On Offer: With the 33-room boutique property,Gleneagles Estate has landed its first getaway in Edinburgh. Unlike its Highland sister property, guests won’t find a dressage arena or fly fishing, but rather a cozy and familiar home base on historic St. Andrew Square from which to take in the historic city’s cultural scene. Opening the property took five years of rehabilitating the former Bank of Scotland building, which now houses lodgings, an all-day restaurant, members club, rooftop bar, and spa.
A smoldering fire in the lobby foyer warms the elegant Georgian interior, and those seeking refuge from Edinburgh’s famously damp, blustery weather. The rooms upstairs will help with that too, thanks to heated marble floors and Victoria + Albert cast-iron soaking tubs. Evergreen Brunschwig & Fils wallcoverings evoke the country idyll of Gleneagles Estate, while bath amenities come from the Strong Rooms health club located in the bank’s former vault. There, guests can unwind with cryotherapy and time in the infrared sauna, or book a private Pilates session with former Royal Ballet Company dancer Lauren Anderson.
Standout Features: Gleneagles Townhouse head chef Johnny Wright returns to his native Scotland with a distinguished track record at London hotspots like the Barbary Next Door and Palomar to oversee the menus at the lobby restaurant The Spence, as well as the Lamplighter rooftop bar and exclusive Member’s Lounge. Situated in the splendor of the former bank’s arcade, the lobby restaurant The Spence captivates with jaw-dropping 34-foot ceilings—accentuated by bespoke pain pendant fixtures from Northern Lights—while contemporary art by Glaswegian painter France-Lise McGurn provides a contrast to the baronial architecture’s buttresses and carved frieze moldings.
Wright’s signature dishes shine especially bright during the festive holiday season. On Christmas day, diners at the Spence can expect champagne flowing fireside and menu highlights of chicken and truffle terrine, goat cheese gougère, roast turkey, and a Scottish cheese pear chutney. Outside of the holiday season, the Spence offers a seasonally-inflected menu. Those who favor light breakfasts will enjoy starting their days with a sourdough croissant fresh from the oven, or a rejuvenating green smoothie with apple and cucumber. Dinner savories include standouts like baked beets with figs and candied walnut, wild roe deer haunch with blackberries and ricotta gnudi—gnocchi’s lighter, airier cousin. Be sure to snag sweets by pastry chef Renato Blinder from the dessert trolley, or pick from an in-room selection of delicacies in the jewel box near the tea service station.