Spotlight on Edinburgh

Six don’t-miss hot spots in Scotland’s capital

BY T.J. OLWIG — Fall 2019

laying golf in Scotland this fall? If so, also spend time exploring its capital. Though its architecture, history, and literature run deep, the city has done some growing up of late. Don’t worry, the castles and cozy bookshops still charm, but hip restaurants and posh modern hotels now shine alongside picturesque cobblestone streets. Check out these six citywide hot spots.

SEE: For the city’s most dramatic panorama, head to Collective on Calton Hill, home to City Dome, a new art exhibition space; and the restored City Observatory, the birthplace of astronomy in Edinburgh. Fresh off a multiyear, $5.5 million redevelopment, the walled hilltop site is complemented by a new shop, coffee kiosk, and destination restaurant with views stretching across the Firth of Forth.

EAT: At 83 Hanover Street in New Town, owner and Chilean native Juan José Castillo Castro spins Scottish ingredients into toothsome small plates. The menu, inspired by the flavors of his home country, includes fried calamari with merkén aioli and a select list of piscos.

Last November, Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin unveiled his fourth restaurant, Southside Scran, a French bistro in the Bruntsfield neighborhood highlighted by an open rotisserie and Highland wagyu plated a variety of ways.

DRINK: With its July debut, Holyrood Distillery became the city center’s first single-malt whisky distillery in nearly a century. In a renovated 180-year-old building a short walk from the Royal Mile, test your nosing and tasting skills on a range of guided tours. For a whisky master class, spend two hours with Jack Mayo, Holyrood’s rocket-scientist-turned-head-distiller.

SLEEP: In its former life as a lighthouse tender, Fingal transported supplies to Scotland’s most remote, storm-ridden areas. Now permanently docked on Leith’s historic waterfront, it welcomes guests as a floating luxury hotel. Each of the 23 cabins and duplex apartments features original portholes, rain showers, and headboards embossed with maritime maps. Upstairs, the art deco-designed Lighthouse Bar serves craft cocktails and afternoon tea beneath a rippled ceiling. From $267.

Located within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the boutique 98-room Market Street Hotel in Old Town, which just opened in August, features a rooftop Champagne lounge overlooking the Edinburgh skyline. From $203. 


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