John Gibson: Hotel’s extra 11 rooms is no tall storey

James Fraser. Picture: contributed
James Fraser. Picture: contributed
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A tall storey. The Mercure Hotel in Princes Street, still widely referred to as “the Mount Royal” is going up in the world. It’s adding 11 rooms on its top eighth floor, now with a total of 169.

Says James Fraser, below, 48, in his third year as general manager there: “We’re now eight storeys and I’ve been obliged to flit from my office, within virtual touching distance of the trams, to what you might call the upper echelons of the hotel but we’re still close to the Castle.

“Before I came here three years back, this was known as the Ramada Jarvis for six years and previously the Mount Royal.”

But the hotel goes back a long way, to 1865, functioning originally as the Princes Dining Rooms. The staff today numbers 75.

Cheesy story

All mixed up. It could well be dementia. Can’t tell you where I was yesterday at this time. I can reveal, though, that we had an English teacher (Daddy Young) at Leith Academy who loved to ridicule his pupils, rattling off for want of alliteration “cauld blew the bitter, biting north” and habitually goading erring classmates with a cynical “the moon is made of green cheese.”

Not so much dementia, I suppose, simply what’s termed the advancing years.

Who’s the daddy?

Today’s jolly jape comes courtesy of eight-year-old Andrew Wallace, enjoying his school hols and writing in the spring edition of the Dumbiedykes Community Newsflyer: “Why was the Egyptian boy confused? Because his daddy was a mummy.”