Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Dunstane - #TeamDunstane Tour of Brodies 1867

Brodies1867 was established in 1867 by Mr Brodie, Mr Melrose and Mr Drysdale, three enterprising Scottish tea traders and has been producing the finest teas and coffees for almost 150 years now. They say practise makes perfect and #TeamDunstane took a trip to the factory to find out how this perfection is achieved! To start the tour they were given a brief history of the company, which has an amazing history. For starters, in 1892 Mr Drysdale was credited with being the first UK tea manufacturer to produce a breakfast tea...I know many people who would not be functioning at 100% Monday to Friday if it wasn't for Mr Drysdale's creation! This blend is stocked in all our rooms so make sure you try it when you're here! Their next big achievement was the creation of the most popular Brodie's blend, 'Famous Edinburgh' which hasn't changed from the original (and closely guarded) blend since 1928 when it was created.

Over the years Brodie's have been at the forefront of development, experimentation and fashion in the tea and coffee industry, it's easy to see why. During a tour of the factory by the Managing Director, the team saw something familiar in the employees they met - a strong sense of pride, passion and dedication to the work they were doing, Something that we're also very proud of here at The Dunstane too. The tour of the factory was hugely insightful, explaining the roasting process, getting the team involved in feeling the texture of the beans at each stage and helping them to understand what goes into making that cup of coffee they serve guests every day in Skerries.

A treat was in store for them as not only were they learning about coffee, they also go to taste some of Brodie's incredible whisky chaser chocolates - even if you don't like whisky you need to try these, they are divine! I think you'll agree the team look pretty fetching in their hairnets!

But it wasn't all serious, there was a lot of fun to be had too. A coffee making race started between Front of House Manager, Dayne and Food and Beverage Manager, Miguel. The competitive spirit of The Dunstane was out in force and after a hard fought race the winner was....#TeamMiguel! Though I think #TeamDayne will be asking for a rematch in the future, perhaps it'll even become an annual event!! Either way the whole day was well worth it and the team at The Dunstane now have a much better appreciation for the tea and coffee they are serving and its opened up a new topic for guest interaction too.

If you can't wait until your next visit to The Dunstane to try Brodie1867's blends have a look at their mail order catalogue here - Also we recommend liking their Facebook page ( as there are often great competitions running! Otherwise we look forward to welcoming you to Skerries or for an overnight stay in one of our gorgeous rooms!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Royal Highland Show 2015

Here at The Dunstane Hotel we get very excited at this time of year. Well, to be fair we're always excited about something going on in Edinburgh, but the Royal Highland Show (18th-21st June 2015) gives the city a special buzz! Our luxurious rooms are booked up by exhibitors and visitors alike, all needing a peaceful place to relax and a good dinner in our Skerries restaurant after a busy day. With over 5,000 livestock being exhibited and around 180,000 visitors at the show the show is almost unrecognisable from its humble beginnings in the Canongate area of Edinburgh.

Heavy horse diaplay at the Royal Highland Show 2014First held in December 1822 and it showcased just 60-75 cattle, 8 sheep and according to The Scotsman at the time, "two beautiful pigs"! The Royal family have had a keen interest in the show since the early 1900's and Queen Victoria started a long line of Royal patrons of the show. George VI, father of current patron, Her Majesty The Queen, bestowed the title of Royal to the show in 1948. For 130 years the show moved between Edinburgh, Glasgow
and Perth until it found a permanent home at Ingliston in 1960. This year is the 175th Royal Highland Show and it already looks like it will be an especially busy year for both Royal Highland Show and The Dunstane!

The Highland Show really does have something for everyone. You definitely need at least a full day to get round everything, even if you're not in the agriculture business you can't help but appreciate the quality of the livestock from the gentle giants of the equine world to champion dairy cows. Of course, the Highlands are not complete without Scotland's most famous livestock the - Highland "Coo"! If after all that livestock is still not impressing, well the Royal Highland Show exhibitors have a lot more to throw at you!

If you fancy a laugh be sure to catch the terrier racing or for something with more of a'wow factor' there are incredible falconry displays or catch the Show Jumping to see the bond between horse and rider at it's best. There's plenty for the kids to get involved with too, getting up close to some of the animals, take a ride on a tractor or get creative and put those little hands to good use in the craft tent. There is a whole shopping area and of course no event like this would be complete without the Food Hall!

So we need to stop now, if we tell you everything that's happening not only would we run out of space to type, but it would spoil the surprise! Rooms book up fast at The Dunstane so give us a call soon and we'd love to see your pictures and hear about your experiences at the Royal Highland Show 2015, get in touch on our facebook page or on twitter @The Dunstane 

For details and tickets for the Highland Show visit

Monday, 19 January 2015

Skerries at The Dunstane launches a new menu with a brand new chef for 2015!

Skerries New Menu & New Chef - exciting changes!

