Hotel Highlights

  • Exciting, innovative cuisine worthy of a trip to Edinburgh
  • Gorgeous Georgian terrace house with grand interiors
  • Small-scale restaurant with rooms in a central setting

Overview

21212 hotel is a regal and refined restaurant with rooms in Edinburgh, where grand Georgian design meets its match in the kitchen. Awarded a Michelin star within eight months of opening, the restaurant’s chefs cook up a storm behind a perspex screen. Interiors are spacious and serene, perfect to return to, post-indulgence in the dining room.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking 21212 Restaurant with Rooms with us:

A mini decanter of sloe gin in your room on arrival

Facilities

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21212 Restaurant and Rooms hotel - Edinburgh - United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

Four.

Check–out

12pm. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $161.21 (£96), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, and Elemis bath products, iPod dock, CD/DVD player and free bottled water in rooms.

Our favourite rooms

Decisions should be based on varying penchants for bathrooms and views. Rooms on the third floor come with huge Spanish showers, sturdy egg-shaped bath tubs and twin sinks. (Opt for either a view of the garden or the Firth of Forth.) The two bedrooms on the fourth floor come with wet rooms.

Packing tips

A refined palate for some serious taste sensations; binoculars to take up Calton Hill and admire the city’s sights close up. Leave your bagpipes at home and be serenaded by the experts instead.

Also

If you plan to eat at 21212, be sure to reserve your table along with your room – they fill up fast, and the hotel doesn't necessarily give priority to guests.

Children

Children over six are welcome in the restaurant but there’s no special menu.

Food & Drink

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21212 Restaurant and Rooms hotel - Edinburgh - United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

The restaurant is the star of the show – 21212 is named after its menu structure (three courses where you get two choices, two where you get one). The chefs get to work behind a perspex screen (on show from the elegant, chandelier-enhanced dining room), whipping up deconstructed dishes with a different taste per mouthful; the lamb curry consists of braised flank, kebab and Merquez sausage, with banana and cucumber confit, currants and peanuts, celeriac and sticky rice coleslaw, basil leaves, saffron, and yoghurt and onion soubise sauce. You know what they say about variety.

Hotel Bar

The bar is in the upstairs Drawing Room, a sumptuous space with high ceilings and luxurious furnishings, perfect for pre- or post-dinner drinks.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 8am until 10.30am; lunch is 12pm until 1.45pm; dinner is 7pm until 9.30pm.

Room service

No food, but drinks can be delivered to bedrooms.

Smith Insider

Dress code

It’d be rude not to scrub up. This is a destination restaurant in a listed building, after all.

Top table

If there’s a big group of you (up to 10), book out the grand dining room on the first floor. Smaller groups of six or so can opt for the Pod, a cosy, circular space with a dramatic digital Caravaggio print for wallpaper.

Local Guide

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21212 Restaurant and Rooms hotel - Edinburgh - United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

L’Escargot Bleu (+44 (0)131 557 1600; www.lescargotbleu.co.uk) on Broughton Street is neighbourhood French dining at its finest; come for the cassoulet and mussels, but leave room for the cheeseboard. If you’re down by the docks, pop into Porto & Fi (+44 (0)131 551 1900; www.portofi.com), a café, deli and bistro hybrid serving freshly caught lobster, wild boar meatballs, and, on Sundays, gourmet all-day breakfasts, or Plumed Horse (+44 (0)131 554 5556; www.plumedhorse.co.uk), a restaurant offering seafood suppers such as langoustine soufflé and wild halibut with frogs’ legs.

+ Enlarge
Behind Calton Hill

21212 Restaurant with Rooms

3 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, EH7 5AB, United Kingdom

The hotel is on Edinburgh's Royal Terrace, right by the Playhouse and at the bottom of Calton Hill where you'll be privy to monumental city sights.

Planes

Edinburgh’s international airport is a 25-minute drive from 21212.

Trains

The city’s Waverley train station is half a mile from the hotel. Taxis cost roughly £5 each way. East Coast (www.eastcoast.co.uk) operates direct services from London King’s Cross.

