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“Great People, Outstanding Breakfast”

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Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank
Ranked #1 of 5 Dalkeith B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 August 2013

Ewan and his wife are extremely nice hosts and they have a lovely house just outside of Edinburgh. The house is about a 2-3 min walk to the bus stop, which takes you non-stop (bus #3) into downtown Edinburgh (South Bridge stop) in about 35 mins. You can walk into Dalkeith in 5 mins to a nice Indian restaurant, and others farther down, maybe 10-12 mins. We had the "small family room" with a bed, bunk beds, and bathroom. A kettle was provided and coffee, tea, sugar, and cookies (biscuits, which were refreshed every day). The breakfasts were amazing! Fresh fruit daily, great coffee or tea, and a selection of at least 5 different breakfasts. I never thought I would eat fish for breakfast, but it is a Scottish thing to do, so we tried, and I'm glad that we did. The oat-encrusted herring was good, and my girls very much enjoyed the salmon. On our last day we had a special treat (not normally offered) of a haddock fish cake (with potatoes and leeks)--and it was nothing short of outstanding!

The owners (and their two dogs) were very nice. Ewan communicated quickly via e-mail during the booking phase, and they are easy to find with a GPS. They take credit cards, so no worries there.

My only recommendation would be to get WiFi in the upstairs rooms. You can get it in the breakfast room, but not upstairs (due to the construction of the house). I know that Ewan tried before, and spent hundreds of Pounds but a router blew-out on him. My only recommendation would be to try again. That aside, it would not keep me from strongly recommending Rathan House.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank RRRice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ewan M, Owner at Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2013

Many thanks for taking the review system seriously. You have clearly spent a lot of time and thought carefully about your review.

You are right about WIFI . We are hoist with our own petard a bit. In building the guesthouse rooms - we were absolutely clear that a critical build factor was Over the top noise insulation.
Double block walls hasnt helped the WiFI and post build testing means if we put a router in the upstairs and downstairs hallways - the signal is still miles better in the Guest lounge, Dining Room and the garden. The only way is cabling and 1 router per room. Anyway its a project we shall return to when we have few guests.

On breakies.....one of our subtexts is that, if you go with our flow, you get up from the breakfasts table with at least 4 of the 5 food elements the nutritionists & medical professionals say we should have daily. If we can keep getting guest comment that the tastes are great - ...job done. Its difficult for some guests when presented with things which differ l from their normal breakfast expectation. However we can not cook ( 8 different offerings ) 5 of which are authentic Highland breakfast in style....and do a fry up as well. ( I would need to have 2 great cooks like Irene) Its not going to work for 100% of guests.......but part of our rationale is that those on tour have had more or less the same wherever they go.......and then they get to Rathan. Its good that you liked the smoked haddock , leak, garlic , turmeric potato cakes. Full of flavour....I think the key to higher take up would be a more esoteric descriptor. We have a tendency to understate what we do....and its a confidence thing. Thank you - comment like yours does give us confidence - and we shall keep trying to improve.

Did we tell you the US was made in Scotland?......well it seems to work ! ( Joke!)

Irene and I would be delighted to see you at Rathan once again. There are 96 visitor attractions and great day out ideas in our list of suggestions.......AND its cheaper outwith the Edinburgh Festival period. Next time opt for the large family room....we think the extra space would have made all the difference.

All the best

Ewan Irene Hoolie and Willow

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99 - 105 of 235 reviews

Reviewed 16 August 2013

We had a pleasant stay here for two nights.

We stayed in the family room that consisted of a bunk bed for our two boys, which they loved and a king size for us. Very spacious room and with en suite.

The room opens out into the garden which was great for the kids who loved playing with the resident dogs, who are very friendly and playful.

