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All reviews the secret garden old rectory inner sanctum turret suite breakfast hamper restaurant with rooms royal mile four poster bed bottle of champagne roll top bath main restaurant sitting room sister hotel cooked breakfast visiting edinburgh yogurt gothic
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Reviewed 26 November 2021

o be fair, I’d like to preface this review by stating that at all times, Witchery and Prestonfield staff members were courteous and helpful, they tried to do their best with what was available, and ‘The Service’ was very good. The room was clean, and all points in my review have been mentioned to Witchery staff – and I have tried to keep the review factual (except where I’ve said ‘In my opinion’ !)

This was a long-awaited visit (due to compulsory Covid cancellations by the Witchery) and subsequent rebooking. As a result of that our original 1-night stay @ £395 increased to £450 (same room, The Guardroom, same B&B package) over 2 re-bookings (similar dates, all Sunday evening)
The extra £55 for nothing was a bit tedious but we were told nothing could be done so we accepted it as ‘Covid fallout’.
On the day we parked at Prestonfield, got the complimentary cab right to the door of The Witchery by the Castle, we’d been emailed a few times on the day before with all the checking in details, and everything seemed seamless.
We were shown to The Guardroom and it is, without doubt, quite spectacular (see photos)
It isn’t in the main Witchery building, but is a few yards across the way, 2 flights up a lovely spiral stone staircase – and VERY quiet once the doors are closed, with a lovely skyline view.
FACT – if you want to have a gee-wow experience of staying overnight in a gloriously spooky, gothic-style, amazing 3-room ‘chamber’ – then go for The Guardroom!
FACT – the water pressure is appalling so don’t expect a power shower or a bath run in 2mins….but in my opinion that didn’t matter, it was still gloriously decadent.
We got a complimentary bottle of fizz and a jar of 4 home baked biscuits, plus 2 bottles of water (fizzy and still)
There was a Nespresso coffee machine and 8 little plastic pots of milk (my plant milk request was catered for)….but no fresh fruit in the room which I think one might expect for the rate?
Two small issues (which we reported next morning) were a bedside light was hanging off the wall, and the toilet seat was loose – in fairness, if these things aren’t reported, then they can’t be fixed.
That was all good – but in my opinion breakfast was incredibly disappointing and quite spoiled the whole experience.
In a pre-arrival email we were told that we could have a fully cooked breakfast in the restaurant or, if we wanted room service we could have a pre-ordered breakfast hamper consisting of meat, cheese, yoghurt, fresh fruit salad, croissants, petit-pain, cereals, orange, cranberry, apple or grapefruit juice, tea or coffee.
Given that my partner is a meat-eater (I’m not really) we opted for the ‘Full cooked breakfast’ in the restaurant at 9.30am.
We arrived at the restaurant on time but had to wait a while until someone came to seat us.
Croissants and petit-pain were on the table already and we were asked if we wanted tea or coffee, and we were given the menu (see photo attached)
When the coffee arrived it came with a glass of orange juice each (we weren’t asked what juice we wanted, we were just given orange)
You will see from the photo that the 6-choice Full Breakfast menu actually comprises of 4 types of egg dish, the ‘Full Scottish’, or avocado on toast. And that was it, no cereal, yoghurt etc options.
My partner ordered the full breakfast, and as I ordered the avocado on toast I asked if I could also have some muesli please. I was told (very politely) that they didn’t think there was any….so I said cereal would do…they didn’t think there was any of that either (?!)
So I tried porridge..? I was told that they thought there would be some porridge, so we ordered a bowl each.
I also asked if I might have some fruit as well…? The waiter said they would see what they could do.
At this point I was wondering why we hadn’t opted for the room service breakfast hamper, which contained a selection of juices to choose from, cereal, yoghurt etc….all the things I think it would have been reasonable to expect as part of a ‘Full Cooked Breakfast’ served in a dining room.
When the fruit (kiwi, pineapple, grapefruit segments, Passion fruit) and porridge arrived, it was beautifully served.
FACT – we later had to ask for toast (it wasn’t offered)
FACT – we had to ask for a 2nd cup of coffee (it wasn’t offered)
FACT – I had to ask for pepper as there wasn’t any on the table – I accept that Covid measures have meant that many things aren’t left on tables etc. but when our hot food was served I would’ve expected salt & pepper to be offered.
At the start of this review I stressed that at all times service was good – and whilst the breakfast waiter could’ve spotted our empty coffee cups etc., I do believe they were working to the best of their ability with the limited options available to them.
All in all, in my opinion, breakfast was a very poor show and not what I would expect in quality, quantity or delivery, for B&B at £450 (plus) per night. It cheapened the experience. My partner did point out that there was a ‘Breakfast Award’ (?) on display but sadly the date the award was made was 9yrs ago in 2012. I was not surprised. I would suggest that still displaying it in 2021 is an indictment, and not a cause for celebration.
I accept that Covid has resulted in poor delivery schedules, lack of availability etc - but I was only asking for what was on the Breakfast Hamper menu anyway - and at times like this I believe it's incumbent on management teams to make sure that 'Business as Usual' is maintained as much as possible.
As we checked out I did take the time to mention all the above to a member of staff on reception. They listened intently, made notes, and seemed to be interested – until I was talking about the breakfast experience when they gave me the old chestnut “No one has said anything before…”. I found that a bit disappointing, especially as I don’t think my expectations for a Full Cooked Breakfast were unreasonable. I suggested that perhaps it was simply that no one had taken the time to let them know...a bit like the broken light and loo seat..?
I didn’t mention that I also think a Full Breakfast Menu, in such an establishment, should also offer more choice than 4 egg dishes, a plate of cooked meat (including egg), or avocado on toast. In Scotland’s capital, what about kippers, porridge, tattie scones, overnight oats with fruit…? Or even muesli.
Sadly, I will not be staying at the Witchery again. My partner described it as style over substance – and he may be right. It is without doubt, beautifully ‘staged’, the rooms are romantic, I’ve ticked it from my bucket list - and you may wish to do so too - but order the breakfast hamper.

