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Friday, 12 May 2017

Hotel & Restaurant Review - Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street and Twenty

Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
Myself and Nicola love spending time in Edinburgh so when we were asked to head along the M8 to spend the night at Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, we jumped at the chance. The fact that we were also to be treated to dinner at Twenty Princes Street with drinks to follow at the adjoining Juniper Bar, made the decision to travel to the capital even easier.
Following a multi-million pound refurbishment of Edinburgh's Royal British Hotel, the Cairn Group owned site has has been renamed as Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, a stunning five star hotel which boasts amazing views of Edinburgh Castle.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
On the morning of check-in, we arrived early to be informed that our room wasn't ready but that was ok as we had brunch reservations at nearby Dishoom so we left our suitcase and made our way back out onto Edinburgh's Princes Street but not before having a sneaky peak around the reception lobby, bar and restaurant. It only took us a few minutes to see the attention to detail that had been applied during the extensive refurbishment and we couldn't wait to get back to see our room for the night.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
After a fantastic brunch as well as a trip to the National Museum of Scotland where we enjoyed a glass of wine on the rooftop terrace to the Tower Restaurant, we headed back to the hotel to check in. We have stayed in quite a few hotels in Edinburgh but not at any as centrally located as Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street. As the name suggests, the hotel is on Edinburgh's famous shopping street, and directly across the road from Waverley train station making it very handy for visitors who have travelled to the capital by rail.
After checking in we made our way to our room which was on the third floor and towards the front of the hotel. As soon as we opened the door to room 303, we knew that we would be having a very comfortable stay. The room was huge and decorated beautifully with a super queen size bed and plush leather headboard dominating one side of the room while a dressing table, chaise longue, two occasional chairs and accompanying table helping to create a comfortable space for rest and relaxation. The room felt modern yet very classic, fitting in with the style and grace of the 200 year old building.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
As is often the case with hotels that have been built into older buildings, the bathroom wasn't the biggest but it was fitted out in a way that made best use of the space. The walk-in monsoon shower with chevron patterned tiled wall helped open the room up while a huge circular mirror helped reflect the perceived space back into the room. I often judge the level of a hotel's hospitality and standing on the brand of toiletries that they provide in the bathroom and Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street score highly with a fine selection of Aveda products that Nicola made great use of. (Nicola doesn't allow me to use the good stuff so I made do with my own supplied supermarket own label shower gel)
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
After a couple of hours relaxing in our room (plus a little nap on the giant bed), we headed downstairs to the restaurant for dinner. Twenty Princes Street is located on the first floor of the hotel and doubles up as the breakfast lounge for hotel guests as well as operating as an award winning restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh. Black leather and gold upholstery coupled with hardwood floors work together to create a dining room filled with elegance and grace. Every piece of available wall space is adorned with myriad of framed prints that seem to capture the history and heritage of old Edinburgh.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
Natural light flows into the restaurant thanks to massive triple-height windows which offer stunning views of the city skyline. As it happened, our table for the evening was in one of the bay windows where we were able to enjoy views of Edinburgh Castle whilst we relaxed over dinner.
The extensive wine list has something to suit all budgets and after much deliberation, we settled on a wonderful bottle of Albariño which was packed with the aromatic flavours of peach, honey and apple. We love Albariño and this offering from Orballo had a great balance of floral notes and crisp acidity that worked well with Nicola's starter and main. I probably should have ordered red wine to match my own menu choices but I was more than happy with our Albariño choice.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
We took forever to decide on what to order such is the variety on the menu but in the end, Nicola settled on the starter of Seared West Coast Scallops, Buccleuch Black Pudding, Crowdie Cauliflower Puree. Talk about setting the bar at a high level? This was a wonderful way to start a meal and a great way to show the perfectly cooked scallops. Crispy black pudding bonbons added a crunchy texture and a little spice to counter the soft sweet scallop whilst the purée had just enough acidity from the Crowdie to balance the dish.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
For my own starter, I opted for the Pine Smoked Pigeon, Kale, Pine Nut Purée and Soured Cranberries. Now, I'm in the William Sitwell school of thought in that food should be served on round plates but I can see by that when the right amount of thought goes into the presentation. My pigeon was served on a wooden board on top of a tray of dry ice rocks which were doused in water to create a dramatic misty effect, not dissimilar to a misty morning in the forest. Once the mist cleared, I was able to tuck into my very well cooked pigeon breasts which were rich and gamey, although I did struggle to pick up much pine in the finished dish. The accompanying pine nut purée was well seasoned and brought an earthiness to the dish whilst the sour cranberries were a perfect foil for the richness of the bird and also helped cleanse the palate. I really enjoyed the little amount of kale that came with the starter and could easily have managed an extra forkful or two.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
For her main, Nicola ordered the Roast Guinea Fowl, Kale, Boudin Blanc Baked Jerusalem Artichoke and Hay Hollandaise. This was another wonderful plate of food, like a good Sunday roast dinner. The guinea fowl was seasoned well and cooked perfectly and served alongside the unusual Boudin Blanc, a sausage made from pork but without the blood. Neither of us have ever had this before and both enjoyed the flavour. The baked artichoke was wonderful, like a good baked potato but with much more depth of flavour. Sautéed potatoes, buttered kale and a rich gravy finished this dish off well although there was also a side dish of hay hollandaise sauce that didn't taste too much of hay and didn't really bring anything to what was already a pretty well balance plate of food.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