Breakfasts are different with a selection of fish on the menu. But if you're not into that, you can still have cereal, scrambled egg, toast, and bacon. Personally I'd like there to be a choice of a traditional black pudding, sausages and eggs etc or even something classier like eggs benedict.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank simba_dp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2013

Stayed in a family room for 3 nights with my 2 sisters. Very easy access to/from Edinburgh City Centre: less than a 30mins bus ride. We left the car in the Guest house and enjoyed our freedom in the City without any hassle about parking. The room was spacious, clean and pleasant. Excellent home-cooked breakfast with real coffee!!. Well maintained lovely garden to sit around and relax. Very kind and accommodating host who provided us with useful information. I would have liked to have our towels changed everyday but it was not a major problem at all. I Will recommend this guset house to my friends without any hesitation.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank dgills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2013

A well maintained, clean comfortable house,with a nice large garden. The bus service was very good with a stop right outside. The breakfasts were beautifully cooked, but they were at 8.30 am and you are there till 10.00 am. The rooms could also benefit from an info leaflet/folder of local amenities too, although the owner had good local knowledge when available. overall, a pleasant stay.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
Thank Lynn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ewan M, Owner at Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2013

Many thanks for taking the time to post a review of your experience at Rathan.

On breakfast. In my late teens I was priviledged to be invited to a large Highland country house weekend houseparty. Breakfast was an amazing experence for me - lots of choice - lots of authentic Highland fare - and an edwardian very formal and highly entertaining atmosphere. We at Rathan try to recreate that sort of atmosphere. We also try to ensure the 10 cooked options are exceptional and freshly cooked by Irene. The Scottish Tourist Board gave us their highest quality grade for our breakfasts. We know too that we take a risk by often asking people to try something entirely new and wholly Highland.

You are right about quickness - it would be easy to change the house style - batch process & cut down on the choices and make it quick. Indeed it would save us time and effort. We try to be wholly tourist oriented and a very high proportion of our guests comment that they loved the intercultural exchange at breakfast. When a guest has a train or plane to catch we make a special effort to make it quick. We cant please those who dont wish to dwell and talk and at the same time set about trying to ensure a leisurely excellent full 3 courses breakies. We do have a need to listen and your observation is food for thought. In the end we cant set out to be different and and interesting.....and then be just the same. A simple expedient would be to cut a course.....then there would be less conversation less food and it would be quicker. We can, when asked, do a 3 course breakies for those in a hurry in 17 minutes. Obviously we do think about it.

There is a guest info package in each room. We also have 3 separate racks of tourist brochures and a 2 tables in the diing room with bus and local brochures. there are 117 attractions we can talk about and 74 activitis. Everybody is different and tastes differ so its difficult not to overload guests. . We try to welcome our guests with local amenity info - such as dining out. Pub grub law for children differs from that in the rest of the UK. Pubgrub is usually cheapest - but the silly law as it applies to children in pubs after 7.30 is better explained rather than written. There is also the issue of room clutter ....there is a balance to be struck and perhaps we shall review the room info package. Certainly the info is all there - either in the room or on the 2 tables in the dining room set aside for information or in the 3 brochure racks. It would actually be great if you could call us and tell us what you would like to see in the room package.

We are pleased you enjoyed your time at Rathan House. thank you for your complimentary score on cleanliness. We try really hard on that front. We hope to see you again soon. You could spend month here and only scratch the surface of the touristy things to do and see.

with best wishes

Ewan & Irene MacRae and the doggies.

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Reviewed 24 July 2013

I have stayed there on more than one occassion and it is ALWAYS worth the effort.....well actually it is no effort :)

Hosts are friendly and knowledgable; breakfast is excellent and plentiful, Staff re all lovely people and do a great job cleaning and preparing the rooms on a daily basis.

Ease of public transport into Edinburgh is a boon whilst access to other attractions is easy; e.g. Rosslyn Chapel, Melrose Abbey, Abbotsford........ I can go on - suggest you try these places for yourself.

I will be back - a real haven.

Room Tip: All are clean and more than adequate - no preference for me :)
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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Thank William D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2013

Ewen MacRae, the proprietor, was very welcoming. He has a beautiful Bed and Breakfast with comfortable rooms and a lovely garden. We enjoyed meeting his dogs who were very well behaved and friendly. The B&B is located close to bus stops that make it easy to get to Edinburgh. We would be happy to stay there again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Beth B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ewan M, Owner at Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2013

How amazing that we both knew the late Marion Bartch of Finlay and I could tell of our amazing experience in Finlay one Christmas. Small world , isnt it.