Automobiles

The hotel is in the centre of Edinburgh, just behind Carlton Hill and at the top of Leith Walk. There’s metered parking available on the Royal Terrace and surrounding streets.

Reviews

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21212 Restaurant and Rooms hotel - Edinburgh - United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Marina O'Loughlin , Clandestine critic

Since I wasted away my late teenage years at Auld Reekie’s major seat of learning, I’ve never been back to the Scottish capital. A combination of being a lousy student, plus having a grant so minuscule it compelled me to live on smoked sausage suppers (one of the capital’s more recherché culinary specialities) and ‘Carlsberg Special With a Vodka In It’, left...

Read more

21212 Restaurant with Rooms

Anonymous review by Marina O'Loughlin, Clandestine critic

Since I wasted away my late teenage years at Auld Reekie’s major seat of learning, I’ve never been back to the Scottish capital. A combination of being a lousy student, plus having a grant so minuscule it compelled me to live on smoked sausage suppers (one of the capital’s more recherché culinary specialities) and ‘Carlsberg Special With a Vodka In It’, left me with less-than-happy memories. Nor, back then, was Edinburgh big on the kind of thing that might appeal to the trainee sybarite. Little wonder I spent so much time huddling in gorgeous Edwardian pubs against the biting East Coast wind.

But my, how things have changed. Edinburgh now boasts the greatest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK outside London. And one of them, the quirkily monikered 21212, offers the ideal excuse to go back. A certifiably insane taxi driver drops us at a perfect example of Edinburgh’s legendary Georgian architecture, a towering townhouse, all impossibly lofty ceilings, sweeping staircase (complete with original butlers trays) and stunning windows.

My Mr Smith is utterly smitten, not only with our restaurant with rooms, but with Edinburgh in general. If he says, ‘This has to be Britain’s most beautiful city,’ just once more, any romantic notions might be severely dashed. Which at 21212 would be an enormous shame. From the giant Caravaggio mural in the ‘pod’ in which we take our breakfast – as remarkable as everything else: eggs turned into Mirò paintings with slicks of herb and jewels of Bayonne ham; locally smoked salmon generously strewn with caviar – to the vast, snowy linened bed, this a scene perfectly designed for seduction.
 
Our hosts are chef Paul Kitching and his partner Katie O’Brien, the former creating some kind of crazy chemistry in the restaurant’s open kitchen, the latter charming us to pieces on reception or serving breakfast. We’re in room 1, up a staircase carpeted in arresting thistle-and-moth patterned carpets from Glaswegian designer duo, Timorous Beasties. Our windows look out over greenery to the distant Firth of Forth; a huge, crisp-sheeted bed lolls on a curtained platform; there’s a large but discreet plasma-screen TV, a soft, nubbly sofa to collapse into, and masses of glossy, foodie-focused goodies to read. A lovely touch is a vintage decanter of port. Nightcaps, ahoy.

As for the huge bathroom, it is rather like having our own personal spa. A vast shower offers gusts of high-pressure water; an egg-shaped bath is most glamorous and comes complete with floor-set uplighters for creating a special bathtime mood; there are Elemis products on tap. And what’s this – underfloor heating? The toastiest toes, guaranteed, even in the depths of a Scottish winter: bliss.
 
The hotel is right next door to Calton Hill, a steep stagger up for an astonishing view of the city. And down the swoop of Leith Walk lie the bars and restaurant of the old docks. We take a walk down to the vaguely bonkers new Scottish Parliament building. Then it’s up the Royal Mile, along with every other tourist in town, to the Castle... Although, alas, we don’t quite make it.

We’re lured back to those glorious Edwardian pubs – the Kenilworth, Guildord and Abbotsford and seriously ravishing Café Royale, all beautifully preserved slices of the boozy past. We head down to louche Stockbridge and the Bailey, Kay’s and the St Vincent. I have stovies, the ugliest foodstuff ever seen, in the handsome Cumberland Bar. The oniony potatoes may cause Mr Smith to blanch at the eccentricities of the Scottish diet, but, mmm, they're good.
 
