Set in a quiet leafy crescent, a stone throw away from the main attractions and surrounded by the stunning backdrop of this magnificent Scottish capital city, The Bonham is without a doubt one of the most stylish hotels in Edinburgh. I visited last week for a new Frey de Fleur travel feature and can’t wait to return!
During my stay I was accommodated in one of the 49 individually decorated boutique bedrooms (you may even wish to enjoy one of their luxurious superior rooms or, for that extra special stay, one of their suites). All the rooms are designed differently but are characterised by lofty ceilings, dramatic headboards and bold fabrics. I was instantly seduced by my standard room; the striking colour scheme, minimal furnishings and decadent extras, like the chaise longue, made it perfect.
The team at The Bonham used bold colour, rich textures and contemporary photography by Oscar Marzaroli in my room to build an environment that was upbeat yet relaxing. Marzaroli is considered the last great Scottish photographer of the pre-digital age so it was a subtle yet unmistakable reminder of the heritage of Scotland to have his work hanging above the bed.
The level of equipment in all rooms is what you would expect from a good four star hotel: bathroom goodies by The White Company, a large TV, free Wi-Fi and a quality coffee machine.
One of the things to think about when booking your room at The Bonham is the view. The rooms on the front of the hotel look out over the attractive and quiet townscape of Drumsheugh Gardens. Whereas my room, on the second floor of the hotel, offered stunning views of the city – overlooking Dean Village, the New Town, Leith and the River Forth.
As the hotel is situated in the West End of Edinburgh it is a brisk walk away from the city centre and the station. If you’re visiting the beautiful and bustling city of Edinburgh for a short time then be sure to visit the top tourist attractions, like the castle, before taking a leisurely stroll along the Royal Mile. After taking in the history and heritage of the city I was eager to see some culture and visit the art museum.
Situated right in the heart of Edinburgh, between the Old and New Towns, the Scottish National Gallery’s collection ranges in date from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century and includes most of the great names of European and Scottish art. My personal highlight was seeing Raphael and his contemporaries on the upper floor before we returned to the ground floor to take in Titan, Rubens, Rembrandt and Goya.
After a day of sightseeing we returned to the hotel for dinner. Restaurant at The Bonham is a real treat. With high ceilings, bay windows and beautiful wood panelling, it exudes class and style. Aside from some striking and dramatic art work by Tilo Stengel, the restaurant is clearly designed to be cool and minimal so that you can focus on the food, the company and the occasion.
The Market Menu offers the best of seasonal, local ingredients. To reflect the best produce available the chef changes this menu daily, meaning you never know what you’re going to get but you know it’s going to be good! To start I ordered the confit duck croquette whilst my dinner companion ordered the cured salmon which was served with mixed radishes and a sesame seed dressing in a sensational sushi style.
The highlight of the menu was the slow cooked pork belly with crispy black pudding, apples and young turnips. All accompanied by a bottle of ‘Molino Loco’ 2013 Monastrell red wine. The lingering touch of sweet spice complimented my main of braised beef cheeks perfectly. It was an exceptionally full-flavoured dish served with smoked onion purée and ox tongue. For dessert I chose a light lemon meringue pie after my rich main course whilst my partner ordered a chocolate ganache topped with caramel and brown butter ice cream.
The Market Menu is good value (£22 for three courses) whilst the drinks were a bit more steep. We enjoyed a pre-dinner drink in The Consulting Room before our meal. It’s a warm, cosy and homely area of the hotel, where you can enjoy afternoon tea or a night cap or two.
After a good sleep we started our day with a hearty Scottish breakfast! As well as traditional haggis our breakfast included: Ayrshire back bacon, Cairnhill Farm pork link sausages, black pudding, tattie scone, grilled tomato, field mushroom and a duo of eggs cooked to our preference. At The Bonham check out is at midday, leaving you enough time to wake up early and enjoy breakfast before exploring the countryside by walking to the peak known to locals as ‘Arthur’s Seat’. The summit gives you a breath taking view of the city and is something I would definitely recommend doing if you’re lucky enough to get good weather!
As a luxurious boutique hotel the room prices at around £112 are certainly justified but if you book on a quiet night, or with a hotel offer, The Bonham is excellent value. The success of the hotel also owes much to the high standard of service you encounter at every turn, whether on arrival, in the restaurant, or in the quality of the housekeeping that is evident throughout the hotel.
I would recommend the ‘Best of The Bonham’ deal which is priced at £144 per room and includes luxury overnight accommodation (with full Scottish breakfast), a bottle of Prosecco delivered to your room after arrival and a 3 course dinner. If you’re spoiling yourself with Prosecco, dinner and a romantic getaway you probably won’t want to leave the hotel so I would definitely suggest booking your travel with enough time to see the sights once you’ve checked out.
You can book a room here: http://www.townhousecompany.com/thebonham/