East Lothian, United Kingdom

The Bonnie Badger

Price per night from$218.97

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP166.67), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Scandi meets Scotland

Setting

Firth of Forth

Forget what you heard about dodgy tartan: The Bonnie Badger is here to shake up the Scottish country inn. The East Lothian hotspot is the first foray into hotels from Tom and Michaela Kitchin, a chef and restaurateur couple with an embarrassment of awards. The location is prime: amid spectacular stretches of scenic coastline but a half hour from Edinburgh. The individually designed rooms are slices of heated-floor heaven that shine a light on Scottish design. Then, there’s the tidy scran (delicious food): humble dishes like haggis, neeps and tatties and steak pie are rendered sublime. For us, though, it’s the thoughtful extras, smiling staff and supreme lack of stuffiness that makes this Badger so very bonnie indeed.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Home-made scones and a glass of champagne, plus a room upgrade subject to availability; Goldsmiths get a bottle of champagne too

Facilities

Photos The Bonnie Badger facilities

Need to know

Rooms

13, including one suite.

Check–Out

Check-in is from 3pm and check-out is at 11am. Both can be flexible, depending on availability.

Prices

Double rooms from SG$309.41 (£175), including tax at 5 per cent.

More details

Rates generally include a generous two-course breakfast, served daily in the dining room.

Also

Kitchin’s kitchen is nothing if not rigorous – the cooks forage for sea herbs and mushrooms themselves and even the butchering is done in house: the meat is delivered whole in fur and feathers.

At the hotel

A sandy public beach in reach, free afternoon tea, free WiFi. In rooms: TV, tea and coffee, hand-made Siabann bath products.

Our favourite rooms

All the decor in the individually designed bedrooms is inspired by the local landscape and enlists a starry roster of Scottish suppliers – custom-designed wallpaper by artist Mairi Helena in heather pinks and inky blues, luxurious bedding by North Berwick-based Laura Thomas and all-natural Siabann bath products handmade in the Ochil Hills. You can’t beat the Ridge Suite for romance quotient – it has bottle green walls, a four-poster bed and an egg-shaped bath tub in the corner.

Packing tips

For the adventurously inclined, a reminder to bring your swimming trunks – one bracing dip in the Firth of Forth and it’s like those last whiskies never happened.

Also

Although the Broc bar, the Stables dining room and the downstairs WC are fully accessible, there are no adapted bedrooms suitable for wheelchair users.

Pet‐friendly

Four-legged friends are very welcome ‒ you’ll just need to give the hotel advance notice and ask for a dog-friendly bedroom (a Superior or Deluxe). There’s a charge of £20 a night and bowls or beds are provided. See more pet-friendly hotels in East Lothian.

Children

All ages are very welcome – there’s a ‘cubs’ menu in the restaurant with classics like sausage and mash or macaroni and cheese. Little Smiths will also love the playroom just off the Broc bar, stocked with games, movies, toys and books.

Food and Drink

Photos The Bonnie Badger food and drink

Top Table

When the weather’s cooperating, take a seat outside in the garden around the outdoor fireplace and watch the chefs at work over the Big Green Egg.

Dress Code

Smart denim, sturdy boots and a cashmere jumper will do perfectly in the Stables.

Hotel restaurant

Meals at the Bonnie Badger are served in the Stables (no prizes for guessing what the space used to be) – the soaring ceilings, fur throws and grand fireplace lend a sense of occasion, so you may be confused by the seemingly simple menu. Don’t be. It’s all a clever ruse to make you think you’re getting humble pub grub, then the food arrives and knocks your socks off. For instance, ‘ham, egg and chips’? It’s slow-cooked, flaky ham hock on the bone with buttery scrambled eggs, pineapple salsa and thrice-cooked puffs of potato. The ‘burger’? That’ll be Wagyu beef from the Highlands cooked over a Big Green Egg barbecue. See what we mean? This is passionately sourced, hyper-local and seasonal food hiding behind unassuming ‘this old thing’ monikers. 

It may be tough, but save room for breakfast. You’ll be plied with locally sourced cheese, smoked fish, fruit, home-baked bread and petite pastries – but that’s only the beginning. The second course is cooked-to-order: eggs, bacon, sausages or the full Scottish, which comes with a tattie scone.

