Home Sweet Home in Edinburgh

by Keith Savage · 28 comments

Middle Meadow Walk, Edinburgh

**Update 6/18/15: This flat is no longer available for short-term lets – sad!**

Flanking a footpath connecting the Old Town with the airy Meadows, Edinburgh’s Quartermile cosmopolitan development combines converted Victorian hospital buildings with 21st-century glass and steel “new builds.” You’d be forgiven if your first thought was a kind of architectural Frankenstein; in the flesh, however, the concept is a gorgeous contrast of different eras. The residential sections are given over to luxury flats, and, thanks to HomeAway.co.uk, it’s where I’m spending my first week in Edinburgh.

My second-floor flat sits snugly between the University of Edinburgh and George Heriot’s School. A steady stream of students flows down the footpath, Middle Meadow Walk, throughout the day. Downstairs there’s easy access to Starbucks, a Sainsbury’s Local grocery store, and an excellent Swedish coffee shop. Folk music pubs and Nepalese restaurants stand shoulder to shoulder with second-hand clothing shops and pharmacies just a block to the north. Nearly everything I could wish to do in downtown Edinburgh is no more than 20 minutes walk from my door.

The interior of the flat reflects the modern exterior with light hardwood floors, glass tables, and brushed metal appliances, utensils, and fixtures. With a single bedroom and a segregated living area/kitchen, it provides a copious amount of room for a solo traveler like me and would be perfect for a couple. Light pours through huge floor-to-ceiling windows that form a wall in both the living room and bedroom, and one-way shades provide privacy when desired. A sliding door in the center of each window wall makes it easy to catch a breath of crisp Scottish air. Recessed lighting adds a soft glow to the pervasive comfort, and sturdy doors that are prone to shutting without doorstops allow you to close off each area of the flat.

It’s obvious at first glance that this space is a labor of love. Niki Watt and her husband, the owners, personally designed the interior, and decorative touches complement each other and the flat’s materials and color choices. The rooms are well-furnished but not cluttered; everything is the right size and arranged to mesh with the flow of daily life. Niki even instructed me on the perfect way to use the comfy leather chair and ottoman overlooking the footpath (which I’m sitting in now while writing and listening to Radiohead).

The spacious foyer opens into each of the flat’s three areas and contains a convenient metal coat rack and small end table for keys and other pocketables. The bathroom opens off to the left and it contains a huge tub-shower combo with a rain shower head. On the opposite wall mirrors hide massive medicine cabinets above a small shelf that Niki had kindly loaded with soaps, shampoos, and essential toiletries. There’s even a heated towel rack and it reminded me to install one in my house (why don’t we have these in the States?).

The bedroom is bright and filled with a plush king-size bed loaded with pillows. Behind sliding doors a large closet with ample shelf space houses towels and terry cloth robes. Dark wood nightstands with glass lamps and a matching table supporting a flat-screen TV at the foot of the bed complete the room.

Natural light defines the living area with its huge and comfortable couch (where I eventually passed out at 4am thanks to jet lag), small dining table, and entertainment configuration. The size and arrangement of the furniture makes the area feel much larger than it is.

The kitchen flows naturally from the living area and exemplifies economy of space. On the left, a compact gas stove gives way to a drying rack and sink while above it all hide shelves behind hydraulic Lamborghini-esque doors. The inconspicuous bottom-freezer refrigerator, which I failed to notice on the walk-through, looks just like the other cabinets. To the right a large counter filled with appliances and utensils runs along the wall. Admittedly, counter space could be an issue if I decided to prepare a multi-course meal. An ultra-modern microwave and oven are built into the lower cabinets and sit flush with additional storage space. A small door off the kitchen hides the HVAC and a combo washer-dryer (score).

High-speed Wi-Fi, Sky TV, a DVD player, and an iPod docking sound system afford every last convenience. With this flat’s spot in a university neighborhood, proximity to local shops, and view to Arthur’s Seat, I couldn’t ask for a better stay for my first week in Edinburgh.

