At the Old Town Chambers we love to look after our guests which is why we have an amazing concierge service. We caught up with Gaia who is one of our Head Concierge’s to get a few insiders tips, to help you plan your stay in Edinburgh before you arrive.
1) First of all tell us a bit more about yourself?
My name is Gaia, I am an Italian and I have been living in Edinburgh since November 2012.
I was a PA back in Italy but when I moved to Scotland I decided that I wanted to work in the hospitality sector and I was lucky enough to be hired as Concierge in the Old Town Chambers right since the apartments opened.
I have been a tourist first and this helps a lot in this job. I really love Edinburgh and I believe that as concierge I am like an ambassador for the city. My goal is to let all my guests fall in love with the city as much as I did when I visited for the first time.
2) What’s your favourite restaurant recommendation?
My favourite restaurant is Castle Terrace. You cannot fail with this one. All the guests I have sent there have always come back extremely happy and couldn’t praise the service enough. The food is excellent and the wine list to die for!!!
3) For an authentic Scottish meal, where would you send your guests?
For an authentic Scottish meal I will recommend Wedgwood. It is just a few minutes’ walk down the royal mile from the Old Town Chambers and it is an institution in Edinburgh.
4) Best coffee/lunch spot in Edinburgh?
If you are craving Italian then Cafe Lucano is very good and great for coffee too. Very intriguing main for lunch too: I tried the risotto with blueberry and slow cooked venison, which was delicious. George IV Bridge
Spoon in Nicholson Street is a great find too it is one of my greatest finds! The mixed grilled breakfast is huge, super tasty and definitely made with love! They take their time but it is worth waiting for it! Very family friendly too!
7) Some of your guests will want to stay in rather than go out to eat; so who does a great home delivery service?
If you can’t decide what to eat when we always recommend using the Just Eat app but my personal take away favourites are La Favorita or Zizzi’s ( just on our doorstep! ) for pizza, Taste of China for Chinese and Palmyra for guests that come back late after a club night!
8) A corporate guest has torn a suit jacket that he needs the following morning for an important meeting. Who would you call?
Emergency Taylor: New Whites is perfect for all tailoring emergencies: they are available 24/7 and the express service is able to dry clean and/or repair in 2 hours!
9) What do you rate as Edinburgh’s best attractions?
Of course no visit to Edinburgh would be complete without a tour of our magnificent castle! For the lover of natural beauty and hiking I always recommend a climb up Arthurs Seat: All the tourist are very surprised to see such an imposing mountain just 5 minutes away from the city centre. My favourite spot though is Calton Hill without doubt the best panoramic point of view in all Edinburgh.
10) What’s the strangest request you’ve had from a guest?
It will be strange all over the world but not in Scotland: Birthday party bagpiper of course and we also once had a guest requesting a haunted apartment!!
11) Any little insider tips about the city you can think of?
The Sandy Bell is a very small and traditional pub in Forrest road (10 mins walk from the Old Town Chambers). It looks like nothing special from the outside but every night it turns into an amazing stage for a folk music session!
For a traditional Ceilidh on a Tuesday night at Summer Hall for a lot of music and fun with traditional Scottish dance!!! The less you know the better! The caller is there to explain the different movements. Beginners more than welcome! (Tickets do needs to be purchased in advance in order to avoid disappointment as it is often sold out)