Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Just In: Exotic Animals Roaming Edinburgh City Centre


There have been some highly unusual sightings reported across Edinburgh in recent weeks. Visitors to Princes Street Gardens have been startled by the bright blue flashes of poison arrow frogs, while alfresco diners in St Andrew Square claimed to have been momentarily joined by a Giant Panda chewing on bamboo. Penguins have been spotted parading along Princes Street and visitors to Edinburgh Castle said they saw chimpanzees moving quickly through the streets below.

But there’s no need to panic. Edinburgh Zoo is fully aware of the situation, and infact, helped organise it. No, the zoo hasn’t flung open its wrought iron gates, it's actually launched a range of new graphics in collaboration with Lothian buses. Some of the zoo's most popular inhabitants have had their image emblazoned on a fleet of route 26 buses, which transport visitors to the zoo from the city centre and beyond. However, this isn't the first time Edinburgh Zoo has let a few of its occupants leave its confines and take a wander through the historic streets of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Zoo’s Penguin Parades have become world-famous, with many TripAdvisor reviewers stating it was the highlight of their visit. It began in the 1950s when a zoo keeper left the enclosure open by accident and realised that he was being followed by a line of penguins. This led to the spectacle becoming a daily feature, with the birds wandering around the entire zoo, and even along Corstorphine Road during the 1960s. More surprising yet is footage of them venturing further into the city centre with a horseback police escort! Nowadays, the Penguin Parade continues to delight visitors, with approximately two thirds of the penguin population taking a stroll around a 200 metre route inside the zoo at 14:15 every day.

Penguins weren't the only animals that were allowed to wander outside the zoo back in the 1960s. Zoo Director Gilbert Fisher used to walk ‘Scrappy’ the cheetah on a leash around the zoo and along Corstorphine Road! Though it received a lot of attention, this display of showmanship was quickly put to an end when a back firing motorbike led to the cheetah taking off quickly, giving Fisher a fright.

Though bus graphics are the closest you’ll get to seeing exotic animals in the city centre now, hop onto route 26 and you’ll soon be face-to-face with some of the world’s most beautiful and impressive animals, fish and birds. Edinburgh Zoo is only a 16 minute bus ride away from Princes Street, located just a 4 minute walk from The Scotsman Hotel and there are also many unique experiences and events on offer, including the Penguin Parade, to ensure a p-p-p-perfect day out for the whole family.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Couples Health Club Membership in Edinburgh

As a well-oiled working machine, our team know better than most that a little bit of encouragement can go a long way. Whether it’s a simple a pat on the back or full-on motivational coaching, we can all benefit from having someone there to help us reach our potential. Out of work, partners are great at providing that extra push towards living life to the fullest and with fitness key to a healthy journey together, who could be better in helping you achieve goals at the gym? Knowing this, we’re offering the chance to enjoy full five-star facilities at the Scotsman Spa & Health Club together with Couples Gold Membership.

As well as reaping the rewards of a joint workout, benefit from discounted Gold Membership rates at only £50 per month per person when signing up together this February. The perks don’t end there though, with the chance to enjoy Aveda treatments with up to 50% off, indulge in a romantic meal for two at North Bridge Brasserie with 25% off the food bill and perhaps even treat yourselves to a luxury stay at The Scotsman Hotel from just £99. Alongside access to the 60-station gym and 16.2 metre long pool, you can also enjoy some downtime together, relaxing in the sauna and steam room, or by taking a dip in the Jacuzzi.

Spend a little more quality time together and work towards each other’s goals by signing up for Couples Spa Gold Membership now. Contact Francesca Mair on +44 (0)131 622 3800 or email fmair@thescotsmanhotel.co.uk for further details.


Monday, 19 January 2015

Detoxing Spa Break in Edinburgh


December is always a busy month, no matter how much time and preparation we think we’ve done. Weekends are spent battling to try to find the perfect gift, there's a non-stop rush from family member to friend… and that's not even taking into consideration the whirlwind that is party season. Calorie intake seems to more than double and relaxation comes too little, too late (if at all). The relatively quieter months of January and February are therefore perfect for finally finding a little time for yourself, and knowing this, we’ve created a detoxing spa break.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a single member of our team (or anyone for that matter) who wouldn’t want an escape away that’s entirely dedicated to their well-being. With a a healthy smoothie, the choice between a 30 minute Aveda massage or 30 minute Aveda facial, as well as complimentary access to the full spa and gym facilities at the Scotsman Spa & Health Club all included, you’ll be feeling rejuvenated in no time at all during a five-star stay with us.

We love nothing more than heading down to the Scotsman Spa during our lunch hour. The Aveda team really know how to sooth and beautify, ensuring we return to work with a renewed sense of serenity… and truly nourished skin. The products used always have a divine scent due to the mix of naturally derived ingredients, and each therapist has been trained to know exactly the right remedy for all of our ailments. The sense of relaxation alone can work wonders!

