UES 62


I ts undeniable mystique conjures images of fog-shrouded crags and brawny, kilt-clad lairds, draughts of whiskey, and the world’s greenest golf courses. Scotland and its storied mythology and history always enthralled me, and the promise of touching down there after so many years of reading about the country was momentous. Whether you’re eager to scale the heights of Edinburgh Castle or Arthur’s Seat or you’re an Outlander fan headed to the Highlands, consult VisitScotland.com, an invaluable resource for visitors to any part of this magnificent country. This summer, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival—featuring luminaries in comedy, music, dance, and more—takes over the city between August 3 and 27. And whatever time of year you’re in Scotland there’s always room for a hot cup of tea, something deep-fried, or sweetly smoked salmon. I began my journey in Edinburgh at the newly refurbished Dunstane Houses, a lovely property that combines the intimate feeling of a bed and breakfast with the decor of a boutique hotel. Nestled just a short jaunt from the city center, the Dunstane is the brainchild of hoteliers Shirley Mowat and her husband, Derek, who purchased the property in 1998. Hailing from the windswept northern isles of Orkney, the pair once planned to move down to London, but settled in Edinburgh. Near the front desk are posted dozens of pictures from Orkney’s storied past, including black-and- white photos from Derek Mowat’s family history. Settle in to one of thirty-five luxurious rooms spread between two buildings, each of which features creamy, muted color schemes, a neutral canvas upon which to paint your hotel experience. Head S C O T L A N D F R O M B R O O K L Y N T O B R A V E H E A R T



upstairs to your room, which offers picturesque views, recently renovated expanses, and massive copper tubs, perfect to soak in. Sprawling beds beckon guests to fall into restorative sleeps from the moment you step in the suite door. The Dunstane offers up a plethora of options for each meal. Continental breakfast options include a crusty loaf of bread, whose fresh surface is ideal for slathering a bit of good jam; porridge, a hearty start to the day and a Scottish specialty; and more traditional, kipper-and-sausage-type options. While the afternoon away in that same lounge with a laptop and the hotel’s excellent Wi-Fi connection—or a book—before dinner at the Ba’ Bar. thedunstane.com Hop on the easily accessible buses into Edinburgh. Start out in the aptly named “Old Town,” the ancient part of the city. Visit Edinburgh


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