21212 Restaurant with Rooms
3 Royal Terrace
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.
Edinburgh’s international airport is a 25-minute drive from 21212.
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.
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.
Worth getting out of bed for
The hotel sits at the foot of Calton Hill; climb to the top for a photogenic city panorama with the unfinished National Monument in the foreground. While you’re up there, see what’s on at the Collective Gallery, where modern art is displayed. The Edinburgh Playhouse is close by for musicals and concerts, and Broughton Street is renowned for its quirky indie shops and eateries – Scandi bakery Söderberg makes cracking cinnamon and cardamom buns. Princes Street and gardens are a five-minute walk, so you can sweep through the National Gallery, admire the genteel Georgian houses in the New Town then hike up the Mound to the Royal Mile, stopping to pap Edinburgh Castle along the way. The Old Town’s cobbled main drag has historic monuments aplenty, between the castle at the top and Palace of Holyroodhouse at the bottom. Along the way you’ll find the Camera Obscura, Museum of Childhood and several grand ‘kirks’. Things take a grim turn, too: the Surgeons’ Hall Museum has ghoulish artefacts, such as purses made from the skin of hanged murderers Burke and Hare, and ghost walks run up and down the mile (and sometimes into the labyrinth of crypts beneath it).
L’Escargot Bleu 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, a café, deli and bistro hybrid serving freshly caught lobster, wild boar meatballs and such. The Edinburgh outpost of London’s Irani café-inspired Dishoom is around the corner on St Andrew Square. Pop in for breakfasts of bacon-stuffed naan and free-flowing chai lattes or sharing plate dinners of spicy daal, lamb biryani and creamy pau bhaji. It's worth the 40-minute stroll to the Leith Docks, to see the Royal Yacht Britannia and to dine at the Kitchin, the excellent eatery from auspiciously named chef Tom Kitchin, where your meal starts with a map of where all ingredients are sourced. On the way, swing by Cables Wynd House (aka the Banana Block); this Brutalist block was the setting for the even more brutal Irvine Welsh tome Trainspotting, now it's a Category A-listed building.
Edinburgh is awash with bars (the infamous Rose Street pub crawl has 12 stops along one street), so take your pick and pick your poison. For copious drams of Scotland's aqua vitae, try Whiski on the Royal Mile or the more informal Black Cat on Rose Street. Paradise Palms promises kitschy fun, and the Hanging Bat is a Scandi-style hangout that's perfect for a swift pint. In Leith, Nobles has chichi cocktails, Malt and Hops on South Street pulls CAMRA-approved pints and the Roseleaf is a sweet welcoming drinkery where mixed drinks come in teacups.