Located beside Edinburgh’s historic Carlton Hill on Royal Terrace, a quiet residential street, 21212 provides high-end accommodation and a fine restaurant inside a Georgian townhouse with modern decor.
With a combined 60 years of hospitality experience behind them, in Leicestershire, Cheshire and the Scottish capital, owners Paul Kitching and partner, Katie O’Brien, have created four large bedrooms on the upper levels of the house. Two at the front grant views of the city, on a clear day over the Firth of Forth and beyond, while the two at the back overlook the garden.
Our room was spacious, with light flooding in from two large windows. Plentiful furnishings included a writing desk, built-in mirrored clothes cupboards and a stand-alone TV on a cabinet. Our bed stood in the centre of the room with an extended headboard acting as a division between the bedroom and a mini lounge behind it with settee, armchair and drinks table.
Flooring was a combination of wood and carpet and the pleasant ambience was further enhanced by artwork including a reproduction of a painting of Glencoe valley by William McTaggart, a leading 20th century Scottish Impressionist artist, and a seascape by 19th century English romantic painter, William Turner. Our bathroom featured both shower and bath-tub, with a double sink and Noble Isle toiletries.
Dining takes place on the ground floor and it’s no surprise to learn that Michelin-starred chef Paul once considered being a commercial artist, his creative skills being amply reflected in his innovative food presentation.
At breakfast, we were seated at a cream-colored leather booth with a pink marble-topped table in a room overlooking a copse of trees outside. Here, in one of two dining rooms, we enjoyed salmon and caviar with slender strings of cucumber on a boat-shaped dish.
Our seating for dinner was in the second dining room, where The Seven Works of Mercy by 17th century Italian painter Caravaggio, covered the entire wall. Among Paul’s culinary innovations we delighted in banana lassi with warm salmon, popcorn with halibut and truffle and beef fillet with roasted garlic, grapes and walnuts, fresh bean sprouts and shaves of cucumber on a custard tart.
A sophisticated drawing room, with thick carpet with butterfly motif, offers guests the opportunity to relax pre or post meals. It features a marble fireplace with floral decoration, two bronze sculptures atop Boudoir-style armchairs and glass-topped tables. A tetraptych above a sofa depicts classical Roman scenes and around 50 different Scotch whisky bottles line glass shelves.
Location is a plus for this appealing property, it being less than a 10-minute walk from the east end of Princes Street, the city’s principal shopping district, and 20 minutes to the Royal Mile and other major tourism attractions.