InterContinental Edinburgh - The George, Printing Press Bar & Kitchen - Review

Monday 16 March 2020


Review post in collaboration with InterContinental Edinburgh The George

InterContinental Edinburgh The George Hotel combines luxury, history, modern comforts and great Scottish food and drink. Located in the heart of Edinburgh's New Town encompassing The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen and Burr & Co. coffee shop. The staff are the real jewel in the crown of The George delivering outstanding hospitality from the moment you step through the doors.

Edinburgh is choc-a-block with gorgeous buildings and InterContinental The George Hotel is no exception. At its heart are five listed Georgian townhouses, originally built in 1775 as homes for Edinburgh’s most prosperous citizens, but since 1881 have been welcoming hotel guests. As such it was a real treat to follow in the footsteps of so many visitors to Edinburgh over the years and stay in one of the sumptuous suites at the front of the hotel overlooking the fluttering flags and the hussle and bussle of George Street. 

First impressions count and from the moment the doorman welcomed us and we stepped inside the hotel lobby every single member of staff was wonderfully friendly and helpful. All were impeccably turned out with touches of stylish tartan and a smattering of kilts. Most importantly there was absolutely none of the stuffiness that can sometime come with luxury, just a genuinely warm welcome and willingness to help and engage. Check in is from 3pm and our suite was Room 104 on the first floor where we had three windows overlooking George Street complete with balconies and flags. It most certainly had the wow factor. 

Spacious, sumptuous and super comfortable probably sums up our suite pretty well. Open plan with sofa, armchairs, coffee table, large wardrobes, enormous smart TV, safe, dressing table/desk, mini bar and a giant game of noughts and crosses. Some lovely little complimentary touches which really do help to make a stay extra special. The Nineteen gin and tonic (alas no ice), chocolate truffles, Nespresso coffee machine, tuck box, fresh milk and macarons with a chocolate Edinburgh skyline. I'm now trying to work out how to replicate it but with a Stonehaven skyline for my own Bayview holiday apartments.

Out bathroom was huge with both a freestanding roll top bath and an enormous walk in shower with rainfall showerhead. Lovely toiletries from Agraria (including conditioner which is often missing) although I question the provision of soap and small single use plastic bottles and would have prefered to see refillables given that there are noticies asking you to reuse your towels. An evening turndown service brought slippers, chocolate and water to our bedside to accompany the fluffy robes hung in the bathroom. 

Dinner and breakfast are both served in the Printing Press Bar & Kitchen. Because the hotel is comprised of five buildings from different periods it can be quite convoluted to access all areas and you may end up getting lost along the way particularly as you sometimes have to go up to then come down. The Printing Press takes its name from the link to Scotland’s prestigious publishing house, Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier who were residents at this address. According to Sir Walter Scott, Susan Ferrier was the equal of Jane Austen. The premise of The Printing Press is an "all-day restaurant and late-night bar that is a beacon of nourishment and hospitality inspired by Scotland's larder". Menus change on a seasonal basis and we were tasked with tasting the highlights of the new offering for Spring 2020.

Our specially created taster menu comprised of six dishes (accompanied by six drinks pairings) sampling three starters, a main and two deserts. We were impressed by the providence throughout and the commitment to source seasonal produce from Scottish suppliers. Our lovely servers confidently talked us through each dish and their matched drinks.

Hand-sved Orkney scallop, pea and parsley puree, pickled onion.
La Serre Chardonnay

Wellington Farm pork belly, tarragon mayonnaise, wild rice, smoked pancetta
Shipyard APA

Cured Scrabster cod loin, broad beans, olive, black rye, basil
Cap Cette Picpoul de Pinet

Prosciutto-wrapped guinea fowl breast and braised leg sausage roll, pickled cabbage, smoked almond
Les Nuages Pinot Noir

Poached Yorkshire rhubarb, blood orange sorbet
Elderflower Gin Fizz

Dark chocolate tart, milk ice cream
Rob Roy

Particular highlights were the pork belly from Wellington Farm in the Scottish borders. This was served with a tarragon mayonnaise which I'm definitely going to try recreating at home. The wild rice on top provided a great crunch although at first glance looked like something rather unappetising (which was also pointed out to me by lots of my followers on Instagram Stories). Sausage Roll was always going to be a winner. You won't find a braised leg of guinea fowl one in Greggs! I'm not really a desert person - usually preferring to opt for cheese, but the poached rhubarb and blood orange sorbet was absolutely delicious - as was the elderflower gin fizz that accompanied it. 

Looking at the full Spring menu the smoked haggis caught my eye as did the white bean and smoked garlic soup with arran mustard brioche. I'm not normally one to order soup in a restaurant but this one sounds amazing. Scottish venison and salmon feature alongside cod from Scrabster, haddock from Peterhead and Tweed Valley Scotch Beef. I was also very intrigued by the side dish of Shetland Blacks potatoes. 

After a nightcap in the bar and a coffee in our room it was time for bed. What an amazing sleep we both had. The beds, duvets and pillows were all super comfy. Made me think I need to upgrade my own bedroom at home. The rainfall shower was the perfect start to the day washing away any cobwebs from the night before. Breakfast was an extensive buffet of both cooked and continental options, there was also an good selection of cooked to order dishes. Hair of the dog didn't seem like a great idea so we skipped on the Marmalade Whisky Sour breakfast cocktail. 

With the luxury of breakfast being served until 10:30am and a noon checkout we returned to our room to enjoy our remaining time at leisure. Having enjoyed a fantastic stay from start to finish we really didn't want to leave and were contemplating self isolation in room 104. For somewhere special to stay in Edinburgh The George Hotel effortlessly combines luxury, history, modern comforts and great Scottish food and drink. But it is the staff who are the real jewel in the crown, delivering outstanding hospitality from the moment you step through the doors until the moment you leave.

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Disclosure: This is not a paid post. We ate and stayed as guests of InterContinental Edinburgh The George.
As always, all views expressed are my own. 
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.

1 comment

  1. While Self Isolating(Aged 80+) I read your article in National Trust Magazine on Oatcakes. Result--Great success. I had to use 4 tbsp boiling water.
    Many thanks


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