Full Disclosure: HomeAway Holiday-Rentals provided me with this flat for the first week of my stay in Edinburgh. However, thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

DianaNo Gravatar March 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

What is the name of this place? We would be interested in staying there!

Lindsay aka @_thetraveller_No Gravatar March 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I find it really cool to see what travel bloggers home-life looks like. Your place is gorgeous! Thanks for letting everyone have a peak into your life.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 21, 2011 at 12:54 PM

It’s too bad I could only stay there for a week. Such an amazing place!

paul ignatieffNo Gravatar March 7, 2011 at 1:34 AM

Sounds idyllic. Can’t wait to try it out! Edinburgh is such a classy city and this apartment matches it!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 7, 2011 at 2:54 AM

It’s the perfect place to do a short-term flat rental.

SusanNo Gravatar March 7, 2011 at 12:55 AM

There are some great properties to rent in the city centre of Edinburgh, and the great thing about renting is that you can choose if you want to go out for breakfast. Several local places to go on the Royal Mile – our nearest is Clarinda’s tearoom where you can get a big Scottish breakfast. From where you’re staying you could wander down to Always Sunday. Enjoy Edinburgh!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 7, 2011 at 2:49 AM

Thanks for the tips, Susan!

Camels & ChocolateNo Gravatar March 6, 2011 at 11:36 PM

I went to uni in Edinburgh for a semester, and my flat was on the Cowgate. Love that city, love that area–jealous you’re “living” there for the time being!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 7, 2011 at 2:48 AM

Was it loud down there? Seems like party central. Consider me jealous of your semester at uni here – seems like the perfect place to go to school.

GrayNo Gravatar March 4, 2011 at 8:36 PM

That is a sweet apartment, Keith. And it sounds like a terrific neighborhood.

Andi of My Beautiful AdventuresNo Gravatar March 4, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Oh wow, fantastic! Enjoy ever single second πŸ™‚

AnthonyNo Gravatar March 4, 2011 at 2:33 AM

Swwwwwanky place mate! Similar to the one I emailed you about, you’re nicely positioned too. Have fun πŸ™‚

ZablonNo Gravatar March 4, 2011 at 12:22 AM

you have a really cool house, really cozy

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 4, 2011 at 3:31 AM

Cozy is the perfect word to describe it.

Christy @ TechnosyncraticNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 9:17 PM

That place looks great; are the owners renting out the one bedroom or do you have the whole place to yourself?

We’re looking at flats to rent by the month in Edinburgh and there are some pretty nice set-ups!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 4, 2011 at 3:28 AM

I’ve got the entire place to myself!

sofia - as we travelNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Wow, nice! Looks quite different from where I am at the moment (a bamboo bungalow)… πŸ˜›

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 4, 2011 at 3:27 AM

That sounds pretty nice as well.

BeckyNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Oh, that looks amazing! I loved doing week-long rentals when I went to Ireland. You get such a different feel for a place; you can pretend like you live there.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 4, 2011 at 3:25 AM

Outside of the general isolation and lack of Scottish breakfast, short-term rentals are perfect for getting comfortable in a place.

StephanieNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Aren’t you supposed to be staying in a dank, 18th century basement, typing by the light of a guttering candle and drinking cheap whisky from a cracked shot glass. All the greats live in cellars (or garrets, if in Paris)

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I call that false romanticism. I’m a new age travel writer. πŸ™‚

KenNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 7:29 AM

And, I remember walking that path with special people.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 10:55 AM

That was an awesome trip.

KenNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 7:25 AM

I want one! In Edinburgh!!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 10:55 AM

I’m already going through mental exercises trying to concoct a way to stay here again in the future!

EricaNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 6:31 AM

Your new home looks swanky as all hell Keith! We’re already trying to price some places while we’re out as well.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 10:51 AM

It’s totally swanky. I’m batting above my station with this place. πŸ™‚ I really think short-term rentals are the way to go if you’re going to be spending at least a week in one place.

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