Old Town Chambers, Edinburgh
Scotland’s capital city is no stranger to a wide range of guest accommodation, with everything from student-friendly hostels, to five-star hotels welcoming visitors to Edinburgh in more normal times.
The team at Lateral City apartments has on their books a selection of some of the most unique properties in the city, whether you are looking for a romantic getaway à deux, or require somewhere bigger for the family. We needed the latter, and stayed in one of the townhouse apartments in their Old Town Chambers hub.
Budget or boutique?
Old Town Chambers is a collection of 50 serviced apartments comprising studios, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, as well as three penthouses and the 15th century townhouse, where we were based.
The style and design of all the apartments falls very much in the boutique category, a fantastic blend of Edinburgh’s finest Old Town architecture and the most modern of fixtures and fittings. A short hop from Waverley station, our apartment was accessed from Advocate’s Close, which dates from at least the 15th century. The close itself frames a fantastic Insta-friendly view of the Scott Monument on Princes Street.
Entering through am unassuming door right on the close, the main bedroom is on this floor with a huge bed and free-standing bath beneath vaulted ceilings. The exposed stonework leaves you imagining the previous life of the room and its inhabitants – especially if you’ve ever been on one of the city’s ghost tours.
The toilet is essentially on a large landing accessed by a twisting staircase. The kids thought it hilarious that one could visit the little boys’ room without the benefit of walls or a door – though there is a large drape that can curtain off the area. (There is also a regular shower room with actual walls and a lockable door on the ground floor.)
Up another flight of stairs you open out into a glorious open-plan living/dining/kitchen space. There are two huge fireplaces, wooden ceilings (some of which bear what we presumed were the remnants of original decoration) and more of that exposed stonework. And yet in such a vast space, there is still intimacy – oversized plush sofas and seats coupled with more huge drapes and clever lighting to create private areas and a sense of cosiness. Modern touches are well-integrated, with a Bose sound system, smart TV and intelligent heating controls.
A second bedroom tucked off the main living space was perfect for our boys.
We visited in early December and the sumptuous interior of the townhouse cocooned us from the frost outside, making it vert hard to leave.
Wining and dining
In the heart of Edinburgh, finding available dining options isn’t normally a problem. But it’s quite possible to cater for yourself in a kitchen replete with crockery, cooking facilities and glassware. The huge dining table easily lends itself to in-house entertaining, and this is a space that comes alive when filled with life.
Worth getting out of bed for
Edinburgh is the most fantastic city for visitors of all ages. With our small crew in tow, we wanted to make the most of our pre-Christmas break. We headed immediately to the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street, which is not only free but will keep everyone amused and engaged for at least a whole morning. We learned about animals, geology and space. We played with robots, marvelled at a cloned sheep and dressed up as medieval courtiers.
Other venues on our hit list were Camera Obscura, Dynamic Earth and Edinburgh Castle, all within walking distance for all but the tiniest of legs.
On arrival there was a welcome pack with some essentials, which also included wine, fizz and soft drinks. There were Nespresso pods, and the bathrooms were stocked with Malin + Goetz toiletries.
A 15th century foundation blended with 21st century style to create an exquisite and unique experience.
Old Town Chambers, Roxburgh’s Court, 323 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LW (0131-510 5499
www.lateralcity.com) See website for current booking details.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.