Exploring Edinburgh with IHG (April 2023)

Edinburgh oozes Scottish charm and hospitality. The city is a fabulous destination for your corporate events with easy access for your delegates to travel from across the UK and international.

IHG Hotels hosted us for an amazing 48 hours exploring this wonderful city. With two hotels in the city they are able to offer your delegates options to stay at either the Intercontinental George for a traditional stay or the Kimpton Charlotte Street for a more modern and social stay.

After traveling up in style from London in first class on LNER, we arrived at the Kimpton Charlotte Street Hotel, overlooking the gorgeous garden square, to a warm Scottish welcome by the team with a glass of bubbles and a delicious light lunch with bowl food and salads. We explored the six meeting spaces that can accommodate from 12 – 350 guests. We loved the private dining room space in the Nook at No 33 and also the cellar on the lower ground floor. All our bedrooms were super comfortable full of the Kimpton special touches from the tuck box, the yoga mats and of course the red phone! The hotel also has two restaurants – one being a pop up and also their dedicated restaurant Baba. We enjoyed dinner in Baba, that serves Middle Eastern sharing dishes with a Scottish twist!

When you think of Scotland, whiskey is the drink that comes to mind. The Johnnie Walker experience is an immersive, sensory and interactive experience that is a must do tour for your delegates when in the city. We don’t want to give too much away about the experience but as event professionals we were all super impressed and inspired by the production that accompanies the tour. As well as the tour, we explored the event spaces which includes a stunning bar for private tastings, a meeting space with so much natural day light and the most incredible rooftop space with views of the city.

After a good night’s sleep we were ready to hit the pavements and the event spaces for day two our FAM. The most famous landmark of Edinburgh is the castle so we of course needed to start the day here! After skipping the queues, we explored the castle ahead of the public arriving which was very special. The castle has three event spaces and of course you can hire the castle exclusively. The options for a gala reception, conference or private dining experience are endless to provide a memorable event for your delegates. Spaces range in capacities from 12 – 800. You can add lots of magic touches to make the event super memorable from a piper’s welcome to a tour of the Crown Jewels.

A hidden gem in Edinburgh is the Signet Library. With two main event spaces and a smaller meeting room, this venue provides the wow moment for your guests. The lower and upper libraries provide ample options for a conference, awards ceremony, gala reception, dining experience or even a wedding!! With capacity up to 400 this venue can provide a wow moment.

An appetite had been worked up after a morning of exploring venues, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Cannon Ball Restaurant. The food was all locally sourced food with a seasonal menu that we loved. The restaurant can be hired exclusively for events across the floors for a drinks or dining experience and also has a private dining room with its own entrance and kitchen for private dining experiences or interactive tastings. As well as the restaurant by the castle, the group also owns further restaurants within the city including at the National Scottish Galleries that can be hired exclusively for events.

The National Scottish Galleries would provide your art lovers with a fantastic backdrop of Scottish art. The galleries can hold up to 500 people and very soon they will have some exciting new event spaces.

The city is a very walkable city which allows you to incorporate wellness and CSR activities into your agenda. We loved our tour with Invisible Cities Tours which is a social enterprise. All tour guides have been affected by homelessness and have trained to become walking tour guides of their own city and offer these alternative tours to tourists and locals. Our tour guide, Sonny, provided us with an excellent tour full of hidden stories of the city that we would have not have heard otherwise. We highly recommend working with the company when in Edinburgh to add a unique tour to your agenda.

Next up was the Intercontinental George which is located in the heart of the city with a gorgeous ballroom, meeting rooms including one with a terrace and a brand new restaurant concept coming soon. The hotel provides opportunities for up to 300 delegates to enjoy the splendour of the 18th century building. A short walk from the Kimpton, the hotels working together provide difference scenery for different elements of your events across multiple days.

We finished the evening with fabulous cocktails at Panda & Sons where innovation is at the heart of their creative menus. A great spot for smaller groups looking for a fun and local spot. After exploring the menu, we headed to another local hot spot – Rabble – which is a hip and stylish restaurant which can hired exclusively or small group bookings for lunch/dinner. The food and service was excellent and a spot we highly recommend if you want a local experience.

The city is the perfect destination to hold an event across a number of days and venues to provide your delegates with a memorable experience. For any information on the venues we’ve visited please reach out.

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