I had ordered game for my starter, I when it came to ordering my main, I was 'Still Game' as I settled on the Seared Haunch of Perthshire Venison, Potato Butter Fondant, Honey and Parsnip Purée and Scorched Pear. I've eaten some pretty great venison dishes this year and this was right up there with the best. Everything on the plate complemented everything else, the venison had been seasoned well and was cooked medium rare, just how I like it. The fondant potato was wonderful, crispy on tip but soft in the middle and full of Buttery goodness. The irony kale helped cut through the richness of the venison and its accompanying sauce although once again I could have easily managed a larger portion of the buttered greens. The scorched pears was a nice touch and worked nicely with the rich meat. If I were to make any criticism it would be that the honey and parsnip purée, despite been silky smooth, was lost against the other strong flavours on the plate.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
We were asked if we would like any sides with our mains and when we asked for recommendations from our waitress, she pointed us in the direction of the truffled chips and cheese, which we already had our eye on and we also added a portions deep fried mac'n'cheese cubes too.
As it turned out, we didn't really need any sides as each of our mains were pretty well balanced although had we known that the guinea fowl came with sautéed potatoes then we would likely have left not bothered with sides at all.
That said, the chips were wonderful, triple cooked and salted well before being covered with Manchego cheese and a liberal splash of truffle oil. As for the mac'n'cheese cubes - well, I've just found a new guilty pleasure! What's not to like about rich cheesy pasta covered in panko breadcrumbs and deep fried? The golden cubes of cheesy goodness might not have been the best accompaniment to our dinner but they were very tasty. These could easily work as a lunchtime snack with another bottle of cold beer.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
We had been on the go all day and after our earlier hearty lunch and a very satisfying dinner, not to mention a few alcoholic beverages along the way, so we were declined the chance to look at the dessert menu, instead we decided to finish the evening with a drink next door at bar.
Juniper is also located on same floor as the restaurant and also shares the same breathtaking views of the skyline and we were lucky enough to find a table near the window where we could see Saturday night revellers wandering along Princes Street below. Juniper presents itself as a vibrant and sophisticated cocktail bar and I have to agree because when we went through to the bar, it was heaving busy and looked like the type of place that 'the pretty people' like to hang out.
I have to say that the drinks menu at Juniper is one of the best that I've seen with a fantastic selection of craft beers, premium spirits, wine and champagne, classic cocktails and inventive home made creations too. The drinks prices at Juniper are great too with the most expensive vodka just £4 per shot, the priciest gin was just £4.50 and the costliest rum at £7 per shot but that was for Ron Zacapa XO, the Ron Zacapa 23 was a bargain at just £4 per measure. If I wasn't so tired, I would have happily worked my way from top to bottom without breaking the bank!
Instead, decided to end the day with an Espresso Martini which had been mixed with Angostura 1824 instead of vodka. I'm a massive fan of the standard espresso martini but sometimes find that the drink can be a bit one dimensional depending on the coffee or vodka used. This doesn't happen when you use rum as the base spirit because the natural sugars and spices add layers of flavour that work incredibly well with the coffee. The 12yo bourbon aged Angostura 1824 is packed with vanilla and warming honey flavours - a mighty fine rum on it's own but works incredibly well as the base for grown up cocktails too. As after dinner drinks go, my rum espresso martini was the perfect way to end a great evening and it took all my strength not to order another.
Nicola ended the evening with a crisp G&T although did struggle to settle on which gin to go for as some of her favourites were sitting behind the bar but finally plumped for Seaside Gin from the local Edinburgh Gin distillery. Seaside Gin includes a seaweed, scurvy grass and ground ivy to give this gin a slightly sweet yet refreshing mineral taste which is perfect for mixing in with tonic on a long summer day although it seemed to work well on a cool spring evening for Nicola too.
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street, Twenty Princes Street, Juniper Bar Edinburgh, Edinburgh restaurants, restaurant review, Gerry's Kitchen, food blogger
With our drinks finished it was time to head to bed and we made our way back to then third floor where our huge bed was calling us. After such a long day of walking, eating and drinking I think I could have slept standing up but the comfort of the huge super queen size bed was very much appreciated and we both drifted off to sleep very quickly.
In the morning we were up early and felt remarkably fresh when we made our way downstairs for breakfast. With both continental and cooked breakfast to choose from, we were spoilt for choice but for those who like a little luxury in the morning, the kitchen serve up a mighty fine Omelette Arnold Bennett which is cooked to order and packed with flaky smoked haddock.
With breakfast behind us, our trip to Edinburgh was coming to an end so we said a final goodbye to our room before heading back to reception to check-out.
Our trip to Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street was complimentary, as was our dinner and drinks at Twenty Princes Street and Juniper respectively but my review above is an honest account of our time in Edinburgh.
I really couldn't fault any aspect of our visit as we were treated brilliantly throughout but I would expect that from a five star hotel regardless of whether I'm a paying guest or invited guest.
So to sum up, Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street is a stunning five star hotel, perfectly located for the best shopping, dining and drinking in the capital.
Twenty Princes Street might double up as the hotel restaurant but it is quickly gaining a name as one of Edinburgh's best restaurants. So whether you are looking for a quick lunch or a fancy dinner, there's sure to be something on the menu to suit your mood.
Juniper is one of the best stocked bars in Edinburgh, great for a quick after work drink, meeting friends or chilling out. Don't be mistaken into thinking that Juniper is a hotel bar - it's anything but. This is one of Edinburgh's hidden gems and well worth a visit.
We would like to thank the staff and management at Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street for their hospitality and generosity during our visit and wish the hotel, restaurant and bar all the best for the future.
Keep up to date with news and offers from Hotel Indigo Edinburgh - Princes Street on Facebook.
Keep up to date with news and offers from Twenty Princes Street on Facebook and Twitter.
Keep up to date with news and offers from Juniper Edinburgh on Facebook and Twitter.

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