Enjoy a ‘romantic night in’ at The Dunstane Houses, Edinburgh – Scotland on Sunday Travel

For this Edinburgh hotel’s idea of ​​a “romantic night in” is a far more luxurious affair. And there can’t be many better locations in the capital to spend some quality time with your other half.

Spread over two Victorian townhouses, Dunstane House and its sibling Hampton House promise to bring guests the spirit of Orkney into the heart of Edinburgh and indeed that’s what they deliver – from much of the artwork dotted around the houses to the cheese on the burgers (and in fact the burgers), Orkney runs through everything they do like the word “Blackpool” in a stick of rock.

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There’s nothing budget about the Dunstane Houses. If Orkney is as welcoming as this operation, I’ll be taking the high road sooner rather than later.

After booking in at Dunstane we were ushered across the road to Hampton House (apparently some American guests get jumpy about jaywalking but we’re made of sterner stuff). Our room is a “luxury king double”, with comfy sofa, a Zoffany headboard, ensuite bath and shower, Roberts radio, Nespresso machine, coffee and tea from the St Andrews Tea Company and home-made biscuits. As we’re on the “romantic night in” package there are a few extras thrown in – a chilled bottle of Joseph Perrier champagne, a cocktail glass filled with chocolates and strawberries and squares of tablet. There’s even a gift wrapped selection of Noble Isle toiletries.

Worth getting out of bed for

Hampton House, one of the two Victorian villas that comprise The Dunstane Houses, Edinburgh. Pic: Contributed

If you fancy a stroll you can pick up the nearby Roseburn Path until it meets the Water of Leith Walkway and turn left to follow the river southwards or right for a short walk that takes you to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. There’s also an eclectic range of shops and cafes – and a view of William Playfair’s stunning Donaldson College, now converted into flats – on the ten-minute walk to the transport hub that is Haymarket Station. However, we weren’t for straying too far – it was supposed to be a “romantic night in”, after all.

Dinner is served in Dunstane House’s Ba’ Bar, named after the Kirkwall Ba’ game (check out the collage of photos from Ba’ games past in the bar to give you a flavor of this annual rugby-like contest). My partner starts with a generous portion of smoked mackerel pate, toasted bread and pickled cucumber while I plump for cullen skink and sourdough bread that is almost a meal in itself. We’ve both got our eye on the venison pie with roast potatoes, red cabbage and Dark Island gravy so I do the decent thing and choose instead the fish and chips – an Orkney beer battered haddock with triple-cooked chips and chunky tartare sauce. In the interests of research we squeeze in dessert, sticky ginger pudding with Highand Park toffee sauce and a chocolate fudge brownie with berries and Luca’s ice-cream. The bar boasts an extensive range of single malts but gin’s more our thing – with 28 Scottish examples to choose from, including the hotel’s very own Dun Gin and Orkney’s Kirkjuvagr (served in a glass with a helpful engraved phonetic spelling!), which we choose as appetizers.

Breakfast is as abundant as dinner. My partner picks eggs royale but I never forego a full Scottish – which passes my own personal tattie scone test: no full Scottish is complete without them.

A Hampton House ‘luxury king double’, complete with ‘romantic night in’ treats. Pic: Contributed

The “romantic night in” package includes a late 1pm check-out so there’s time to relax in Hampton House’s conservatory with a coffee and a good book before returning to reality – or catch up with the goings on in “the Ton”, if you must, on the smart TVs that are standard in the two houses’ 35 bedrooms.

The Dunstane Houses, 4 West Coates, Haymarket, Edinburgh, EH12 5JQ.

The Dunstane Houses is a member of Pride of Britain Hotels, a very fine collection of hotels dotted around the British Isles. The carefully-curated collection includes privately-owned properties, each one unique and characterful. The Romantic Night In package costs from £299 per room per night including a bottle of Champagne, three-course dinner for two, Scottish breakfast, a luxury Noble Isle gift, a selection of Dunstane Sweet Treats and late (1pm) check out. Contact Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).

The hallway to Hampton House, decorated with images of Orkney, a flavor that runs throughout the two Houses, from decor to food and drink. Pic: Contributed

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The Ba’ Bar, named for the Orkney street game, where food and drinks are served. Pic: Contributed
Dinner starters at The Dunstane Houses. Pic: Contributed
The Dunstane Burger with triple-cooked chips. Pic: Contributed


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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