From just £225 per room per night including breakfast, you could find yourself leaving The Scotsman Hotel calm, collected and completely revitalised this January and February with our detox offer.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Best Film and Theatre Venues in Edinburgh

From Intimate Spaces to Grand Auditoriums 


With the likes of the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Film Festival taking place every year, Edinburgh needs to have plenty of venues, to suit both the large scale and smaller, more intimate, performances. Of the dozens of theatre and film venues in the Scottish capital, we’ve chosen our five favourites:

Festival Theatre

Edinburgh Festival Theatre by Dancewear Central

The Edinburgh Festival Theatre, as the name suggests, plays an important role during festival season. Despite numerous renovations and rebuilds, the site of the Festival Theatre has had a venue of one kind or another since 1830. The glass façade that makes it so recognisable was added in 1994, but its lavish interior harks back to an era gone by. The Festival Theatre always plays host to some of the biggest performances during the festivals and 2015 will surely be no different as thousands of festival goers flock to this iconic venue.

What’s on?

The pick of the early 2015 line-up is the Edinburgh leg of the hugely popular One Man, Two Guvnors production. The show is in the Scottish capital between the 17th and 21st Febraury.

Dominion Cinema

With its distinct modernist architecture, the 1930s Dominion Cinema is one of Edinburgh’s alternative landmarks. The interior, with its mix of modern and traditional décor is a world away from the multiplexes that are so common today. The cinema shows most of the big Hollywood blockbusters, and is one of the venues for the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

What’s on?

Having recently picked up a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, Eddie Redmayne’s star turn in The Theory of Everything is an absolute must see. The film is in cinemas now.

Royal Lyceum Theatre

The Royal Lyceum Theatre, built in 1881, and altered only very slightly since, is Edinburgh’s most original and classical theatre venue. In addition to the range of festival performances that take place in the theatre ever year, the Royal Lyceum also has an in-house cast and crew who put on seven magnificent plays annually, often reworking established classics.

What’s on?

The Lyceum also regularly plays host to fascinating evenings with celebrated authors. April 2015 sees both Jo Nesbo and Edinburgh’s very own Irvine Welsh, where will both be discussing their life, work and current novels.

Bedlam Theatre

If you’re after an intimate performance, the Bedlam Theatre suits perfectly, as its auditorium holds a mere 92 people. Completely run by students of the city, Bedlam, as the name hints to, has a strong comedic repertoire. The Improverts, Edinburgh’s own improv group, are regulars here, and they are complemented by a range of poetry nights, musicals and plenty of side-splitting sketch shows.

What’s on?

The Improverts host their regular comedy night every Friday. Pop along to see what is guaranteed to be a completely unique performance.

Edinburgh Playhouse

With 3,059 seats, the Edinburgh Playhouse is the UK’s largest traditional theatre and musical venue. Due to its large capacity, it’s where a lot of the biggest names in music, comedy and performance art call home on the Edinburgh leg of their tour. For example, the famous musical Wicked, has recently visited the Playhouse during its UK tour.

What’s on?

Edinburgh Playhouse is the go to venue for the country’s biggest stand ups, and Jimmy Carr, Bill Bailey and Dara O Briain will be gracing the stage in 2015.


On your next visit to Edinburgh, there’s no excuse to not treat yourself to a captivating theatre show or blockbuster musical. To make your night out extra special, join us at the North Bridge Brasserie for our famous pre-theatre menu. Featuring three courses of delicious Scottish delicacies, meticulously prepared by our Executive Head Chef Paul Hart, it’s the perfect way to begin an unforgettable evening in the Scottish capital. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Christmas Arrives in Edinburgh

Visit Edinburgh's Christmas for a Magical Family Outing

If you've found yourself in Edinburgh at any time during the last month, you can’t have failed to notice the ever-increasing array of Christmas decorations that have popped up around the city, especially those in Princes Street Gardens and St. Andrew’s Square. In fact, these are no ordinary Christmas decorations, these are the lights, rides and market stalls that make up Edinburgh's Christmas.


CC Image courtesy of Craig Murphy via Flickr
From Carousels to Christmas Tree Mazes

Visit any major city across the UK and there’s probably a Christmas market or two, but you’ll be very hard pushed to find another celebration of the festive season that even comes close to the magical atmosphere you’ll find in the Scottish capital. First of all, there’s the amazing choice of rides, both for the younger generation and for those who are simply young at heart. The Big Wheel is back, along with the exhilarating Star Flyer. There’s also a ‘Double’ Carousel, which sounds amazing, along with two (yes, two) ice rinks.

