We were invited to visit Gilmerton House, a luxury country house near Edinburgh set in its own grounds, on a rather chilly day and were very grateful to be greeted by a roaring fire and freshly brewed coffee.
Our visit was specially arranged, as it would be if you were organising your own event, and so we were able to take our time wandering around the house and grounds, giving us an opportunity to get a real feel for the place.
Our host for the visit was Fay, the General Manager. Fay is one of those people who has the gift of making you feel immediately at home and we could happily have whiled away many an hour in her company, but down to business.
The house is approached by a short driveway with plenty of parking either at the front or in a space to the side and is set in well-tended formal grounds which give way to some 100 acres of parkland.
The large entrance hall of the house, with an inviting seating area set in front of a log fire, leads to the elegant dining room on one side and the spacious welcoming drawing room, which in turn leads to the cosy snug on one side or the sun terrace, on the other. Even with the chilliness of the day when we visited, we could tell that the sheltered sun terrace would be a lovely spot to enjoy an aperitif before dinner.
The upstairs of the house is mainly used for guest accommodation, but also boasts an impressive wood paneled Rococo style music room (pictured above) with an adjoining kitchen where guests can help themselves to a selection of hot and cold drinks and snacks between meal times – ideal for children and midnight feasts.
Although the bedrooms retain their traditional feel, the muted tones of the décor and clever combination of antiques and modern fittings give them a stylish, contemporary feel.
During our chat, Fay explained to me how willing they are to adapt to their clients’ needs, with one client (here comes the name drop), David Beckham, even changing the curtains for a recent product launch. Pictured with David Beckham are celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Tom Kitchin.
In addition to the luxurious accommodation guests can experience outdoor activities such as clay pigeon shoot, mini highland games, quad biking, falconry, archery and croquet within the grounds. Wind surfing, off-road driving, horse riding and wake boarding can also be arranged in the surrounding area.
If you’re visiting Scotland with golf in mind, then Gilmerton House is well situated with five courses within a ten-mile radius and St Andrews, Gleneagles, Carnoustie and others within a 20-minute helicopter ride.
The overall impression of Gilmerton is one of warmth and comfort with a professional team of staff willing to bend over backwards to tailor your every last desire.
Marble Hallway: Theatre 40; Reception
Drawing Room: Theatre 60; Boardroom 20; Reception 60; Banqueting 20
Dining Room: Theatre 50; Boardroom 20; Reception 40; Banqueting 20
Upper Drawing Room: Reception 60
Music Room; Theatre 100; Boardroom 30; Reception 100; Banqueting 60
Telephone + 44 (01620) 880342