Edinburgh, Scotland

A little luxury in Edinburgh – because we’re worth it! 

The Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments

We kicked off this week in style, with an overnight stay at The Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments.  Located slap, bang in the middle of Edinburgh’s popular West End, these 5 star apartments make the perfect base for a break in Scotland’s magical capital city.  They also happen to be dog friendly – yay.

With the sun shining and keen to make the most of our mini-break, we decided to begin our Edinburgh adventure with a spot of lunch.

A decadent lunch for a Monday

There are no shortage of good, dog-friendly places to eat in Edinburgh.  We chose the Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen, a short walk from our West End base at The Rutland Hotel luxury Apartments.

It felt delightfully decadent enjoying an alcoholic tipple with lunch on a Monday afternoon, while my fellow office workers were only beginning their working week.  I’d grafted for a handful of hours, before activating my out of office note and fleeing!  I smugly sipped my chilled wine spritzer, knowing my colleagues were still hard at work a short distance away.

Innis & Gunn, Beer Kitchen
The Wee White Dug lurked under our table like the proverbial troll under a bridge.  He’s never off duty when it comes to scrounging for scraps.  He scored a taste of my cola braised ham hock, and wolfed it down so fast he’d have been hard pushed to tell if it had been braised in cola or irn-bru!

Beer Kitchen, Edinburgh
Lunch was lovely, and as tempting as it was to linger it was a gorgeous day outside so we left to enjoy some fresh air and blue sky.

A sunny stroll around Edinburgh

In Edinburgh a temperature of 12 degrees is all it takes to pack the streets with al-fresco diners.  As we wandered through the Grassmarket the bars and restaurants were buzzing with life.  Edinburgh is a city, that’s fully embraced the Continental lifestyle, despite not always enjoying a Continental climate.

Grassmarket, Edinburgh

We meandered up picturesque Victoria Street, stopping to marvel at the towering old buildings and pretty colours.

Victoria Street, Edinburgh Victoria Street, Edinburgh
Being compact makes Edinburgh a great city to walk in.  The only problem with walking in Edinburgh for a hobby snapper like me is the constant stop, start distraction of things to photograph.

Royal Mile, Edinburgh

On Castlehill we spotted a piper playing and stopped to listen for a while.  The piper was going down a storm with the tourists, as was the Wee White Dug.  Foreign visitors love the boy and always make a big fuss over him.  He causes quite a stir at tourist hotspots – a bonnie wee Scottish dug in Scotland.  He takes the attention in his stride, and stops to pose for photos in his usual halfhearted manner!

Piper, Edinburgh Westie toys, Edinburgh

Edinburgh looks stunning in all seasons, but there’s nothing quite like a blue sky to showcase the city looking its best.

Ramsay Garden, Edinburgh
Outside the High Court building David Hume’s coppery toes glistened in the sunlight.  I wonder what the great thinker would make of his new-found celebrity as a lucky talisman.  Not a lot I suspect!

David Hume Statue, Edinburgh White Horse Close, Edinburgh
The Wee Dug happily plodded along, enjoying the mix of city centre smells.

A favourite Edinburgh tale

Passing the entrance to Paisley Close, I stopped to snap the face of a boy carved in stone.  The story of Heave Awa Hoose is one of my favourite Edinburgh stories.

A dilapidated 17th century building once stood on the site.  Early one November morning in 1861 it collapsed suddenly, killing 35 people inside.  Rescue workers dug frantically, looking for signs of life.  Then a voice cried out from the rubble ‘Heave awa lads I’m no deid yet’.  It was the voice of 12-year-old Joseph McIvor who had miraculous survived the disaster.

The building that replaced Joseph’s fallen home became known as Heave Awa Hoose.  Outside it an ornate lintel featuring Joseph reads ‘Heave awa chaps, I’m no deid yet!’

Paisley Close, Edinburgh

TIme to relax in Princes Street Gardens

After a couple of hours spent pounding the pavement and soaking up Edinburgh’s rich history we headed to Princes Street Gardens to rest our tired feet in the leafy haven.