Chef Paul Hood

Here at The Dunstane, we are well known for our constant changes and improvements and January 2015 has been no different in our special boutique Edinburgh hotel. With so many exciting events happening this year, such as the upcoming Six Nations Rugby at Murrayfield, Open Golfing Events in July, the Highland Show in June and of course the countless Edinburgh Festivals throughout the year - we thought we would kick start 2015 with a brand new menu for Skerries.
Duck dish

We opened on Friday and so far the new dishes have gone down a treat. New Chef Paul Hood has come on board with fresh new ideas and a fantastic back ground in fine restaurants around Scotland to take on the challenge of presenting the best produce that Orkney and Shetland have to offer to the Edinburgh diners! Don't miss out - Book your table here!

Orkney Steak
This year - Skerries has gone back to it's roots with a focus on sourcing our produce from the extensive larder of the northern Islands of Scotland. With dishes such as 8oz, 28 Day Matured Orkeny Rib Eye Steak with hand cut chips and Portobello Mushroom, Glazed Belly of Orkney Pork and a Trio of Orkney Salmons we are bringing the taste of Orkney to Edinburgh with a bang!

All our desserts continue to be home made - with new additions of a Pear and Frangipane Tart as well as the usual Orkney Cheese board. They are so popular we will be constantly reviewing and updating them. New dishes will be added to the menu every 2 weeks and daily specials will mean there is always something new for you to try during your stay.

Chocolate Fondant

This year we have some new short breaks in Edinburgh for you to make the most of your stay with us - sample our food, stay in our luxurious bedrooms and visit Scotland's vibrant capital - all for a specially discounted rate at The Dunstane. Our Big Freeze break incorporates all of this as well as hand selected Prosecco and hand made Scottish Chocolates waiting for you in your room on arrival. Or come and stay in Spring and make the most of dinner with us and a free upgrade to one of our fabulous Deluxe rooms with our Spring Break! 

Coming up over the next few months we have lots of exciting days planned where you can come along with the whole family or a loved one to try our great food! Treat that special someone to a Valentine's Dinner with us - we also have plans for Mother's Day and Easter Sunday coming up! Stay tuned for our offers and events. Book now!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Meet the Duty Managers! - Miguel Franceschi

It's the turn of Miguel - another one of our new Duty Managers at The Dunstane and Skerries! Hello Miguel......

1. So far in your role you mainly cover the restaurant and bar. What do you like most about your role?

I enjoy the restaurant and working together with my team to ensure that guests have a memorable dining experience with us - whether they are residents or outside guests. I am enjoying the guest interaction more and more. I am especially excited about introducing new ideas into Skerries such as my cocktail menu which will be launching before Christmas.

2. What is your favourite dish on the menu at the moment?

I would have to say the Spelt Risotto - it is simple but full of flavour and a twist on the conventional Risotto dishes.

Luxury Blue room
3. What is your favourite bedroom in the hotel?

In the main building I would have to choose room 120 our Luxury Blue room - I think it creates a very dramatic first impression for guests checking in to the hotel. In the Townhouse I love City 19 - our suite... it is so clean cut and contemporary - I wouldn't need to leave the room!
Suite bedroom

4. Do you prefer the Luxury Townhouse or the main building?

People at a functionI personally prefer the main building for its character and that is where the Restaurant is! But the Townhouse has is benefits and I do like running functions over there - such as Christenings in the Stroma Lounge etc.

5. You are over here from Zimbabwe - that must be quite a change for you! How does working in the UK differ from your work in Zim?

It certainly is a change!I have however worked in the UK before so I found it easier to adapt to that you might imagine! Going back to Zimbabwe for that 1.5 years was quite challenging as I felt very unsettled due to the economic situation. I didn't feel that staying in Zim was right for me.

6. If you could make one change to the hotel so far what would it be?

The hotel itself is beautifully finished and furnished and I don't think it needs to be changed in anyway really. however I would like to change the menus more often so our residents get a better selection of dishes if they are staying for a few nights and a few more veggie options would be great.

7. If you could bring something over from your experience in Zim what would it be?

While working in Zim, Tapas and live music became a huge trend and it was a fantastic atmosphere - maybe in the future we could look at this!

8. Describe your perfect day in Edinburgh

It is rather difficult to describe the perfect day i have had since i moved here but if I had to narrow it down, I would star my morning with a coffee in one of the many coffee shops Edinburgh has to offer - Maybe the Elephant Cafe in town where JK Rowling started Harry Potter! The head out to the Pentlands for a walk and then a braai with friends to finish off the day - maybe lastly a movie at the Dominion Cinema.

Thanks Miguel! Nice to meet you!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Meet the.....Duty Manager - Caroline Lowe

CarolineAnother installment of meet our team! It's the turn of Caroline Lowe - one of The Dunstane's new Duty Managers.

1. In your role Caroline you cover most areas of the Hotel - What do you like the most?

I enjoy being at the front of house, dealing with guests and the general operations of the hotel. Now that I am more confident within my role and reservations I am really enjoying it and I am exciting to keep progressing and hopefully get even more involved with The Dunstane!

2. Do you like the guest interaction in your role at reception?

Do you even have to ask! I love talking to our guests and getting to know about them and what they are expecting from us as a Hotel. It is very rewarding knowing that you are fulfilling their expectations and adding to their experiences.
The Blue Room
3. What is your favourite room in the Dunstane?

