The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh (affectionately known as The Caledonian) is a bit of a landmark in the city. It opened in 1903 as a station hotel – Princes Street Station has long since gone, but the Caley is still going strong!
Whether you’re visiting the city and looking for somewhere to stay, or you’re a local in search of a luxury experience, here are five of the top reasons you need to pay the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh a visit.
Afternoon Tea at Peacock Alley
I’ve tried my fair share of afternoon teas, and the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh do one of the best in the city. The afternoon tea is seasonal, so it changes every few months with a new selection of sandwiches, scones, pastries and cakes. Last time I visited, they even had a chocolate fountain – as if the cake stand laden with sweet treats wasn’t enough already!
There are over 40 varieties of loose leaf tea to choose from so you’re sure to find something that suits you, whether you fancy a classic breakfast tea or a more unusual herbal infusion. To make things extra luxurious, add a glass of champagne for a sparkling afternoon tea.
Afternoon tea is held in Peacock Alley, the Caledonian’s lounge. It was originally the concourse and ticketing office back when the Caley used to be part of the station, and still retains lots of original features. It’s the perfect place to relax for a couple of hours and catch up with friends over tea and cake.
Read more: Summer Afternoon Tea in Peacock Alley
Treatments at the Guerlain Spa
The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh is home to the UK’s first and only Guerlain Spa. The spa is every bit as luxurious as you’d expect, with a range of exclusive Guerlain treatments on offer including massages, facials and body therapies. The treatments are pricey, but worth the money if you’re looking for a memorable experience for a special occasion.
The spa – which is open to both hotel guests and local customers – also has a gym, swimming pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. If you fancy a spruce up after your pampering, the Guerlain Spa also offers makeup application and makeup lessons as well as waxing, eyelash and eyebrow tinting.
Sunday Lunch at the Pompadour by Galvin
The Pompadour is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Edinburgh, and has a stunning view of Edinburgh Castle. Run by the Galvin team and head chef Dan Ashmore, the Pompadour has recently started offering Sunday lunch (in addition to dinner Wednesday to Sunday).
This will be the fanciest Sunday lunch you’ve ever had! Each week, there will be a special Sunday dish which is a gourmet version of a classic roast – think roast leg of Perthshire lamb with pommes mousseline, bone marrow and chanterelles. The rest of the menu is small but perfectly formed, with a selection of the best dishes from the main dinner menu.
When I visited last weekend, I opted for squid ink risotto with crispy squid, followed by Loch Etive sea trout with celeriac fondant, seaweed and cabbage, with a salted caramel souffle and bourbon ice cream to finish. And the best part? It’s only £29.50 for three courses, which is a bit of a bargain considering how delicious the fine dining menu is at the Pompadour.
Read more: Edinburgh: Pompadour by Galvin
Rooms with a view
Although I haven’t actually stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh (I live literally 10 minutes up the road so it would be a liiiiittle bit extra of me to stay over!), the rooms look absolutely stunning. There are 241 rooms in the hotel, and many of them have beautiful views of the castle, as well as luxurious decor and bespoke furniture.
If you’re really pushing the boat out, opt for a suite with its own open plan living area, spacious bedroom, in-room mini bar, Nespresso coffee machine and plenty of little extras like fluffy bathrobes, slippers and designer toiletries.
Wine on tap at Galvin Brasserie de Luxe
If you fancy going out for dinner somewhere a little bit more relaxed than the Pompadour – but every bit as delicious – head to the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh’s other restaurant, the Galvin Brasserie de Luxe. On the menu you’ll find lots of classic brasserie dishes, including seafood and steaks from the grill.
As for the wine menu, you’ll find something rather unusual – wine on tap. There are lots of benefits to serving wine on tap that I hadn’t even thought of until I visited the Brasserie de Luxe. Not only is it more eco-friendly as you don’t use up lots of bottles, it also keeps wine fresher for longer and allows you to try a wider variety of wines. You can order by the glass, or opt for a bottle served in a reusable bottle to share.
Have you visited the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh before?