November 11, 2019
Rocco Forte The Balmoral: Luxury In Edinburgh
One of the most iconic buildings in the heart of Edinburgh city centre is The Balmoral. Part of the Rocce Forte chain, The Balmoral is an exquisite luxury local where the history of Scotland meets a French flair and the perfect spot for a special occasion.
Part of the Forte philosophies that each location is unique and has its own personality. This can definitely be seen in The Balmoral location.
The Balmoral Hotel
Located on one of the most famous streets in the city, Prince street, the hotel is a stone throw from the central train station and hosts the most amazing views across the city including the Edinburgh Castle. I was lucky enough to stay in a room with this view and to wake up to that view and eat breakfast looking out was truly beautiful
The building was built in 1902 originally as the North British Station hotel and pays homage to Scotland featuring the tradition Balmoral tartan throughout and classic Scottish art. The Hotel has 167 rooms and 20 exquisite suites, a spa, a Scotch room offering over 500 Whiskies and Palm Court. Palm court offers award-winning afternoon tea in style with a beautiful traditional harp playing as you sip.
From the moment you take your first step onto the stairs outside, the staff are willing to help you with your every need. There wasn’t a member of staff that walked passed me that didn’t stop to say hello and ask how my day was during my whole stay. This added feature and small gestures go all the way to making this hotel one of the best luxury hotel’s I’ve stayed in. From the greeting in the room upon arrival to the chocolates before bed, the bathrobes and slippers and breakfast in bed, it was a stay above the rest.
Scottish Sourced French Dining
The family behind the Rocco Forte brand thought long and hard about the Brasserie Prince Restaurant which opened in 2018. They chose Alain Roux. A French Michelin star chef to inspire their choice of cuisine but in keeping the Scottish heritage, most food is locally sourced.
The development manager at Rocco Forte was attracted by the family roots of Alain Roux and how well they match with those at the Rocco Forte brand that it was the clear choice of partnership. This new alliance brings the elegance of French cooking to the hotel. And creates another hot spot dining area within the city.
The design of the restaurant and bar area was chosen by an internationally acclaimed architect Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. Chosen specifically for this site, the décor gives an immersive French dining experience of green hues, soft pinks and brass detailing to give that perfect lighting and mood effect.
On the second evening of our stay, we dined in the brasserie and were greeted with a champagne reception and appetizers whilst we scanned the menu. The menu was a fantastic mix of hearty French dishes with a brilliant selection of wine. I was very impressed with the rosé we picked because in my opinion the best place for a rosé is the South of France.
The menu offered a great range for those who like to experience traditional cuts of meat and seafood lovers also. I have long awaited some good French food and when I saw garlic and parsley snails on the menu, I couldn’t resist.
The beefsteak with onion rings and French fries was a popular main dish amongst our neighbouring tables however sticking with the choice to experience the best French food I opted for the roasted duck breast with potato purée and orange sauce which was perfectly presented and cooked. The attention to our table and recommendations to our palettes were perfect. My guest being not so much a foodie was very impressed with the sautéed chicken chasseur with tagliatelle pasta, tomato and white wine sauce and for dessert, we were sold with the cake of the day, traditional chocolate swiss roll with raspberry coulis and fresh whipped cream.
After we dined and with our bellies full we took the remaining wine we had left and retired back to the comfort of our room for truffles and a well earned relax in bed.
With breakfast in bed, the morning view and late check-out at 1.30 pm I really didn’t want to leave this little bit of luxury and face reality. On our check out, I was very envious of a those checking in for their anniversary and a special occasion on the way in. This hotel is going to the top of the list of places I would recommend and go back to at the drop of a hat and any occasion that may be calling me back to Bonnie Scotland.
T: +44 20 3519 2700
A: 1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
W: Balmoral Edinburgh
Written by Gemma Jamieson for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International