The most beautiful in the city in the world. Architecture to die for. Aesthetically pleasing. Idyllic. Gothic. Mesmerising.
Ways I have heard lots of different people describe Edinburgh, and they are all right! When I first moved to Edinburgh one of the things I fell in love with was the views it offered from all parts of the city. Arriving into Princes Street on the top deck of a bus I was struck with the backdrop of the Castle falling over the city. 7 years later the views still take my breath away, especially on a summer’s day or a crisp winter’s morning!
However, unless you re the proud owner of a Penthouse, you’re willing to hike up Arthurs Seat or lose you breathe getting to the top of Calton Hill (just in time for sunset) your opportunity to view Edinburgh from a height is pretty limited! Whilst the city offers one or two pretty viewing points indoors, a gap in the market was almost too obvious. Enter Nor Loft. The city’s newest and most glamorous champagne bar sitting proudly on the 7th floor of Market Street Hotel. A fresh and contemporary addition slotted in almost perfectly amongst the tradition and character of existing builds right on the doorstep of Edinburgh’s famous old town.
As the Fringe drew to a close it was getting closer and closer to the date my sister would be moving half way across the world to get a taste for student life in Malaysia. As comedy, street food and alcohol preoccupied my time throughout August, I barely had time to make it to work never mind organise a beautiful send off for her… sorry Eimear! Nor Loft got in touch and it was a match made in heaven.
Greeted with the warm smiles of the staff that tended to us, I knew immediately this was somewhere I would be returning too. Sipping bubbles whilst looking over the famous skyline of the city I felt very lucky to call Edinburgh home from home. The incredible views paired with the most chic interiors, this new stop had left no stone unturned. The waiters wore belts with the hotel logo acting as a solid buckle, the cushions were dressed in tartan created especially for the hotel and a fireplace display at the far side of the bar displayed the first line of the Flower of Scotland. Attention to detail was second to none! As the rest of the group excitedly studied the menu I took a dander to the back of the space and observed the kitchen in full swing and almost felt the desire to slip into one of the many cosy corners and hide from the world on my way back to the table… it’s that kind of place!
As time moved on, we enjoyed fantastic champagne and ate some of the tastiest food I have ever had… that is no exaggeration which is strange coming from me! We started with olives and pickles and a selection of fresh breads paired with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip then moved on to the main event. The bite size plates come out as they are ready which is perfect for the relaxed setting. Firstly we enjoyed soy marinated quails eggs with wasabi mayo covered in sesame seeds and black onion salt, then smoked chicken rillettes with caesar dressing and parmesan tuille, an incredible brie, gruygere and champagne fondue with toasted seeds and chili jam which was recommended by the lovely waitress, Natasha and finally, my favourite dish of the lot – a plate of monkfish and serrano ham with homemade tartare sauce. Sometimes the more basic the better! After washing it down with (another) glass of champagne we took a breath of fresh air outside on the balcony and took in the amazing sights of the city from all angles. A dream!
As we were leaving the friendly staff gave us a tour of a selection of rooms on offer within the hotel itself. Chic and contemporary with a Scottish twist – never forgetting their roots, I like that!
If I can give you a little advice it would be to clear your afternoon, make your way to the 7th floor, enjoy a glass or two (or 3 or 4) of bubbles, get the monkfish and WearWhatWorks for a bangin’ outfit picture on the balcony overlooking the city!
Let me know if you go, I’ll only be a little jealous – or I’ll catch you there!
[note I was invited to experience Nor Loft but was not obliged to share my thoughts]