You know that feeling when days turn into weeks and weeks into months and before you know life has completely whizzed past! Lately life has been whizzing past at an incredible speed in our home. At the start of this year, we made a promise to explore more of Scotland, bullet pointed right at the top of my must do list, yet October hit and there we were, yet to make a move. Life for our family got super busy this year and with the year-end drawing closer, in no time at all 3 will become 4 which I dare say will only add to the craziness that we live in, a happy craziness of course. Now feels like a pretty good time to hit pause, take time out to just be with each other. We headed to Edinburgh, a place that feels like home away from home for some much-needed family time.
AS a Glaswegian, a trip to Edinburgh can be anything you want it to be! Take the tourist route and explore the historic buildings and breathtaking landscape, get in amongst the hustle and bustle of the festival season or the magic of the Christmas markets, a girls day shopping before catching the last train home, each trip I’ve taken has been so very different from the previous. Last weekend our trip was a whole new experience entirely, we experienced Edinburgh with a toddler, we had such a wonderful time.
In A Nutshell
At our own pace we wandered the cobbled streets and hidden lanes, dodged in and out the crowds at the Castle, grabbed coffee, enjoyed the glorious sun shining on Princes Street Gardens, indulged in an obligatory visit to the Harvey Nichols Chocolate Lounge before returning to unwind in one of Scotland’s most luxurious hotels, yes I said unwind, it seriously was blissful.
We stayed at The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel located in the heart of city centre. Earlier this year, whilst completely bypassing my ‘Explore Scotland’ in capital letters and searching destinations further afield, I discovered the R Babies feature provided by Rocco Forte Hotels. When this trip popped up, it made perfect sense that The Balmoral was the hotel for this trip. From the second we arrived my little one was well and truly looked after, we all where! The R Babies feature is designed to allow parents to travel light by looking after the finer details. Before we arrived I received a Welcome and Request Form where I choose the services that where applicable to my little one. From night lights to bottle warmers, cribs and bed linen, bath mats and luxury bath time goodies, this personal touch service really does take care of the finer details. My personal favourite was the miniature bath robe and slippers, super adorable!
We stayed in the Junior Suite with Castle View . Boasting around 45 square feet, the room was super spacious and allowed plenty of room for luggage, a pushchair, a cot and an overactive 2-year-old desperate to explore. Now I’m not an avid train spotter but my little one was in heaven with incredible views over Princes Street Gardens and Waverley Train Station, he spent a fair amount of time in amazement as the trains departed the station, meanwhile I sussed out how I could fit a quick whizz around the Princes Street shops into our trip! This suite certainly had the wow factor, with stunning views of Edinburgh Castle, a welcoming lounge area, fresh and airy decor, it was just the perfect place to retire after a day on the go and blissfully knowing all the ‘little things’ were taken care of was the cherry on top!
A visit to the Award Winning Spa is also a must do. I treated myself to a prenatal massage whilst my little one and other half enjoyed the pool. I was super impressed with the facilities on offer and more importantly felt my little one, who has been known to be a little boisterous at times, was more than welcome to make the most of the pool area. We opted for a late evening swim before returning to our room only to find warm cookies and milk awaiting us, now if that isn’t living our best life, I’m not sure what it, what a lovely treat!
The Balmoral had us spoiled for choice when dinner time rolled round. Based in the heart of the city centre, there are tones of fab restaurants nearby however we decided on dinner at the newly refurbished Brasserie Prince Restaurant located within the hotel. Again we were warmly welcomed at the French themed restaurant and enjoyed an early evening three course meal before returning in the morning for quite possible the best Scottish Breakfast I’ve ever had. Did I mention all baby meals are free on the R Babies feature, I found this such a nice touch. Dining with a fussy toddler didn’t feel as daunting here, the staff at the Brasserie Prince where incredibly attentive and accommodating to us all. From lots of interaction, a personal meet and greet with the restaurant manager, to preparing the right temperature food, (which really does matter when your toddler is hangry), they really did exceed all expectations to make our meal time a lovely experience. No IPad in sight and a sumptuous bowl of french fries at the ready, my fussy toddler had a grand time.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to fit in an Afternoon Tea at Palm Court however I did have a wander through and my oh my, this place is breathtaking. I certainly will be back to enjoy a lush afternoon tea, (preferrably baby free for that one).
Things To Do In Edinburgh With A Toddler
The beauty of The Balmoral’s location is the amount of kid friendly attractions close by. With the exception of Edinburgh Zoo being a short 15 minutes bus journey, the below are all within a short walking disctance from the hotel. The key to exploring Edinburgh is to do so at your own pace. Take on the cobbles but allow time to wander, soak up the atmosphere, it really is an incredible city to be enjoyed by all the family.
Our stay at The Balmoral ticked all the boxes for a kid friendly luxury getaway. The finer details and that home away from home feeling made it the perfect place to unwind whilst enjoying all that Edinburgh has to offer. We all appreciated some much-needed time out to be together, it was so nice to make memories without travelling afar. Refreshed and reinvigorated, our little family is ready to take on the rest of the year.
Now, as a family of four, where to next?
As always thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon.