Bathroom at The Witchery hotel.

The Witchery – Edinburgh

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James Thomson’s Gothic conversion of this historic 16th century building – which is named after those burnt on the stake for being witches on Castlehill – is darkly mysterious and thrillingly exotic. At the top of Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, you enter through an ancient close into a flamboyantly theatrical world, where ceilings are richly gilded and painted walls are hung with tapestries or panelled in oak, and rooms are decorated in jewel-like colours with swathes of velvet. Above the restaurant and in the adjacent Jollies Close, the nine suites are vast, sumptuous and wickedly romantic, furnished with four-posters or extravagantly curtained beds, antiques and oil paintings. A celebrity haunt, the Witchery restaurant not only looks magical, with its red leather seats, panelling and candlelight, but showcases the best produce Scotland has to offer. The Angus beef steak tartare is legendary. And the afternoon tea is as decadent as you’d hope, featuring Edinburgh gin-cured salmon sandwiches and chocolate tarts. In summer, there’s al fresco dining on the private topiary-filled terrace of the hotel’s other restaurant, the Secret Garden.

Doubles from £595

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