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Fall in love with Edinburgh

  • Published 25 January 2018

If you fancy a weekend break with your other half, the Scottish capital has all you need for a loved-up luxury stay

It’s never too early to start thinking about Valentine’s Day, and there’s no better way to mark the occasion then with a romantic getaway. But where to visit? While Venice and Paris seem like the obvious choice, Edinburgh shouldn’t be overlooked. The city centre is bursting with fine dining establishments as well as historic architecture and is brilliant for couples wanting a romantic unwind close to home. With a capital so vast in terms of things to do, we’ve only just scratched the surface with what can be done but here are some of the best. Here are a few ideas to get you going and we've caught up with VisitScotland to get their thought on them too.

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Get bewitched at The Witchery

Image courtesy of The Witchery
Image courtesy of The Witchery

Open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and theatre supper, The Witchery by the Castle is an exceptional restaurant that serves plenty of Scottish cuisine. With celebrity guests such as Danni Minogue calling it, “the perfect lust den,” you’re almost guaranteed a romantic meal. You can expect to be dining with your other half surrounded by antique furniture and oak panelling while tucking into fare such as lobster and crab omelette, scotch beef - which has been dry aged and hung for a minimum of 28 days - and home smoked wild sea trout.
 
Mairi Scobie, Content Executive at VisitScotland says that the restaurant is brilliant for couples. “Look no further than The Witchery for a night of romance with spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle framing the backdrop,” she says. “Enjoy delicious dishes in the atmospheric Secret Garden, complete with a secluded terrace – perfect for those magical summer nights, it’s an ideal way to make lasting memories,” Mairi adds. The venue is said to be haunted by the ghost of a witch who was burnt at the stake which adds an extra spooky vibe. Luckily you have your partner’s hand to hold!

To find out more about The Witchery, click here

See a show at Edinburgh Playhouse

Image courtesy of VisitScotland

The Edinburgh Playhouse is the perfect venue for a date night. With a variety of performances to suit all theatre-goers and The Boards restaurant found within its walls, a show-stopping experience is guaranteed. Since being opened in 1929 many top actors have graced the stage that was designed by architect John Fairweather. Stars include Bob Dylan, BB King, The Who and Johnny Cash.
 
The Rat Pack, Kinky Boots and various recitals from the Russian State Ballet have also previously been performed here so you know you’re in for a treat. Want to make the most of the night? “Start off the evening with a romantic pre-theatre meal, with lots of amazing restaurants to choose from nearby,” Mairi recommends. From Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine at Ada Restaurant to seasonal and comfort fare at Olive Branch Bistro there’s a wide choice of eateries to choose from mere minutes from Edinburgh Playhouse. The hardest decision will be choosing where to go. 

To find out what’s on at Edinburgh Playhouse, click here

Indulge in old-school glamour at The Dominion Cinema

Prepare to go back in time to the 1930s as you relish some romance at The Dominion Cinema. “A classic cinema that has been showing the best movies for nearly 80 years, the Dominion Cinema is complete with comfy sofas, recliners and a wonderful programme of film screenings… perfect for those last-minute romantic date nights,” says Mairi. This can be seen if you buy first-class tickets where you can expect a whole host of benefits. From the pre-show snacks and evening service to the sofa seating that is large enough for couples to get cosy, this choice brings the luxury faster than you can say lights, camera, action.
 
Top blockbusters such as The Greatest Showman and Star Wars: The Last Jedi have all been shown, so if you’re after a rather different setting to see recent releases, now’s your chance.

To find out what’s on at Dominion Cinema, click here

Relish the romance at Royal Botanic Gardens

Image courtesy of VisitScotland
Image courtesy of VisitScotland

Established in 1670, the Royal Botanic Garden gives all visitors the chance to wander through and learn about one of the world’s largest collections of plants. If you fancy some romantic relaxation surrounded by a variety of rhododendrons, ivy and the world’s biggest and most fragrant flower, the titan arum, you’ve hit the jackpot here. A range of exhibitions happen throughout the year too. Previous artists who have been featured in the venue include Pauline Burbidge, Charles Poulsen and Sharon Griggs just to name a few.
 
Mairi remarks that this venue is ideal for couples. “World-renowned for its beautifully landscaped grounds, the Royal Botanic Gardens is home to thousands of exotic and vibrant plant life, alongside extraordinary garden features, including a quaint rock garden, a themed Chinese hillside and more,” she says. “Take a romantic stroll through 70 acres of tranquil garden or learn more about the plant life that lives here. It is also, perhaps, a perfect location to pop the question?” She adds. We couldn’t agree more.
 
Various tours happen throughout the day, with the Afternoon Tea Tour a top pick. After a leisurely excursion through the gardens you’ll conclude your tour at the John Hope Gateway Restaurant where you’ll be served afternoon tea complete with scones, sandwiches and a range of sweet treats. All bookings must be made two weeks in advance.
 
