“Scotland is the country above all others that I have seen, in which a man of imagination may carve out his own pleasures; there are so many inhabited solitudes.”
As the autumn leaves started to turn a golden shade, we hopped on a train north for our third instalment of our travel series with IWC Watches, to explore the jaw dropping landscapes, vast rolling hills and historic medieval grandeur of Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland.
It is hard not to be bewitched by Edinburgh, with its picturesque medieval castle, dramatic and endlessly sprawling terrain, and the jewel toned sea lapping at its edges. After a four-hour train journey from London, winding through acres and acres of beautiful scenery, we arrived at Edinburgh Waverly station and set off on the short walk to our hotel for the weekend, the beautiful and newly opened Gleneagles Townhouse, Edinburgh.
The most exciting and highly anticipated new luxury hotel in Edinburgh, Gleneagles Townhouse occupies a rather special spot in; not only is it ideally situated overlooking St. Andrew Square, but it’s also located in the building that was once home to the British Linen Bank, and later, the Bank of Scotland. A sister property to the original Gleneagles, located on 850 dreamy acres in Perthshire, is quite possibly the most famous hotel in Scotland. The sprawling property is known for its luxurious spa, award-winning golf course, Michelin-star restaurant and plethora of all the outdoor pursuits one would expect from an opulent hotel in the Scottish Highlands.
Welcome to Edinburgh with The Adventures of Us
And the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41
Discover Gleneagles Townhouse
Gleneagles Townhouse sits tall and grand in the heart of Edinburgh, the sky-high ceilings and historic original details are awe inspiring and take your breath away from the moment you enter the lobby. The property is home to a luxury hotel, an exclusive members-only club and a majestic and the highly acclaimed seasonally driven restaurant, The Spence.
The attention to detail from the property’s renovation is second to none, original details preserved with all the essentials of a modern luxury hotel considered. The interiors are elegant, sophisticated, cosy and calm, old world glamour meets a modern contemporary city hotel and the result is truly breath taking.
Inside the uniquely designed bedrooms, the furnishings are equally as luxurious — jewel toned velvet, tactile fabrics and tufted pillows are combined with rich wooden accents and brass hardware. The forest green tiled bathrooms are an oasis to escape the bustling city life, a freestanding tub taking centre stage perfect for a soak at the end of a long day exploring. The lighting is cosy, the amenities are considered and the tea and Scottish treats are delicious, you won’t want to leave the room.
A quick glance down at our Pilot’s Watch Chronograph with beautiful green dial (paired to the Scottish landscape) and it was time for a spot of lunch. We headed downstairs to Gleneagles Townhouse restaurant, The Spence and were instantly taken back by the grand dining room, found in the bank’s former main hall. It truly is one of the most impressive spaces in the building, with towering granite columns, a domed ceiling and arched windows lining the walls.
Elegantly upholstered furnishings, banquette seating, a large central bar, Calacatta viola marble and dark woods warm up the space, creating a vast yet homely atmosphere where guests can dine on seasonally focused dishes, cooked to perfection from head chef Jonny Wright. The menu is a tribute to classic Scottish fare, but with a contemporary twist — Head Chef, Jonny Wright celebrates world-class produce from across Scotland. He’s worked with local producers, including old friends and new neighbours, to create seasonally inspired modern classic like baked beetroot, ricotta gnudi and wild roe deer, while The Spence’s comprehensive wine list honours new and heritage makers.
Only walking distance from most of Edinburgh’s hotspots, cultural, culinary and otherwise, we spent the rest of the weekend exploring the city on foot, taking in all it has to offer. Our must-see spots are the incredible Collective art space up on Calton Hill. The boutiques, cafes and iconic mews streets of Circus lane. A trip to Edinburgh Castle is a must for a spot of Medieval history and if you can tear yourself away from The Spence, try Noto on nearby Thistle Street or Dishoom for Indian classics and plenty of Chai.
Sarah-Louise Marks and Christopher Phelps run the popular travel blog “The Adventures of Us” The London-based couple are sharing their breath-taking escapes on The Journal in a special travel series.
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