The Balmoral Edinburgh
从爱丁堡威弗利火车站出来，向右走个几百米便是魔法的“终点站”⸺位于王子街一号的 The Balmoral 巴尔莫勒尔酒店，你可能在许多明信片上见过这栋城堡式的建筑和它代表性的塔楼，却不一定知道这里实为爱丁堡的第一家酒店，也是 J.K. 罗琳完结《哈利・波特》全系列的地方。
巴尔莫勒尔酒店于 1902 年建立，最初为北英国铁路公司的火车站旅馆，其塔楼上的巨大钟表，永远指在快三分钟的地方，从而帮助乘客免于误车，此举一直延续至今，只有新年夜才会恢复正常。说它是爱丁堡不折不扣的城市“城市明信片”，不止因为其照片被大量印刷和邮寄，更因为它的存在的确是这个古老城市历史文化和艺术的最佳缩影。历经几次翻修并由 Rocco Forte 集团收购后，历经百年的巴尔莫勒尔酒店，如今已如一瓶顶级威士忌佳酿，充满历练醇厚而优雅，被无数人视若珍藏。
作为Rocco Forte酒店系列的第一家，巴尔莫勒尔由Forte家族的Olga Polizzi 女士负责重修设计，以苏格兰风景为灵感，运用地毯油彩织物壁画等充分映射苏格兰特有的荒野浓雾和石楠花，传统中融入现代英式家居元素，带来柔和的居住体验。今年五月，巴尔莫勒尔发布了Olga女士的最新作品Scone & Crombie suite，以苏格兰著名的斯康宫命名， 打造了酒店最顶级也是整个苏格兰最大的一间套房。220平米的面积搭配挑高的天花板，让套房更具宫殿的空间感，其浓郁的色彩和独家定制的壁纸，宽大的壁炉以及包揽爱丁堡古城景观的落地窗，把皇室的居住典范发挥到了极致。
下午三点开始，香气浓郁的经典红茶与三层茶点架一同呈上桌前，从上至下依次食用，琥珀色的茶汤滤过茶网，茶勺轻轻搅入牛奶，甜咸香涩在舌尖融成平衡。其中，酒店特制的苏格兰烟熏三文鱼和来自The Wee Tea 茶叶公司的本地茶款，是只有在巴尔莫勒尔才能品尝的佳味，非常值得一试。
From Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station, a few hundred meters to the right is the magic ”terminal” The Balmoral on 1 Princes Street. You may have seen this castlelike building and its representative towers on many postcards, but you do not necessarily know that it is actually the first hotel in Edinburgh, and it is also the place where JK Rowling finished the whole series of ”Harry Potter”.
Founded in 1902, the Balmoral was originally the railway station hotel of the North British Railway Company. The huge clocks on the towers are always three minutes faster to prevent passengers from being late for the trains. This tradition has continued to this day. Only on New Year‘s Eve will it return to normal. It is said to be Edinburgh‘s “urban postcard”, not only because its photos are printed and mailed in large quantities, but also because its existence is indeed the epitome of the history, culture and art of this ancient city. After several renovations and acquisitions by the Rocco Forte Group, the Balmoral, which has existed for centuries, is now like a bottle of top whisky, full of flavour, mellow and elegant, and has been treasured by countless people.
Model of the Royal Residence
Nearly 90 years old, the Scottish doorman was dressed in a traditional plaid skirt, with stockings fitted with a short knife, neckline hung with gold keys. Although old in age, he acts in a professional style, patiently taking photos with customers, attending to the baggage, and welcoming people traveling from afar. ”Balmoral” means ”magnificent residence” in the Gaelic, and you can feel it when you step into the hotel lobby: the tall space is filled with delicate and elegant Victorian carvings, with beige as the main theme. The golden chandelier and the Scottish native color add to the chicness. The rocking chair around the stove, the highrise bouquet in the atrium, and the soft sofa placed at the front desk make the whole lobby like a large castle living room.
As the first hotel in the Rocco Forte collection, The Balmoral was redesigned by Ms. Olga Polizzi of the Forte family,inspired by Scottish landscapes, using carpets, paints, fabrics, murals etc to map Scotland‘s unique wilderness, fog and heather, blending the tradition with modern British home elements for a soft living experience. In May this year, The Balmoral released Ms. Olga‘s latest work, the Scone & Crombie suite, named after Scotland‘s famous Scone Palace, which created the hotel‘s top and one of the largest suites in Scotland. With an area of 220 square meters and a high ceiling, the suite has a palacelike feel. Its rich colors and exclusive custom wallpapers, large fireplaces and floortoceiling windows overlooking the ancient city of Edinburgh bring the royal residence to its ultimate state.
Tasting the Masterful Afternoon Tea
Scotland often experiences four seasons in one day, but there is one thing the Scots are very determined about, that is the afternoon tea. Afternoon tea originated in England in 1840, started by the Duchess of Bedford, and gradually became popular in the royal family. The Balmoral, used to be visited often by Queen Elizabeth, is the perfect place for authentic English afternoon tea.
The hotel‘s Palm Court is the most elegant afternoon tea place in the city. Palm Court is located in the heart of the Balmoral. It was completely refurbished and transformed into a light and airy afternoon tea lounge, with a glass dome and a Venetian crystal lamp. The handpainted wallpaper perfectly blends into the landscape of Edinburgh, exquisitely and unobtrusively highlights the characteristics of Edinburgh.
At 3 o‘clock in the afternoon, the classic black tea is placed on the table together with the threelayered tea set. It is enjoyed from top to bottom. The amber tea is filtered through the tea net; the tea spoon gently stirring the milk, and the tastes of sweet, salty, fragrance and astringency balanced at the tip of the tongue. Among them, the hotel‘s special Scottish smoked salmon and local tea from The Wee Tea Company are the only tastes that can be savored in Balmoral and are worth a try.
Just recently, Balmoral specially prepared a custom afternoon tea master class for Chinese customers, which was explained by a professional local afternoon tea master and equipped with a professional Chinese translation. While enjoying the most authentic English afternoon tea, you can also learn about the story behind the afternoon tea, the history, and the etiquette of English afternoon tea. It is a rare experience.
At the Balmoral, even if the clock is always three minutes faster, the mood has always been relaxed. If you are still planning the first stop in Edinburgh, why not start from 1 Princes Street and let Edinburgh‘s magic bloom from here.