It is so difficult to choose but I would probably have to say room 120! Although I do like 121 and 108 also! they are beautiful!

The Red Room

4. You are over here from Zimbabwe - that must be quite a change for you! How does working in the UK differ from your hotel in Zim?

It is another world here! Working in the UK is very different to working in Zim. The daily operations are differed as you are faced with different challenges in Zim such as power failures - it is so great not having to worry about generators! 

My role at my previous job did have many similarities to my current one. I have always been front of house and I was reservations manager a the lodge in Zimbabwe - that is why I am enjoying learning more and more with the reservations for the Dunstane. 

I managed more staff in Zimbabwe as it was not as departmentalized as here, I oversaw the housekeepers, restaurant and the gardeners. 

Both business are family owned hotels and customer orientated and I much prefer the person touch of the smaller establishments to larger chain hotels.

6. If you could make one change to The Dunstane - what would it be?

This is a tough one! From the moment we came into the Dunstane to ask for contact details to send CVs to I had a good feeling about it. It is a warm and welcoming environment. I honestly don't feel there are any major changes to be made. A good hotel needs to keep progressing and evolving and I think this is done through the little things - such as specials, events and room amenities....

7. If you could bring something over from your experiences in Zim what would it be?

My family and friends and more sunshine! I think that moving to a new country and new job means new experiences and it is an exciting chapter!

8. Describe your perfect day in Edinburgh?

Definitely starting off the day with coffee from Costa or Starbucks. Then either going to Livingston for retail therapy or to the Forth Road Bridges and having a drink overlooking the water! there are so many places I still have left to visit. 

My favourite restaurant so far is Chaophraya - Thai restaurant on Castle Street (apart from Skerries of course!) so probably finishing off my day there!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Come and See a Show!

There is no better view than Edinburgh in Autumn. There is so much to see and do here, and at The Dunstane, we are looking forward tremendously to welcoming you for an autumn or winter visit. Think about how wonderful it would be to spend a cooling autumn evening inside the Edinburgh Playhouse, watching an incredible performance of Jersey Boys, then heading back to your comfy room in our hotel for a lovely nightcap and a great night sleep. Jersey Boys is playing at the Edinburgh Playhouse from 8th October and is a must see if you are going into town for something exciting. 

wicked headline show at edinburgh playhouse

The Dunstane is only a few minutes from the centre and therefore an ideally placed hub for after all your activities and sightseeing during the day. Once you have experienced Edinburgh you will want to come back time and again. If your stay extends to November, you would be here in time to see Wicked opening on 19th November and running all throughout the Christmas period to the middle of January.

Jersey Boys and Wicked and Great Theatre

Jersey Boys is set around the story of the creation of Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons, taking the audience on a wild adventure of singing and fame. Wicked is based on the story of Oz and tells the tale of how the green witch is considered evil, when in fact she is anything but, initially. The story delves into the backdrop of how she and Glinda the Good Witch fulfill their destinies.

Theatre is a paramount part of Edinburgh culture, and when you stay here with us at The Dunstane, you will get a good feel of just how important. As part of the theatre tradition, the city also hosts the Edinburgh fringe festival throughout August, keeping theatre in the forefront of people’s minds. Come and join us for a performance to remember. Contact our sales team now on 0131 337 6169 to book your stay with us for your theatre break this Autumn.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Keep Quiet About Christmas

Time to Celebrate.

christmas baubles with colours, the dunstane hotel in edinburgh

We at The Dunstane love to celebrate Christmas in style…oh, wait….right, it is still the middle of summer. Perhaps we should not tell you about our special hotel offer yet, where you get a chance to spend two or three nights with us—starting at a mere £280 per person—and stay with us over Christmas. Maybe we should keep ‘mum’ about the fact that you can join us for the start of Christmas on Wednesday 24th December, starting with a lovely glass of Scottish Mulled Wine to warm those cockles.

Of course, right now, because it is the middle of summer, and you are out there basking in the heat, you cannot imagine it ever getting cold again, but wait, there's more…Yes, winter will be here and along with it, Christmas. However, if we do not tell you about our special offers, we would be very remiss, given that you can book early and get your rooms sorted out right now. You could miss out on so much over the Christmas period.

So, keep it under your Hat

We definitely can't mention that our Christmas menu is peppered—pardon the pun—with some of the tastiest food you will eat, this side of the Highlands. These dishes include Fresh Scottish Salmon from the Isle of Arran, Duck breast with cabbage and port jus, and traditional Christmas pudding for dessert. We definitely and absolutely can't tell you about that because it would probably make you want to get on the phone and start booking while at the same time hoping winter would show up a little earlier this year.

So, we absolutely won't tell you that you can have an alternate to Christmas pudding if that is not your thing. We have a delectable dark chocolate torte and cherry compote instead for chocolate lovers. Moreover, we absolutely refuse to divulge that you can finish your meal with an excellent cup of freshly brewed coffee and petit fours. Nope, we are not saying a word. Our lips are sealed. Be sure to call our sales team at The Dunstane on 0131 337 6169 to book your place now – spaces filling fast!