To find out more about the Royal Botanic Gardens, click here
 

Succumb to your senses at One Spa

Image courtesy of Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa
Image courtesy of One Spa

With couple days available and a wealth of treatments to indulge in, One Spa in Conference Square is perfect if you’re after some rest and relaxation.
 
Talking about the spa treatments on offer, Jo Syme, One Spa manager, says that the venue is wonderful for those wanting to pamper themselves. “Indulge in a soothing spa treatment, choosing from a collection of famous ESPA treatments as well as a variety of Made for Life Organics treatments which have been designed to create a true sense of well-being for the body, mind and emotions,” She says. “And to ensure that you look as good as you feel, be sure to book an express pedicure, manicure or spray tan in NOW by One Spa, our chic new urban salon.”
 
The TIME: Ultimate Spa Ritual is an absolute must if you want a truly pampering spa day. A personalised consultation with your therapist starts proceedings so you can get the most out of your three hours on the table with whichever treatment you go for. A light lunch at the spa café is included so you can feel as good on the inside as the out.
 
Fitness facilities can also be found here if you fancy warming up before seeing the sights of the Scottish capital. Alternatively, a 19-metre swimming pool surrounded by loungers and views of the Edinburgh skyline make for a fantastic chill out post-treatment, and the rooftop hydropool adds an extra element of glamour.
 
For more information about One Spa click here
 

Stroll along Portobello Beach

Image courtesy of VisitScotland
Image courtesy of VisitScotland

Both a city and beach break is on the cards with Edinburgh. Portobello Beach can be found on the outskirts and you can expect two miles of sea and sand along with a promenade. “Stroll through this charming seaside suburb for a relaxed day at the beach or, if the weather permits, enjoy an ice cream or a refreshing pint by the seaside before wandering along the promenade and exploring the shops, markets, local produce and crafts along Portobello High Street,” Mairi says. But where’s best to go?
 
The Esplanade Bar and Restaurant is one of the more popular venues. A top choice with both locals and tourists alike you can expect a menu of gourmet pub classics. Star picks include ham hock and fresh herb bake with poached egg and hollandaise sauce, sweet potato thai green curry and good ol’ fashioned fish and chips. A Victorian swimming pool and Turkish baths can also be found nearby if you fancy a change of scenery once you’ve had your fill.
 
To find out more information about Portobello Beach click here
 

Hike up to Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park

"Edinburgh is a city that brings not only loved ones together but also scenery thanks to the varied landscapes of urban development, parks and beaches to explore."

Mairi says that Arthur’s Seat is amazing, ‘for stunning panoramic views across the city.’  Found in Holyrood Park, the natural wonder is the perfect destination for adventuring couples wanting to get active, with a variety of different routes to embark upon depending on your fitness level. However, there’s more to the area if you’re not a keen hiker. “Pack a picnic, explore the site of Special Scientific Interest, or relax beside Duddingston Loch – all on this romantic day out in the heart of the city,” Mairi recommends. Regardless of what type of person you are, you’re certain to be having plenty of fun while in the Scottish capital.
 
The ancient volcano of Arthur’s Seat sits 251-metres above sea level and offers all who visit wonderful views of Edinburgh. Legend has it that Camelot was located here, hence the name and connections to King Arthur. Various flora and fauna can be found throughout the area making it brilliant for nature-enthusiasts, and the area is a popular spot for proposals too.

To find out more about Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park click here

Book a signature suite in The Balmoral

The Balmoral is an iconic hotel found in the city centre of Edinburgh. Elegant interiors and signature accommodation adds a unique luxury factor to all who are on the lookout for a romantic retreat.
 
The Scone & Crombie Suite is one of the most extravagant offerings found here. Every square inch of the property is full of traditional antiques, rich fabrics and high-end facilities guaranteeing a magnificent stay. A sitting room with a working fireplace and a dining table adds to this, as well as a marble bathroom with a standalone tub for times when you want to unwind. Personalised concierge services are also included with this choice, as well as fast-track tickets to Edinburgh Castle, a private tour of Hamilton and Inches’ silversmith workshop or a whiskey journey at on-site bar Scotch. Nothing is too much for the staff either, with fresh flowers and other in-room amenities being able to be added.
 
If it wasn’t bewitching enough that J.K. Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter in one of the suites, there’s also plenty of facilities to guarantee some Edinburgh magic. Two restaurants are on hand for times when you’re feeling peckish. With one heralding the golden times of years gone by and another being more modern, all tastes are catered for. Hadrian’s Brasserie serves Scottish international cuisine with Number One being a Michelin-starred choice, perfect for fine-diners and those here for a date night. Afternoon tea is served at Palm Court for a more elegant affair during the day, with The Balmoral Bar and Scotch fantastic places for after-dinner drinks. All-in-all The Balmoral ticks all the boxes when it comes to a quintessential romantic stay in Edinburgh, the only thing missing is you and your other half.
 
If you’ve fallen in love with the Scottish capital just as much as we have, enquire here or call one of our personal travel managers on 0203 816 0985. Find out more information on Edinburgh at visitscotland.com/edinburgh
 

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