Borthwick Castle – Why Not Live The Fairytale For Yourself?
June 16, 2017
Luxurious, majestic, opulent… Borthwick Castle stands proudly, just 12 miles south east of Edinburgh, surround by stunning Scottish countryside. The old stronghold still bears the scars of a cannonball launched by Oliver Cromwell in 1650 – but that’s the only imperfection to this absolutely perfect fairytale scene, while of course the history surrounding it, only serves to add more mystique and drama to such a magical place.
I’m sure all little girls growing up wondered what it might be like to live as a prince or princess in grand palatial surroundings. With my dream to marry Prince Harry no longer an option (Meghan Markle is one lucky girl!), lying in the enormous roll-top bubble-filled bath, with peaceful views of the rolling hillside outside my tiny bathroom window, I thought to myself that this probably is what it’s like… And the wonderful thing about Borthwick Castle is that the entire place is available for your own fairytale. Be it a lavish birthday party, a luxury corporate event, a gathering of friends and family or a special anniversary, once you step inside, the whole building becomes your home for as long as you’ve hired it.
As soon as you’ve driven through the gates and entered into the Great Hall, you’ll feel completely overwhelmed by the sheer magnificence of it all. With an enormous table running down the middle of the hall, the highest of ceilings and the most stunning furnishings, paintings and fabrics, this amazing room can be transformed into whatever you want it to be, and that’s the beauty of it.
The attention to detail is exemplary. It’s won awards for its design – all in keeping with the style and olde worlde feel of the time of Lord Borthwick, yet a complete refurbishment has taken place courtesy of the new owners. A mix of old and new, every single piece you see in the castle, from the double silk hemmed curtains, to the old wool banquette, and Parisian chandeliers, have been lovingly sourced. You’ll even find some of the seating has old military buttons sewn into them. You could literally spend a whole day just looking at the furniture, but then when would you have time to eat, drink and be merry?!
During my stay, I was lucky enough to inhabit the ‘Lord Borthwick’ room – a magnificent high ceilinged bedchamber with beautiful oak panels and an enormous oak carved bed which bears the Borthwick crest. Again mixing old with new (which is such a credit to the castle that they’ve got this spot on), the bathroom is fully modernised with a gorgeous standalone shower, that big bath tube, the fluffiest robes and luxurious amenities courtesy of Trinatae who make all of their products with minerals from the dead sea – they are really pretty special.
Dinner – well, in fact every meal, is a sumptuous affair courtesy of star chef Derek Johnstone. He actually won Masterchef: The Professionals back in 2008 and I guarantee it won’t be long before he gets a Michelin star! His work definitely deserves one. The food is quite literally, sensational. And of course if you stay here, you and your guests will be treated to the most fantastical of feasts with fabulous presentation and innovative flavours, every time you sit down to banquet. Literally, if you do want to banquet, he can do that. If you want a 7 course tasting menu specifically for Summer, he can design the menu and ensure its executed with precision. The dishes really are mouthwatering. During our stay, we had the pleasure of experiencing a set menu created especially for us and of course, all with locally sourced produce. A Ravioli of Scottish Woodland Mushrooms, followed by a tender Rack of Lamb with salted lamb belly terrine which just melted in the mouth, complimented by beautifully fresh veg and rounded off with a dessert-to-die-for – creamy Hibiscus Panna Cotta with toasted oats, strawberries and poached rhubarb. His creativity really is limitless.
Upstairs, the State Room (another communal area) is just perfect for a wee dram by the grand piano, sampling one of the many artisansal gins in their cabinets, or a spot of Afternoon Tea. One end of the State Room was actually Mary Queen of Scots’ chapel and you can picture her right there. It’s a sumptuous, expansive, luxurious area and just lends itself to any kind of gathering. They can do anything with the space too, nothing is too big a job. They’ve been known to have the biggest and most complex of parties inside these castle’s walls…
With 10 luxurious bedrooms within the castle walls and an additional two bedroomed cottage, there’s also a newly refurbished Gatehouse which is the most charming honeymoon suite I’ve ever seen. With an Italian marble roll top bath (which at one and a half tonnes, actually had to be lifted in through the roof), along with an exact replica bed of the one King Henry VIII was said to be conceived in, and that attention to detail through the fixtures and furnishings, this is a truly memorable room which will soon house a full spa underneath it!
With winding staircases, hidden rooms which were only discovered during renovation, fabulous artworks, luxurious furniture and an elegance which only belongs in a bygone era, it’s probably time you lived the fairytale for yourself?!
Borthwick Castle can accommodate up to 26 guests overnight. Exclusive hire of the castle costs from £7,500 per night including breakfast, served in the majestic Great Hall.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield