The Penthouse Boardroom!

Delighted to say that one of my New Year resolutions is beginning to be fulfilled.

Having set out to grow our corporate business, we transformed our Penthouse Apartment into a surprising and extraordinary lunch venue for 16 guests of lawyers Burness Paull.

A bespoke table was finished just days before and, decked in white linen, white roses and crystal glasses, looked amazing as the group of leading business people dined while gazing over Edinburgh’s rooftops.

corporate lunch

We brought in a top chef and waitress. Specially selected for the occasion they reflected the high standards we want for the Old Town Chambers. In fact, they out did themselves, and Burness Paull were singing our praises, which is such a nice feeling.

Because we are not an obvious choice for a business lunch, such events have to be water tight. They have to wow people. The Penthouse is unique for its layout, with its open plan kitchen so guests can see their meal being cooked, and its fascinating views and my hope is that it will become one of the must go to places for people wanting to serve up a prestigious lunch or dinner.

All the team worked hard, and so I am feeling quite proud that it went so well…….all I need to do now is make sure people know about it as a venue for board meetings and special dining……I’m off to post a photo on twitter and hope you’ll spread the word!

Julie Grieve

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2014: great expectations and nice surprises!

As a new business we are always taking a good hard look at ourselves, what we do and how we deliver to our guests, but New Year is traditionally the time to set new ambitious goals.

I have four resolutions for 2014. Firstly, Edinburgh’s Old Town provides an intriguing, atmospheric and rich backdrop to our day-to-day lives and the longer I work here the more I want to find out about Edinburgh’s Closes.

From former residents to the ghosts that are still meant to walk the cobbled lanes, from the architecture and town planning that gave us these narrow streets to the uses of the different buildings that remain (which range from breweries to printing presses). The history of the area is a key part of who we are and it is fascinating whether you are simply passing through as a guest or someone who works here all year round.

My next resolutions are all about the business. We are going out to the world to talk about Old Town Chambers and, in particular, why serviced apartments are a positive choice. The comments we have had so far, either directly or through the main booking/review sites, have been tremendous. They give us the encouragement that we are doing the right things and doing them well. For us, it is about thinking differently, to raise and set new standards.

Our official launch in early 2014 will be our first chance to take our philosophy to a wider audience. Part of that message is that we make serviced apartments rock!  Self-catering has been around for years. The same might be said for serviced apartments. But with the Old Town Chambers serviced apartments there is a big difference.

Our apartments have been designed in such a way, and located so perfectly, that they offer the independent traveller far greater independence, freedom and space than anything that has gone before. They also offer a new level of luxury and style that is unquestionably on a par with the best 5 star hotels. The experience we can provide we hope will help change perceptions of serviced apartments for UK travellers in particular and that is one thing we want to achieve in 2014.

Finally, I want to reach out to the business community to promote long stays. As a home from home, the Old Town Chambers is an ideal alternative to a hotel. Its city centre location is also perfect for any corporate exec looking to relocate to Edinburgh and who needs a base to become fully acquainted with Scotland’s capital.

It is exciting times for Old Town Chambers as we head into 2014, but we believe in our product, aim to work hard and grasp every opportunity with style! Happy New Year!

Julie Grieve

Christmas lights – a view lost to the city for 200 years!

Standing on the balconies of our north facing apartments, particularly at this time of year, the vista of Princes Street and beyond is spectacular, with the lights of the Christmas markets, the Edinburgh Wheel and the buzz of festive shoppers generating the most amazing feeling.

It’s a panoramic view of the city that had been lost for centuries and so it is quite a privilege to be enjoying it once more.

Xmas PH view (balcony 2)[199647]

By the mid-fifteenth century, Edinburgh was a walled city and heavily populated, forcing building upwards.  Because of the grid-like nature of the Old Town’s tightly packed tenements and narrow streets, it became a ‘medieval Manhattan’ of high-rise homes. Some buildings soared 12 storeys high.

Architecturally, today, the Old Town Chambers is a really stand out place. It emerges out of the fifteenth century foundations and the design of our purpose built serviced apartments is representative of the shaping of the buildings as they once were. It is a very contemporary take on Edinburgh’s Old Town and with it we have reinstated these very special views of the New Town.

So if it’s the Christmas lights you want to see, I can’t recommend a better or more unique viewing experience. If you are a bah humbug then watch out, this place could have converted Scrooge without all the ghosts!

Julie Grieve