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Friday, 28 October 2011

Malmaison Hotel, Edinburgh

My brother’s room in Edinburgh University halls is a lot more pleasant than my dingy first year cupboard room at Manchester... however I was still very glad to be staying at the luxurious Malmaison Hotel for the night. Located in Leith, a district in Edinburgh that has recently undergone a transformation, the Mal hotel is part of a stylish cluster of lovely restaurants, bars and galleries along the waterfront. The building itself is a 19th-century former Seaman's Mission and oozes with history.

We were in the 'concept' room, a beautiful brand new spacious room decorated with the utmost care to evoke the beach and summer memories. The room, number 117, was so new the smell of paint could almost be detected in the air, and everything sparkled with freshness. With muted striped walls, matching comfy armchairs, a woodland coffee table, mirrored wardrobe, high tech TV and hanging retro photographs... the room seemed fit for a queen. The place was so big, our huge King size bed could neatly be tucked in the corner to allow space for all the other glamorous amenities. I felt I should be entertaining in such a commodious suite!

My favourite features were the Nespresso coffee machine and gorgeous vintage tea set that were available for our use.

The bathroom was minimalist and chic with a large bath and sink and a selection of sweet smelling Malmaison toiletries. It was here that I discovered the ultimate high tech invention... after my hot shower in the morning I stepped out to a miracle on the mirrors... all steamed up apart from two large rectangular sections that remained pristinely clear so I could still see perfectly in them, an unbelievably useful gadget that gave me quite a fright!

Being so new, there were a few teething problems with our room, no glasses for water and a few issues with the hot and cold taps in the morning but these were soon rectified and the staff were only too happy to help out, everyone was polite and friendly and very attentive, keen to make our stay as special as possible.

Supper is served downstairs in the elegant bistro. First we sat in the plush bar to sample the cocktails... and I can say from my ample cocktail drinking experience, that these drinks were mixed to perfection. The raspberry Bellini was particularly good, and looked stunning too.

I have eaten in the Malmaison London before and Edinburgh was not dissimilar in style, a glorious menu of British classics with particular attention to good quality meat and local Scottish produce. We tried a few quirky starters, the crispy frog legs with sauce gribiche and the chicory, walnut and Strathdon blue salad. Both were beautifully presented, and exciting for the palate. I was proud of myself for eating the frog legs and surprised to find them quite tasty, or maybe that was just the talent of the Mal chef!

The mains were extravagant and rich and we were glad to have left room by resisting the bread. We tried the Mal burger, the ‘St Brides’ coq au vin with pommes puree and the amazing aged entrecote steak (a meat feast for my starving student brother). Everything was delicious, and there were no complaints around the table, in fact everyone was very quiet concentrating on the food entirely. Quick mention also to the hand cut fries that were a huge success with this group of discerning chip critics.

Amazingly we had room for pudding, and ordered a creme brulee with spiced Madeleine and baked Alaska flambee to share between the three of us. The brulee disappeared almost instantly and was a definite hit. The flambee looked sensational arriving on fire (intentionally of course) and was life threateningly sweet, and couldn’t quite be finished despite our efforts!

Retiring to bed after supper was very welcome as I was exhausted after walking around Edinburgh all day. Our bed, aside from being huge, was exceptionally warm and cosy and ultra soft, perfect for freezing Scottish nights.

It is difficult not to gorge yourself on the breakfast, and I would have if I hadn’t eaten such a big supper the night before. There is endless choice if you opt for the continental, a spread of favourites with fresh fruit, vanilla infused yoghurt and cereals as just a few of the treats on offer. I ordered a bacon and sausage sandwich which was perfectly cooked and very tasty, I could tell that the meat was of a high quality. To drink we were brought fresh orange juice and large frothy cappuccinos.

Every time I visit a Malmaison I fall more and more in love with this chain of luxury hotels, they have a great philosophy and welcome every guest with open arms, making every stay extra special. If you are visiting Edinburgh I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough, if you are lucky the concept room might be available to try.

Visit the MALMAISON website here for more information and booking.


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  2. Looks lovely! I love posh hotels, I'll make a note of this one, thanks! :-)

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