A LANDMARK new hotel is to help turn one of the Capital’s most historic neighbourhoods into its hottest foodie mecca.
The owners of The Raeburn boutique hotel in Stockbridge – which opens this week – said their venture would fuel the emergence of a new hotbed of culinary talent to rival the city’s Michelin-starred eateries in Leith.
For years a derelict site, the revamped building will offer ten bedrooms, a bar, private dining and conference room, and outside terrace.
But it is the brasserie-style restaurant which is tantalising tastebuds, as a squad of new chefs prepare to draw on Stockbridge’s network of top-quality food suppliers to create a fine-dining hotspot offering the latest in contemporary British cuisine.
Ross Maclean, whose family owns the hotel, said: “Right from the start this was about creating something that people here would be proud of. Food is massive in Stockbridge. Even midweek it’s busy with people dining out – and there’s a fantastic sense of community.
“People here are prepared to go out, dine and spend money in the right places.”
The arrival of the Macleans’ business marks a turning point in the troubled recent history of the Raeburn House Hotel, which was built in 1832.
After closure in 2007, the B-listed site was allowed to sink into dereliction and it became a blight on the local landscape.
The building was bought for £1.3 million in 2011 by the Maclean family – but early plans to transform it into a boutique operation were rejected due to a proposed extension of the property.
With the support of the community, the Macleans appealed the decision and were successful in overturning it. For Mr Maclean, this week’s grand opening is a crucial turning point for Stockbridge.
“It’s been a long and challenging process,” he said.
“The site has been a complete eyesore for years and years. Very quickly we realised the responsibility in what we were doing and creating for Stockbridge.”
For head chef Nico Ewert, 33, who previously worked with Tom Kitchin at his eponymous restaurant in Leith, the arrival of the new hotel confirms Stockbridge’s status as Edinburgh’s most dynamic new food quarter. He said: “I think it would definitely be able to rival Leith – Stockbridge has had such an amazing food culture for so long.
“There are so many good suppliers that people have long since come here for food in some way and I’m very happy to be going into that environment.”