Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Glamour, Glitz, Cocktail Chic ... and the Kids

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Glamour, Glitz, Cocktail Chic ... and the Kids

Article excerpt

BEING all things to all people is nigh on impossible. But The Rutland Hotel makes a valiant effort at being the perfect all-rounder.

It's a glamorous boutique hotel but the staff give a genuinely warm welcome to families; its brasserie restaurant is a gourmet's delight and the bar is the epitome of cocktail chic.

The Rutland is a beautiful half-moon-shaped building at the west end of Princes Street, located in the shadow of Edinburgh's famous castle.

Its historical claim to fame is that in the 1850s, Number 1 Rutland Street was home to surgeon Sir Joseph Lister - the father of antiseptic surgery. For my family, it is a quick jump in a cab from Waverley Station to the centrally-located hotel, which has 12 individual rooms.

My two young children are immediately attracted to giant silver thrones in reception, and outsized chairs continue to be a theme of this hotel. From reception we wind up a gothic black stairwell, so gloomy it is like entering a Dickensian debtor's prison. Maybe its a trick of perception, as when we emerge from the dark our bedroom seems to be incandescent with light.

How to describe the decor? It's as if the hotel itself is a giant cocktail: one part Lewis Carroll and one part Rennie Mackintosh with a splash of Jeff Koons and a dash of Footballer's Wives.

The huge telly in our bedroom is obviously the key attraction for the kids, while I am tickled by the back-lit bed with floor strip-lighting.

The most amazing feature of the room is the glorious view of the castle from a turret window which I appreciate while savouring my complimentary muffin and sparkling water. If I had to be further sold on the general loveliness of the place, the maid had very sweetly placed a little pack of Arran Aromatics baby toiletries in each of the children's cots.

We risk an early evening family meal at The Restaurant, which in retrospect is really a bit posh for young children. It's all sumptuous black and red with glass bubbles cascading from the ceiling and is the kind of place where you would go for a special family meal for grown-ups or a relaxing fancy dinner for two. …

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