The Scott Monument, a towering gothic space rocket dedicated to Sir Walter Scott looked magnificent.  Its soot-stained stonework contrasted beautifully against a backdrop of blue sky and pretty, spring flowers.

Scott Monument, Edinburgh Ramsay Garden, Edinburgh
We stopped for an al-fresco wine and beer, enjoying stunning views of Edinburgh Castle.  I’m biased, but there can’t be many finer spots to enjoy a well-earned drink.

The Wee Dug snoozed lazily under the table, appearing every once in a while to chase off any pigeons that dared to stray too close to his territory.

Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
Our posh pad at The Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments

Keen to spend as much time enjoying our luxury pad as possible we decided to check-in.

When we arrived at The Rutland Hotel reception we were greeted warmly and the Wee Dug was fussed over, much to his delight.

We were shown to our ground-floor apartment and given a quick tour.  The boy was over the moon to discover a refreshing bowl of water waiting for him.

Located in a Georgian townhouse our apartment was stunning, with high ceilings, ornate cornicing and huge fireplaces.  The decor was a tasteful mix of traditional, with a modern twist.  It complimented the original period feature beautifully.

The Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments The Rutland Hotel Luxury ApartmentsThe Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments The Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments
The Wee Dug wasted no time in making himself right at home.  He seems to take real delight in staying somewhere new – which is lucky, as it’s a frequent occurrence for him.

Dining in & dining out options

Despite having a fancy hi-tech oven at our disposal, we opted for a lazy dinner of take-away pizza from the local Pizza Express.  Feeling like celebrities in our swanky apartment, we washed our pizza down with cute little bottles of fizz – ah, the good life.

The Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments

For those visiting without a four-legged friend and wishing to avoid cooking, or dining on take-away pizza there’s Kyloe, The Rutland Hotel’s steak restaurant and grill which boasts amazing views of Edinburgh Castle.

Underneath Kyloe is The Huxley which serves bar meals and does a mean cocktail.

Better still (there’s a pun in that), below The Huxley is the Heads and Tales Bar, a fabulously, quirky gin bar and home of the wonderful Edinburgh Gin.  In the bar live two gin still, affectionately named Flora and Caledonia.

Scottish gin is unbelievably good, and in my opinion it’s a World leader.  A few years ago on Islay, I almost laughed out loud when it was suggested that Islay’s own island gin The Botanist was better than Bombay Sapphire.  The smirk was soon wiped off my face when I tried it.  I’ve never looked back, only Scottish gin will do these days.

Watching the sunset from Calton Hill

Later, as it was still lovely and bright outside we decided to make the boy’s last walk of the day a spectacular one.

Outside, Edinburgh was bathed in the warm, amber hue of golden hour.  The distinctive fiery glow that envelops the city usually predicts the imminent arrival of a spectacular sunset.

The castle, Ramsay Garden and Sir Walter Scott were glowing as we passed en-route to Edinburgh’s finest sunset watching spot – Calton Hill.

Scotland blog Edinburgh Scott Monument
The hill was thronging with people when we arrived.  All eyes peered eastward, eagerly scanning the Edinburgh skyline for that familiar orange glow.

There was something lovely, and innocent about the atmosphere on Calton Hill that night.  The mood was calm and everyone seemed happy.  In a fast-paced World it was nice to feel part of something as simple as enjoying a sunset with a group of strangers.

Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Edinburgh didn’t let us down either – we were treated to an absolute wowser of a sunset.

Sunset Calton HillSunset Calton Hill

Unwinding at The Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments

Back at our apartment I relaxed in a nice hot bath filled with Arran Aromatics bubbles.  It’s always nice to check-in somewhere and find your favourite toiletries.

The Wee Dug found himself a cozy spot in the bedroom by a colourful chair and was soon out like a light.  After a long day of sunshine, fresh air and walking we weren’t too far behind him.

Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments
After a great nights sleep in the super comfy bed, we were sorry to say goodbye to our lovely luxury apartment.

