Situated only five minutes from Edinburgh city centre is the impressive and renowned Prestonfield House hotel, owned by hotelier-restaurateur James Thomson OBE. This historic building sits within its own 20 acre garden, its white baroque exterior standing proud against the rugged backdrop of Arthur’s seat.
As you turn into their impressive driveway, the city noise fades away and you are greeted by the hotel’s resident peacocks that wander aimlessly around the grounds. The adjacent field is also home to some large and hairy resident highland cows aptly called Toffee and Treacle.
The quant entrance to the house is often strikingly decorated to reflect the ever changing seasons; billowing with pumpkins in the autumn, twinkling with Christmas trees in the winter and beautiful displays of fresh flowers in the spring/summer.
Here, you are always greeted with the most attentive and friendly members of staff who constantly strive to make your visit extra special. As you enter the foyer, the space opens up into a beautiful staircase and hallway of deep rich hues whilst the air is filled with the scent of fresh flowers which are impressively displayed throughout.
I love to visit Prestonfield House for their famous afternoon teas where you can sit in one their numerous antique filled rooms.
It is here you enjoy a delicious selection of savoury bites, sandwiches and scones, all washed down with a lovely pot of tea or if you are anything like me, a little glass of champagne.
If you long for something more substantial however, their in-house restaurant Rhubarb is the place to visit.
Their renowned restaurant is appropriately named due to Prestonfield House being the first Scottish estate to propagate Rhubarb, which still grows in their garden today. Situated in the heart of this beautiful building, Rhubarb spans over two large adjoining rooms. Each room is adorned with high ceilings, sash windows and walls of beautifully restored historical paintings. Again, the décor echoes the rest of this estate with antiques, historic architectural features and lavish materials.
Sitting at one of their large circular tables, adorned with a crisp white table cloth accented with long black candles, I always enjoy perusing through their extensive red leather bound menu. It comes to no surprise that their the menu has been carefully curated, providing a delicious choice of Scottish produce with a contemporary twist.
For my starter I chose the delicious Prestonfield smoked salmon accompanied with cockles, dill pickled cucumber, scurvy grass & samphire. It was a fantastic tangy, salty and smoky concoction providing the perfect opening to the meal.
I then opted for the slow cooked blade of Scotch beef en croûte, which was to die for. The meat was extremely succulent and melted in the mouth. The accompanying dripping roast carrots, sprouting broccoli, onion confit and basil pommes purée was a marriage made in heaven.
I couldn’t resist but try try their renowned Rhubarb that grows on site, so for my dessert I chose the apple and rhubarb crumble. The tartness of the rhubarb was well balanced with a smooth vanilla custard and a ginger ice cream adding another dimension to the dish.
This restaurant is the perfect place to escape the hurried city centre and provides an opulent sanctuary with a delicious selection of food. The portions are perfectly balanced, the service is impeccable and of course the impressive surroundings make this place extra special. I have enjoyed several meals at Rhubarb and also recommend their traditional Sunday roast.
I especially love to visit Rhubarb as the sun goes down and the restaurant transforms into a sumptuous and luxurious space. The grand chandeliers look more luminous and the dispersed candles add a sense of opulence, calm, romance and drama. Whatever time you visit, you are sure to be enchanted by the magic of this beautiful hotel.