On business in Edinburgh? Do it like a winner

Business travel doesn’t have to be boring. Go big, bold, bling and boastful with our guide to Edinburgh for business travellers. And don’t forget to treat yourself once you’ve sealed that deal. 

Pre-meeting caffeine hit

Chic, sophisticated, a cut above. If you want coffee that shows you mean business then stop by Brew Lab. The décor is smart - think masculine leather chairs and old-fashioned radiators. But the coffee, well – they really know their stuff. Their espresso – made from beans sourced from Africa and Central and South America – is whipped up in a machine called the Black Eagle. Knock back a cup and you’ll be ready to take on Lord Sugar in the boardroom.    

The hand-prepared filter coffee is a total taste sensation too. 

Check out Brew Lab

A working lunch to practice your lines

Need to make some last-minute tweaks to your presentation slides? Fire off a few emails? Read through your notes? Spoon is a great place to work over a butty. Cool and casual - there’s plenty of space, and light floods in from large windows.

The tables are big enough for your laptop and your lunchLog onto the Wi-Fi and get busy, while picking at a bacon or sausage sandwich and sipping a coffee. Just don’t spill it on your notes, or your laptop.

Check out Spoon


Where to schmooze your clients

Make like the Mad Men and take your clients out to dinner. Don Draper and co did huge deals while tucking into steak and shrimp in impossibly glitzy – but always manly – New York restaurants.

And Number One Restaurant has that luxurious, finer-things-in-life feel down to a tee. It’s at the Balmoral Hotel on historic Princes Street.

Fine art hangs from deep red walls. Dark wood tables are laid with crisp white tablecloths. The lights are low and candlelight flickers. The food is Michelin-starred.

Watch your clients tuck into hand-dived scallop and Borders venison from the a la carte menu and know you’ve done good.

Check out Number One


Hold a conference with plenty of bling

In business, image is everything. Leave no one in doubt that you’re big time by opting for the Merchants’ Hall.

Success and grandeur smacks you square in the face at the HQ of the Merchant Company of Edinburgh.

Tall ceilings, stained glass, a staggeringly impressive domed ceiling, chandeliers and ridiculously ornate plasterwork.  

It caters for meetings and seminars big and small – whether a round-the-table meeting of managers in the Court Room or a larger event in the hall.

Check out the Merchants’ Hall


Drinks to toast the deal (or to lick your wounds)

It’s been a good day. The meeting went well: the client’s happy, you closed the deal. It’s time to celebrate.

And what better way than with a classic cocktail? The Bon Vivant is serious about its mixology. Just don’t ask for a Sex on the Beach.

There’s an old-fashioned bohemian feel: candles stuffed in empty wine bottles, a heavy wood-panelled bar, and friendly, attentive bartenders.

Cocktails are wonderfully named – Gin Two Times, A Woman of Paris and The Fedora. 

Check out the Bon Vivant


Treat yourself (if it was a good day)

Feeling like Alan Sugar’s just said ‘you’re hired’ or Don Draper has smouldered ‘nice work’?

You deserve to treat yo self.

And Edinburgh has some great places to do just that. Head to Harvey Nichols on Multrees Walk for more designer labels than you can shake a stick at. And remember, you’ve earned it.


Console yourself (if it was a bad day)   

Things didn’t quite go as planned. Lord Sugar is saying ‘you’re fired’ Draper is shaking his head in disappointment. It’s time for some quiet reflection.

But no scruffy, down-at-heel caff for you. Edinburgh’s got some truly beautiful places at its disposal.

Take a stroll through Holyrood Park and up craggy rocks that form a dormant volcano called Arthur’s Seat. From its summit gaze out forlornly to the castle and sigh ‘next time’.


Get your head down for the night   

Feeling like one of life’s winners? You’ll be right at home at the Scotsman Hotel. Magnificent and majestic, this is luxury dialled up to 11. What’s more it’s less than 5 minutes’ walk from Waverley Station.

Scotland’s headlines were made here in its past-life as the HQ of the Scotsman newspaper. Marble pillars and oak-panelled walls hark back to the old days.

But typewriters and deadlines have now given way to a boutique hotel. Editorial offices have become luxury suites, the printing rooms a bells and whistles spa complete with stainless steel swimming pool. 

Seriously slick sleepover.

Check out the Scotsman Hotel