The 24 Royal Terrace Hotel is gearing up to welcome guests back to its secret garden bar Dinna Tell when restrictions are lifted on April 26.
Like hotels across the country, the stylish boutique guest house has been forced to keep its 15 unique and luxurious rooms closed during Covid lockdowns.
Thankfully they have been able to keep on most of their staff behind the scenes, and last year they re-named the bar to give them a project to work on.
Often hailed as one of Edinburgh’s best kept secrets, the idea that people ‘Dinna Tell’ seemed perfect.
“A few people that have known about us as a sort of hidden gem, and we’ve always been a word-of-mouth place, with lots of returning customers,” says duty manager Jonathan Melville.
“We’re all just looking forward to the return of people. Personal service is a big thing for us, as coming from the hotel side of it that’s always what we’ve done. We’re a very hands-on team, with a professional style, and we’ve all been missing the interaction with guests and customers.”
Ahead of that staff have been busy making sure everything in the venue is perfect, from dusting and polishing glasses and plates to re-arranging the garden, devising new menus, and practicing making the new cocktails added to their already extensive list.
Once re-opened, the bar’s spacious garden and indoor area will host people for food, drinks and cocktails.
The menu is reflective of the owner’s Texas heritage, with American-style bar snacks and sandwiches, all created with fresh Scottish produce for a unique taste.
And along with a wide range of beers the bar is known for its tequila – again, something the owner played big part in.
“It’s very big in Texas,” explains Jonathan. “This is not the sort of stuff you would knock back, this is the elegant type of spirit you would sip on a summer’s day – it’s more like a fine whisky, and it actually makes a nice summer alternative to whisky as long as you know how to find the right tequila. And our owner has some excellent contacts for that.”
If the experiences of last year are any indication the venue can expect a busy few weeks when it does open its doors again.
“We opened the bar in the summer, mainly to keep the staff active, so we weren’t all sitting at home, and that was a nice experience,” says Jonathan.
“It was different to focus on a more local market, and great for us to engage with the Edinburgh crowd. It was quite busy when we opened last time, slightly weather dependent of course.”
After getting the bar opened again the next challenge for staff will be making sure the hotel is ready to take guests again – and while the constantly changing nature of the pandemic make it almost impossible to predict what the future holds, they are hopeful of a full re-opening from June 1.
To make a booking or to find out more, visit the website.