BA City Flyer
British Airways currently flies from London City to Edinburgh up to 12 times a day, with a flight duration of 1hr 20 mins. Each-way hand baggage-only fares are priced between £52 and £63, dependent on one way or return travel.
Flights are available to book on ba.com/londoncity
A bite to eat?
24's bar, RT's, claims to be not a 'hotel bar', but a 'bar in a hotel' – a difference we're not sure is entirely distinguishable – but there's a lovely ambience, a great-looking wine and whisky collection, and it serves a knockout breakfast, with fantastic coffee and a great 'full Scottish'. Perhaps unsurprising given Scotland's natural larder, but it still has to deliver, and deliver it does – eggs benedict were beautifully textured, with just the right level of tang to the hollandaise, while sausage, black pudding and bacon were everything you'd expect and more. If you're roaming further afield for your food and drink, try out beers and burgers Americana-style at Red Squirrel, or whisky mecca Usquabae on Hope Street.
For more information on the hotel, visit 24royalterrace.co.uk. For more information on Edinburgh, visit thisisedinburgh.com