Dog friendly Edinburgh

A city may not seem like the obvious choice for a dog friendly break, but Edinburgh’s different.

Many Edinburgh hotels, restaurants, shops and bars welcome dogs.  There are lots of lovely parks to enjoy and beaches too, and although dogs aren’t welcome inside Edinburgh Castle, the well-preserved medieval ruins of Craigmillar Castle are dog friendly.

On a Sunday afternoon you can enjoy scrumptious street food and browse the stalls at Stockbridge Market – the list of dog friendly things to do in Edinburgh is endless.

Steampunk Coffee StockbridgeStockbridge Sunday Market

With the prospect of another sunny day to spend exploring ahead of us, it was time for some breakfast to set us up for the day.  First things first though, the boy had some shopping to do.

House of Hound, a short hop from Edinburgh’s West End is like Harvey Nics for dogs – stocking only the finest foods, collars, toys and nic-naks for pampered pooches.  The boy loves it there and is always excited to visit.  He left, the proud owner of a new stuffed pheasant and squeaky green frog!

House of Hound, Edinburgh House of Hound, Edinburgh

Shopping done for the day we enjoyed a good breakfast in the sunny conservatory of Cafe Tartine in Leith’s fashionable Shore area, before heading to our favourite day trip destination – sunny East Lothian.

After a fun-packed day out, which consisted of a visit to the National Museum of Flight, a very nice lunch at Merryhatton Garden Centre and a walk on North Berwick beach we headed home, tired and happy.

We were blessed with glorious weather on our short break, but what to do in Edinburgh when it rains?  Here are a couple of rainy day ideas.

North Berwick Beach
I’d like to finish by thanking The Rutland Hotel Luxury Apartments for very kindly hosting us.  Although, our stay was on a complimentary basis, all opinions, musings and information contained within this blog are accurate and entirely my own.

Until next time ………..

20 thoughts on “A little luxury in Edinburgh – because we’re worth it! ”

    1. My mum and I are visiting Edinburgh for the first time in December. We just cannot wait. We have just sat here eating breakfast in Bedfordshire whilst I read aloud your Edinburgh blogs. They are an absolute delight. I own two female westies so following the wee white dug is just a joy. We took them for ten days in the summer this year to fort william and fell completely in love with Scotland. So we thought we would do a short visit to Ediburgh to see how it could be to bring the girls up next year. My mum wants you to publish a book she says your descriptive writing reminds her of Dickens himself and brings the places you write about alive. Well done

      1. I’m so happy to hear that you fell on love with Scotland and also that you brought your Westies too. It’s a wonderful country to travel in with dogs. You’ll love Edinburgh in December as the city is all decorated for Christmas and looking fantastic. Maybe some day I’ll find there’s a book in me. Thanks to your Mum for the lovely compliment too. 😊

  1. Wonderful post as always. I loved Calton Hill pics, next august I can’t miss it. I always read everythig you write with interest even if I don’t always comment. My holidays will be the best also thanks to your several hints. 😊

  2. Nice to see the old town again, my, and look at the weather. I was over last year for a visit and it was great to see the place. Went up to a few of my old haunts: The Oxford Bar, Callie etc. Thanks for the post, enjoyed it immensely.

  3. So glad you had such a great time in this most glorious of cities! The Huxley Bar is one of my favourites and I had no idea The Rutland had such great apartments, so thanks for that tip, which will be useful for us to pass on to visitors. Have also been meaning to try out the Innes & Gunn Kitchen – my resolve is now even more firm after your recommendation 🙂

    1. The Beer Kitchen is a favourite of mine, the food is really good. The Rutland Apartment are fab and all newly renovated – lovely and quiet too as they’re tucked away in Rutland Street, yet right in the city centre.

      1. When we first moved to Edinburgh in 2010, we stayed briefly in an apartment in Rutland Square, so I am very fond of that part of the city.

  4. Loved this look into Edinburgh!! I really enjoyed seeing apart of something that is so different from what I’ve seen and hope to be there to see one day.

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