I absolutely adore Edinburgh. It’s one of my favourite places in the UK. As Editor of a film blog I’m very lucky to be invited to the Edinburgh International Film Festival every year to view a fantastic range of independent movies from around the world.
As the EIFF is generally held in June, I like to take the opportunity to treat it as a bit of a holiday too, some me time away from my full-time job and other things.
For last year’s festival, I booked into a boutique hotel called Twelve Picardy Place, which is just across the road from the Edinburgh Playhouse. To be honest, I chose it mostly because of the location and the fact that there was a very good deal on Late Rooms. I loved the hotel so much I re-booked it for this year as soon as I knew I would be back at the festival – adding a little bit of glamour to my city break.
The building itself is an absolutely stunning Georgian townhouse, just next door to where Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle was born. The location is good and most of Edinburgh’s best venues are in easy reach including the Playhouse, OmniCentre, Princes Street and George Street. It’s a stylish, elegant base from which to explore Edinburgh.
Set over three floors with 10 bedrooms, all named after Scottish Lochs. The rooms are comfortable and sophisticated with neutral colours, dark wood furniture and feature walls of Scottish Lochs.
Now, I must confess I was hoping for a repeat of last year when they gave me a free upgrade to a Master Suite, the Loch Lomond, which was absolutely huge and beautifully decorated. Alas though, the hotel was full this time so I have to make do with a Superior (Loch Rannoch) which, although a lot smaller, was still excellent.
As Twelve Picardy Place is a listed building there are no lifts to any of the floors. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be an issue but I was 25 weeks pregnant at the time and walking up the winding staircase to the second floor had me somewhat out of breath by the time I reached my room.
Each day I was provided with free water, biscuits and milk. I also had fun with the mini bar (soft drinks only) as it wasn’t as eye-wateringly priced as I was expecting.
Most days I’ll have four films on my viewing list and then it’s back to the hotel and my trusty laptop to write up my reviews and update the site’s social media accounts. For this reason, I like a comfortable room to come back to. A queen-sized bed went a long way towards that. It was difficult to peel myself from it on some mornings as it was so cosy.
Again, being pregnant I would have enjoyed a nice warm bath at the end of the day. Unfortunately, although I requested one in advance, all the Superior rooms only came with a shower. But what a shower. A walk-in waterfall shower that was about half the size of my bathroom at home.
A large, 3d TV with Sky was also available and a selection of excellent (though not very recent) DVDs were available from reception.
Food and entertainment are well catered for at Twelve Picardy Place. With two restaurants, STEAK, and STEAK on Stones located downstairs and a great bar, Beer and Skittles which has a lovely outside space to enjoy in the nice weather.
It’s a shame that with such excellent restaurant facilities that the hotel doesn’t offer breakfast, but there are plenty of nice cafes and other places to eat within a few minutes walk of the hotel.
On the second night, we ate a STEAK on Stones where, as the name suggests, you pick your cut of meat and it is brought out to you in uncooked strips with a hot lava stone so you can cook it to your liking.
Since we were on a little baby-moon we decided to push the boat out a bit and order the Chateaubriand with sides of twice cooked chips and peas, leeks and bacon. We ended up going to bed quite early in some kind of meat-induced food coma. The restaurant also did a lovely selection of mocktails of which I had a few.
Due to its location, Twelve Picardy Place has no parking available, but guests can take advantage of a 20% discount at the nearby multi-storey car park at the Omni Centre.
The reception desk is quite tiny but there was always a friendly face there to say hello as we came and went, book a table in the restaurant or order taxis.