Monday, 6 January 2014

Burn’s Night Supper at the Scotsman Hotel

The celebration of our national bard is fast-approaching and we’ve all been swapping stories about our various family traditions. Some of us go all out, with bagpipe music and songs, whereas others prefer a low key affair, but there was one thing we all agreed on – it’s the time for a big, traditional feast!

The Burn’s Night Supper is something every Scot looks forward to because it reminds us of home. It’s guaranteed that you’ll get some timeless dishes like haggis, neeps and tatties, and of course, a little bit of whisky. 

This year, we’ve decided to celebrate Burn’s Night at the Scotsman with a grand feast. Paul Hart, our Executive Head Chef, has been busy thinking up the perfect menu for the occasion. And, of course, Burn’s Night wouldn’t be the same without whisky, so we have put together some whisky pairings to go with each dish. The event is sure to be a very extravagant – and very Scottish – celebration, and we look forward to lauding our country and its art on the evening. 

The menu for the event is here. Join us in the Brasserie on the 24th, 25th or 26th January between 5.30pm and 9.30pm or dine privately in our banquet room throughout the month.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

St. Andrew’s Day is Nearly Here

If you know anything about Scotland, you’ll know that we don’t need much convincing when it comes to celebrations. St. Andrew’s Day is coming up and we’re all very excited. The atmosphere on St. Andrews is great, with everyone in high spirits – especially us here at the Scotsman!

If you’re not Scottish – St. Andrew’s Day happens every year on the 30th of November. It’s a bank holiday (so lots of people get the day off work!) and Scotland’s national day. So, as you can imagine, all things Scottish are celebrated including our traditional food, drink and music.

At the North Bridge Brasserie, our chef Paul Hart will be using plenty of proper Scottish ingredients to create lunches and dinners. Most of us here at the Scotsman are fairly local, so if you don’t have a clue about some of our more traditional foods, like haggis, neeps and tatties, then just ask one of us. But, we promise – they are delicious. There’s also our new Whisky Tasting Experience which is proving quite popular already. We tried it out and loved the dram from the Highlands, although all of them were very nice, and there’s something very special about knowing that all the whiskies come from Scotland.

Just up the road, the Palace of Holyroodhouse will be open to visitors. There will undoubtedly be more whisky and Scottish food here, if you aren’t already full. In the evening, there will be people performing and concerts. We’ll be listening out for the ceilidh bands, because wherever there is ceilidh, there is dancing!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Taking Another Look at Edinburgh Castle

Sometimes, when you walk past something every day, you forget that it’s actually a world-famous castle filled with stories and history. That’s sort of how we feel about Edinburgh Castle, because when we catch a glimpse of it while we’re on one of the balconies, we’re always taken aback by how magnificent it is... and that it’s just on our doorstep.

We’re pretty lucky to be able to look out of the window and see the Castle, especially when there are big events taking place outside it. During Hogmanay and the Fringe Festival, the Edinburgh Castle is usually the focus of attention as fireworks go off all around it, and we get a prime viewing position.

You can find out loads about the Castle on the internet, but we decided to see if we could find out some lesser known facts from the Scotsman Hotel team. As you can imagine, we were told some interesting stuff, like some University of Edinburgh students believe that passing through the castle gates will mean they fail their final exams; and that there’s a secret prison hidden below King James’ birthing chamber which remains a mystery to this day.

People had ghost stories to tell about it too – but as Halloween has just passed, we thought we better leave those ones out and avoid putting people off! The Castle really is an amazing attraction, and the next time we walk past it, we will definitely think twice.

Monday, 4 November 2013

A New Lunch Menu for the North Bridge Brasserie

We don’t know about you, but just looking at a menu makes us hungry. So, as you can imagine, it’s been a pretty tough month for us with the development of our new lunch menu. Our Executive Head Chef Paul Hart put the menu together earlier this month, and we’ve all been in and out of the kitchen enjoy sneak previews every since.

Paul is a pretty creative chef and while some of the ingredients are traditional and very Scottish, there are some we are less familiar with like Lapsang Souchong-infused grapes and, umm, Hedgehog mushrooms. Curious as we are, we set out to find a little bit more about all of the more inventive additions to the menu and discovered that while the aforementioned mushroom does usually inhabit woodland, it is not in any way prickly. Things like Great Glen venison also caught our attention, and with a little research we found out that it is extremely local indeed – hailing from just outside Inverness.

We get to test out all of the new menu items before they make the final cut, and one of the things we most enjoyed sampling was dessert. The pumpkin and orange cake caught our eye, especially since it includes an intriguing butternut panna cotta and gingerbread ice cream! The seasonality of it is very tempting, and very typical of Chef Hart, who loves to gets creative with the most relevant ingredients of the time.

We’re getting ready for Christmas now, so if you come in for lunch you might see us hanging up holly here and there or maybe decorating one of our many trees!

As always, you can ask us anything about the hotel or the lunch menus here.

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Grand Launch and the First Day of Our New Aveda Spa

We’re all still buzzing from the Aveda launch party last night, where we got to have another look at all of the great products that are now in our Spa. The turnout was impressive and we were glad to meet so many people interested in the ethical Aveda products.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been a party without bubbly and there was lots of that going around. We also had the pleasure of trying out all of the canapés coming out of the kitchen (we already knew they were going to be good as we’ve been trying out the new menus this month!). And, even though the event was on Halloween, there were no tricks, only treats – which our guests left with at the end of the night.

This morning, we cut the figurative ribbon and let the first of our visitors in for their Aveda treatments. Everyone is so excited about this new addition to the Spa and we have already been inundated with bookings for massages, body wraps and facials. You can check out the new Spa menu here.

As always, if you have any questions, or just want to chat to us about your experience of our new spa, feel free to do so in the comments section here.

Scotsman Hotel: Voted one of the Best Hotels in the UK

We’re not ones to sniff at an award over here at the Scotsman… especially not one that’s voted for by members of the public. That’s why we were so pleased to discover we’d made it in to Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Awards for the best hotel in the UK. 

We made it in to the list at number 11, which makes us the highest ranking hotel from Edinburgh (and Scotland) on there.

All the staff are very proud to have featured so highly… so if you notice any extra wide grins (well, slightly wider than usual anyway) at the hotel over the next few days, now you know why.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Our Aveda Spa is Launching on the 1st November

The preparations are complete, the products placed and all the staff have become fully-trained experts in the new and exciting treatments we’ll be offering. There’s now just one more task to complete before we officially open to the public and guests… throw a successful launch party on Thursday the 31st of October (which, despite requests from some forthcoming attendees, will not be Halloween themed).

We recently emailed a number of invitations to our local members, guests and friends (if you’d like to be added to the mailing list, drop us a line with your details) and the places filled up pretty quickly. On the night there will be product demonstrations, party food, free drink and a section of goody bags to take away. Even though we've spent the last month continually trying and testing products and treatments… we’re especially looking forward to doing it over a glass of fizz with our guests.

Don’t worry though, all of the things that make our spa so special will still be here, like the stainless steel pool, Jacuzzi, Tropicarium and 60 station gym… but we've now got a new partner for all treatments and products. We’re really excited about the ethical, natural stance Aveda take with their brand; from the ingredients they use, down to the recycled paper and environmentally friendly ink they print our brochures on – everything is carefully considered.

We’ll be back with a bit more news about Aveda and our (hopefully) successful launch shortly. If you want to know anything more in the meantime, about this or anything to do with the Scotsman Hotel, please don’t hesitate to ask.