Something a little bit different for Food Friday this week as it’s alcohol not food!
I have always wanted to stay at The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh but as we visit regularly for weekend trips by car, it has never been the best place to choose for convenience. We have never got round to having afternoon tea in the Palm Court or drinks – it’s a crying shame.
A couple of weeks ago we snapped up some bargain East Coast train tickets and took ourselves off to Edinburgh for the day with my sole purpose of having drinks in The Balmoral Bar. I was a lady on a mission and as long as there was alcohol involved, it was easy to convince Paul.
I had actually emailed them in advance to try and book Paul on one of their curated Scotch experiences but no one bothered to get back to me (and still haven’t). Not to worry though, I’m sure they had good reason to not respond to a customer.
Arriving bang on noon, we were escorted to a delightfully comfy sofa. A pleasant treat after a morning of pounding the pavement up and down the Royal Mile. Once ensconced with the menu, we were spoiled for choice with drinks to please everyone’s taste – from non alcoholic mocktails up to £70 champagne cocktails.
While perusing the comprehensive menu in our elegant surroundings, our server brought us salted almonds and flavoured popcorn to help us mull over our choices!
I chose the Lazy Rebel (£12) – Makers Mark bourbon, blackberries, raspberry, lemon juice and Maple syrup. Loaded with fruit, you got the kick of the bourbon which was strong for me but very nice nonetheless.
Paul opted for his ‘usual’. The Old Fashioned (£12) – whisky, Angostura bitters, sugar and water. The Old Fashioned is a very traditional whisky based cocktail that takes an age to make as the bar tender has to muddle the sugar until it has fully dissolved. Our waited did keep coming back to reassure that our drinks were on their way but we were ok with that as the bar had filled up so people watching was on point.
All in all it was a very relaxing, sophisticated afternoon experience. Yes it was expensive but the experience was worth it to me as it’s not the kind of place I would usually visit and it’s something else I can tick off my to-do list.
Am I happy I have finally been to The Balmoral? Oh god yes. Will I be going back for afternoon tea? You can count on it!
If you want a little bit of luxury on a visit to Edinburgh then I fully recommend visiting The Balmoral. You can also reserve tables in the bar to ensure a prime spot.