Hotel bar

No dark and dreary pub, the friendly Broc Bar is where locals come to play pool, watch sports and nibble on Tom’s ears – the crispy, salty pigs ears that serve as moreish bar snacks. There’s a changing daily menu of soup, sandwiches and home-baked treats, or order anything from the Stables menu and they’ll happily serve it to you here. Try a whisky flight if you’d like to taste the local drams – they range from £10 to £300 (the latter finishes with an incredibly rare 40 year old single malt from Scotland’s West coast). Classic cocktails, like Southsides and Martinis, sit alongside whiskey concoctions like the Sweet Smoke Peat, made with 16-year-old Lagavulin. Oenophiles will delight in the long wine list, divided into sensory categories like ‘Light & Fruity’ or ‘Earthy & Savoury’.

Last orders

Breakfast is from 8 to 10.30am; lunch in the Stables is noon–2.30pm; supper is 5pm–9.30pm on weekdays and until 10pm on weekends. The Broc Bar is open 10am to midnight every day.

Room service

There’s no room service, but given the extra-generous breakfasts, the surplus of scones at the free afternoon tea, moreish bar snacks, hearty suppers and home-baked treats left by your bed at turndown, we can almost guarantee you’ll never go wanting.

Location

Photos The Bonnie Badger location
Address
The Bonnie Badger
Main Street
Gullane
EH31 2AB
United Kingdom

You’ll find the Bonnie Badger in golf-loving Gullane (NB: it’s pronounced Gillan or Gullan but never Gul-lane), a charming seaside town on the Firth of Forth that’s home to one of East Lothian’s best sandy beaches.

Planes

Edinburgh’s the one to aim for, just 45 minutes away by car. The hotel can arrange taxis on request.

Trains

North Berwick is the closest, a 10-minute drive from the hotel.

Automobiles

Rent a car at Edinburgh airport to caper through castle ruins, gallivant to gastropubs or trawl towns like Musselbergh, North Berwick and Dunbar. The hotel has free parking on-site.

Worth getting out of bed for

There’s no escaping that Gullane is golf mad, so if you’ve come to loiter on the local links, you’re in luck – the county is home to the world-famous Muirfield as well as the excellent North Berwick and Gullane courses. But don’t worry if golf isn’t your bag, there’s plenty on offer that has nothing to do with bunkers, birdies or bogeys. From the Bonnie Badger, it’s only a 10-minute walk to Gullane Bents, a sandy stretch of pet- and family-friendly beach where brave, neoprene-clad souls can swim, surf or kayak in the Firth of Forth. East Lothian is also home to the most scenic stretches of the John Muir Way, a coastal walking and biking path that runs across Scotland horizontally from Helensburgh to Dunbar. If your pace is more sedate, pay a visit to the picturesque town of North Berwick and stroll through its idiosyncratic independent shops, visit the NB distillery or take a boat trip to Bass Rock to see the seabirds. Adventure-seeking families should head to Foxlake Adventures, a reservoir with an over-water ropes course, wakeboarding and off-road segways.

Local restaurants

When the weather’s bonnie, amble to the Archerfield Estate to visit the Archerfield Walled Garden, home to a café and a ‘fairy trail’ where the little ’uns can let their imaginations run wild. More grown-up gourmands should patronise La Potinière on Gullane’s high street for fine dining – the cosy, French-leaning restaurant is so good that Edinburgers often make the pilgrimage just for the beef.

Reviews

Photos The Bonnie Badger reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this haute gastropub in Gullane and unpacked their whiskey and cashmere, a full account of their Scottish seaside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Bonnie Badger in East Lothian

Though the name is adorable, the town twee and the exterior ivy-clad, the Bonnie Badger is no ordinary pub with rooms. For starters, the owners are Michaela and Tom Kitchin, award-winning restaurateurs (a delightful case of nominative determinism) and owners of four much-loved – and Michelin-recognised – ‘nature to plate’ restaurants where provenance is prized. For their first venture outside of Edinburgh’s environs, they’ve lovingly renovated an East Lothian inn called the Golf Hotel, which was built in 1836 and sort of did what it said on the tin. Michaela’s skillful eye went to work on the interiors – gone was Granny’s chintz and traditional tartan, in was Scandi-meets-Scotland sophistication, with walls painted stormy colours, original beams exposed and beds draped in cottons of vertiginous thread-count. Tom’s arena is the faultless food – with his wizardry, pub classics like ham, egg and chips are elevated to ‘how does he do that?’ standard. It’s the kind of place where treats just keep appearing – a thermos of hot chocolate by your bed at night, calories-be-damned afternoon teas… even breakfast is a two-course affair. To build up an appetite, there are dramatic coastal walks, long stretches of sandy beach and championship links courses in reach. But you won’t want to scamper too far from the Broc bar – those Lagavulin cocktails aren’t going to drink themselves.

Price per night from $218.97

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