There’s a selection of seasonal markets, selling everything from authentic Scottish food and drink, to a plethora of European produce, found at the aptly named European Christmas Market. There’s even a children’s version of the classic Christmas market, with face painting, arts and crafts, and plenty of games and toys to be found.

Finally, if all of this wasn't enough, there are exciting shows taking place across the festive calendar. The most famous landlord in Britain, Al Murray, will be making an appearance, along with the comedy musical styling of Frisky and Manish. If you simply want to let your hair down, be sure to check out the Hot Dub Time Machine, the world’s first and best time-travelling dance party.

Unforgettable Experiences for the Whole Family

As you can see, there is so much to do at Edinburgh's Christmas this year, whether you’re taking the whole family or enjoying a romantic evening with your significant other. To find out more about Edinburgh's Christmas, be sure to visit their website.

Edinburgh's Christmas is taking place between the 21st November 2014 and 4th January 2015. 

Stay at the Five-Star Scotsman Hotel during Your Winter Getaway


If you’re thinking of visiting the Scottish capital for a seasonal city break, make sure you do it in style by staying with us at The Scotsman Hotel. With amazing service, an award-winning restaurant and tranquil spa, it’s the perfect place to rest your head after a busy day enjoying the Edinburgh festivities. We've even got a number of excellent value offers and packages available this Christmas.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Hard at Work…and Feeling Festive

The Christmas countdown has begun, and brings with it an exciting…and busy time of the year for many businesses. Despite a non-stop schedule, it’s hard not to start feeling festive with twinkling lights, beautiful decorations and a full calendar of activities going on around us...our team have ensured they've been making the most of their free time at the St Andrew Square ice rink! To ensure you can embrace the season even when you're hard at work in one of our eight event rooms, we've added a festive twist to our December Meetings Offer; with a serving of delicious mulled wine and mince pies to help you celebrate the successes of the day!

For £45 per person, we will ensure everything is taken care of behind-the-scenes, leaving you to focus entirely on that all-important pitch. Whether you're organising a large conference, or back-to-back meetings for a select few, our team are very well experienced in ensuring a great impression is made. From the delicious dishes Executive Head Chef Paul Hart creates, to free Wi-Fi, stationery and use of an LCD projector… as well as much-needed coffee and tea servings, you can have complete confidence in your corporate event at The Scotsman.

And after a whirlwind December day, what could be better than relaxing back in triumph with our warming festive treats? Yum!

To find out more about our December corporate offer or to make a booking contact us on+44 (0)131 556 5565or email scotsman-events@thescotsmanhotel.co.uk.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Win our Culinary Experience Competition

Over the last couple of months we've set our sights on exploring Edinburgh to find and share what’s truly unique about the capital, so whether you’re lucky enough to be a local like us or popping by for a visit, you’ll be able to enjoy an authentic experience. From discovering local design talent, which will definitely come in handy when we start our gift shopping this season, to putting together a guide for film fans who want to recreate their favourite scenes in the exact same place as the leading stars,we've been trying to cover every base when it comes to our favourite city. Naturally our last, and biggest month of celebration for #TasteofEdinburgh is dedicated to all things delicious, from home-cooked dishes to exquisite delicacies alongside a dram or two, and we’ll be bringing four weeks of informative articles, exclusive offers and exciting competitions. 

The final major #TasteofEdinburgh competition is by far the most impressive, offering one lucky winner a range of prizes for themselves and a guest that have had us green with envy at Scotsman HQ! The prize package includes a two night stay at our hotel in a luxurious Director Suite, alongside an array of culinary experiences that excited even the most refined foodies amongst our team! On the first evening the winner and guest will be invited to sample Executive Head Chef Paul Hart’s five-course Taste of Scotland menu - we see Hart and his team source the fresh seasonal produce used to create each dish every morning and have thoroughly enjoyed taste testing so we can confirm that this is a truly delicious experience! After the first night’s relaxing stay, a full Scottish breakfast will await …and it is indeed hearty! Think smoked Ayrshire bacon, pork and sage sausages from Henderson’s Highland butchers as well as our team’s favourite, black pudding! The rest of the day is yours to explore the many sights and sounds of the city, however when you begin to feel in need of a pick-me-up, you can head back to your suite in which you will be served a miniature Afternoon Tea with a glass of Billecart-Salmon Champagne. The platter of sweet and savoury treats will ensure you can indulge, relax and unwind before getting ready for a dining experience at Tom Kitchin’s Scran and Scallie. We’re a big fan of Kitchin’s creations and can ensure you’ll enjoy his Michelin star twist of traditional home-cooked dishes. Returning to The Scotsman, your five-star suite will await and of course complimentary access to all spa facilities are included too. 


Entering our #TasteofEdinburgh competition couldn’t be easier – all you need to do is click here, enter your name and email address and confirm your interest in entering and you’re done! Good luck!