We finally weave back – ‘We thought you’d got lost,’ says Katie – and concur it’s like staying in a pal’s super-posh home. After a splash about in our ‘spa’, dinner beckons. The brocade-lined dining room, where dreamy, dried-sage-coloured drapes create an intimate, boudoir atmosphere, is the setting for a culinary thrill ride. Here’s how one dish appears on the menu, verbatim: ‘Smoked Haddock Made Interesting. Gently baked haddock with olive oil, saffron + jumbo scallop, baked bean, ratatouille, two black ingredients??, buttered crumpets, very tiny summer vegetables, lightly curried creamy smoked salmon bisque (smoked salmon is always interesting)’. Isn’t that heaven?

Half the fun is trying to indentify the different constituents. A musky wafer turns out to be dehydrated mushroom ‘parchment’; a little waxed paper cup contains porridge and wheat milk. I’ve eaten my way round the world (as my waistline attests) and I can confidently say that Paul is a one-off. His presentation, especially, is unique: tiny elements of each dish jostling and hiding others. It’s like a treasure hunt. There are bizarre, tricky two pronged forks, coffee is served in paper cups; Paul’s humour may be playful, but he has the skill to pull it off.
 
I’m trying hard to find a whinge about 21212 (the name, if you’re wondering, comes from the menu’s unusual binary layout: two courses, then one and so on). The stairs might prove a challenge for anyone with mobility issues (or those who’ve enjoyed too much of Edinburgh’s liquid hospitality). I suppose, like an excited child, I do like to find a minibar in my room. And it might be nice instead of all-French cheeses, to have Scottish ones on the menu. But you can tell I’m struggling. The hotel – and its lovely owners – have made this food critic look at her old alma mater with a new, glowing appreciation. And that’s no small achievement.
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in 21212 Restaurant with Rooms's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on 1 Dec 2013

We loved

I loved our stay at 21212. It was friendly, warm, comfortable and stylish, and the food was delicious.

Don’t expect

Although we got on very well with the other guests, we can imagine that sometimes it might be quite awkward to share breakfast so intimately with complete strangers.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 14 Nov 2013

We loved

I liked the lovely staff and the gorgeous room with lovely extras. This is a beautiful Georgian hotel, wonderfully renovated.

Don’t expect

I would've liked a ittle half bottle of wine in room as bar shuts quite early should you want a nightcap!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 12 Nov 2013

We loved

I liked the amazing personal service, great food and total luxury. The break was perfect.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 6 Jun 2012


The hotel is perfectly placed for enjoying Edinburgh but on a quiet street so you can't hear the hustle and bustle of the city from your room. We stayed in room number one, which was perfect, with a well-sized bathroom, lovely deep bath, king-sized bed and lounge area. The staff couldn't have been more helpful and were ready to answer our questions at any time The only downside is, if you are travelling on business, the walls in those old brownstone houses are quite thick so the Wi-Fi doesn't quite reach the rooms; but the staff were happy for me to hang out in their snug and work for a few hours. If you are staying at the 21212, there is no reason why you would eat anywhere else. The food is something special – even though it's modern cuisine at its best, the menu had some traditional Scottish elements to it. Highly recommended, and I will be staying at 21212 on my next trip.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 7 May 2012


Absolutely flawless from start to finish – the staff were polite, welcoming and friendly throughout. The hotel itself (well, restaurant with rooms) was luxurious with interesting yet understated decor and the room itself was brilliant, with a massive double bed, comfortable sofa and huge windows streaming with Edinburgh light. The bathroom was almost as big as the room itself with an enormous bath, double shower, his and hers sinks underfloor heating and uplighting It was gorgeous, and there were lovely little touches, like a decanter of vintage port left in your room each day and tea or coffee in a thermos when you arrive back from a day exploring Edinburgh. Our only advice would be to bring a hairdryer as there was none to be found in the room. The food itself was outstanding and well deserving of the Michelin Star displayed by the door. Breakfast was smoked salmon and caviar in our own private dining room and we were there for dinner with a five course menu: two choices to start, a soup, two choices for main, cheese and two choices for dessert; hence 21212 didn't disappoint! Some of the best cooking we've come across and a perfect break – we'll definitely be back.

Rating: 8/10 stars