SCOTLAND: Melville Castle is another magnificent hotel and a must for the Scottish Experience. The grey stone Castle is impressive on arrival at the end of a long drive. Inside it has a homely feel, a spacious lobby and reception, next to the lounge, bar and reception rooms.
Personal attention is the name of the game here and all staff is extremely friendly and professional from reception to the restaurant to room service. It’s more like being a guest at a large country house
Location: Melville Castle is an 18th Century Country House Hotel nestled within 50 acres of beautiful woodland estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
Classic bedrooms: Melville Castle provides 32 bedrooms of every size, style and furnishing, ranges from classic double rooms, grand four posters to intriguing gallery rooms, some with enchanting views of the surrounding woodland.
The history: At one time Melville was the hunting lodge of Mary Queen of Scots, until she after 19 years of imprisonment was beheaded for her complicity in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth. Also Queen Victoria came to visit as well as George IV. It is said that former family residents still lurk in the castle today. The ghost of Elizabeth Rennie, wife of Henry Dundas, has been seen by the new owner and others during the restoration.
The Castle was custom-built by the first Viscount Melville and designed by the renowned Scottish architect William Playfair. In recent years Melville Castle has been carefully restored and brought back to life by the Hay family.
Dining and wining: The restaurant is rather small and cold, yet charming. It’s relatively new and has a potential. The menu has a good and seasonal choice of about five starters and main courses. The breakfast should receive a Michelin star all by itself.
We say: Our starters were melon and blueberries on one side – chicken liver on the other side of the table. As mains we ordered salmon and ox cheek – and the meat was as soft and tender as it can be. But it was the dessert that came as top of the meal – a chocolate mouse with mint and a pane cotta. When the main course comes up on level of the desserts, The Brasserie will be an eatery this castle can be proud of.
They say: “We went here with group and the food was nice but the portions were very small. Nice place good service but I wouldn’t have liked to pay full price for the food”.
“We were treated to dinner here by friends. They are all great meat eaters and enjoyed the ox cheek and the slow roasted belly of pork. We were well looked after”.
Setback: We got the impression that Queen of Scots and Elizabeth still ensure peace and order at Melville Castle. My only disappointment was not coming across the resident ghost. But I slept extremely well.
Book room here Melville Castle
Pictures by Sarah Elise Gjemdal
Make it Happen!
Touch Down: Melville Castle is situated near Dalkeith, just 20 minutes drive away from Edinburgh Airport.
Stay: Some guest rooms are with enchanting views of the surrounding woodland. Room rates ranging from £129 to £159, including Scottish or Continental breakfast.
Eat: In every respect this hotel has style, comfort, service and cuisine – suitable for business and leisure in a charming countryside setting.
Play: There is space on the lawn to land your helicopter.
Mini Guide: The guest rooms come with a flat-screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities and an en suite bathroom with free toiletries, shower and hairdryer. Some rooms also offer a four poster bed.