Room tip: Guardroom not in main Witchery building - still beautiful but up 2 flights of spiral stone staircase - exceptionally quiet
Date of stay: November 2021
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank snoomypine
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 24 November 2021

Starters and desserts, amazing. Main course ok. Be aware that everything is charged even bread and water. Check the drinks menu prices. Don’t be like me. Ordered a house white and they brought the most expensive house white for £16 a glass. We later found out there are cheaper alternative house white.
Check all prices before you order anything. Service was what was expected form a place like that. Not coming back. Lost my trust.

Date of stay: November 2021
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank BellaDiva18
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 18 November 2021

I've been a little tardy with this review; we last stayed in July. However, I have eaten here many times over the years and stayed a few, so feel very well-qualified to review it.

There is simply nothing like 'The Witchery'. The whole experience is extraordinary. If one is simply eating, then the restaurant is magical, the food is truly wonderful, the service faultless and the ambience unique. Make sure that you book a table in the 'Secret Garden'. The Sommelier is always on hand with wine recommendations that won't require a mortgage...

If one is also staying in what one can only describe as gothic luxury, the experience is heightened. Don't eat breakfast in your suite; if you are across the road, walk over to the restaurant, where breakfast is served by candlelight amongst red-leathered opulence.

The Witchery has been part of Edinburgh's fabric since 1979 and is my favourite restaurant with rooms in the world. That's no hyperbole; there is simply nothing like it anywhere.

A good night out here will cost you well into four figures. If you're like me, saving is needed, but we plan to go once a year & sample each suite for Anniversary celebrations.

I urge you to do whatever you need to do so that you can visit. You will not be disappointed.

Room tip: Try each suite!
Date of stay: July 2021
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank SteveHS64
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 30 October 2021

Stayed here so many times over the last 10 years. Every suite is perfect, immaculately presented and just stunning.
The location is fabulous, pretty much next to the castle.
Staff are really friendly. No place like it. Stayed in the Guardroom this time, very quiet and a huge suite.

Date of stay: October 2021
Trip type: Travelled solo
Thank Victoria J
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 27 October 2021 via mobile

To say the Witchery is atmospheric is an understatement. The dark timbered room, candle-lit and bedecked with mini pumpkins set the stage for a wonderful evening. Every mouthful was an explosion of joy. The service was very friendly and the surprise anniversary dessert was that "going a little bit extra" that made this a must go dining experience when visiting Edinburgh.

Date of stay: October 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Rob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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