Very many thanks for your kind words, as Napoleon said ...they act "pour encourager les autres."
Scotland in a heat wave is a good place to be and we are glad you enjoyed your time here.

Ewan, Irene + Willow and Hoolie

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Reviewed 19 July 2013

We couldn't have asked for a better place to stay than what we had at Rathan house the last couple of nights. Spacious room, comfortable bed, great food and interesting conversation around a family style breakfast table.

Ewan, out host was incredibly helpful in providing good useful tips and advice on things to do in the area, good restaurants (and a variety thereof!) etc.

If we hadn't been running around at full speed (seemingly) from dawn to dusk, the back garden would have been a lovely place to relax with a cocktail before dinner.

Of particular note for me as a food lover was the amazing variety of interesting breakfast offerings. As much as I love the traditional big Scottish breakfast, Ewan's table beats it , by far!

We're not often in this part of the world but we know where we'd stay if we came back any time soon.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank traveler5286
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ewan M, Owner at Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2013

Irene and I are lost for words. Imagine if someone came to your house and said such nice things.
We keep soldiering on and if everybody was as appreciative we would feel as if we should be giving our service away free. I should say that Margena deserves a lot of thanks for her hard work and dilligence in room preparation.

incidentally, as a golf nut, you will remember the trophy man as one of the other guests. He asked us to guard and look after the "Open Golf Field driving competition " trophy. This additional competition is no longer held at the Open Golf , ( concern about how far modern golfers are able to hit the ball) ......but its an amazing and historic trophy. { silver tankard which can hold 10 pints) I was "allowed to hold it for a photograph" in the dining room.....thus the new photograph on this tripadvisor page.

Anyhow, we do hope to see you once again in Scotland at Rathan House

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Additional Information about Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank

Address: 45 Eskbank Road | Eskbank, Dalkeith EH22 3BH, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Midlothian > Dalkeith
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Dalkeith
Price Range: £72 - £121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Rathan House - the Guesthouse at Eskbank 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BUS ( no. 3) to Edinburgh Royal Mile - 24 hra ( every 7 mins weekdays) from Rathan House driveway. Cost £1.50/ bus journey.Family Rooms - 2 doubles 3 twin 1 single 1 ( all ensuite)Airport ( 12 miles...95% dual carriageway) 16 minutesFamily holiday oriented upmarket Scottish Tourist Board quality rated 4 star guesthouse - with Parking in the Grounds - set in the leafy Eskbank conservation area with large sheltered peaceful 3/4 acres beautiful walled garden - with a croquet lawn. In an ideal location for park and ride to Edinburgh Scotland. . 7 all en-suite rooms with great memory foam medium firm mattresses. 1 very large and 1 smaller family room. 3 doubles and 1 twin . Near to Dalhousie Castle, Roslin Chapel, Dalkeith palace Adventure Playground and Country park & The Butterfly Farm. Well behaved dogs welcome. 13 Miles from Edinburgh Airport - along A720 (dual carriageway) making Dalkeith a great base for getting quickly to and from the airport for an Edinburgh fly/drive visit. It is also true that the road route into/out of Edinburgh is quicker than from any other direction. There are 6 restaurants/pubs within 2-5 min walk. 1 excellent - ITIHAAS - is 140 yds away. Bus runs every 10 mins to central Edinburgh from stop 30 meters from the driveway. Edinburgh Airport is a 14 minutes drive - 90% of which is dual carriageway...which makes Dalkeith a great base for Flydrive Edinburgh visits. Breakfasts:-Edwardian/ Highland in style - 10 cooked options including 5 seafood dishes - 3 courses - the opposite of an Ulster Fry. Signature dish - "Spealtragan" which few will have tasted. Curious? Let the fairy pipers DE-STRESS you at Rathan House in Eskbank! Dalkeith EH22 3BH ... more   less 
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Rathan House - The Guesthouse At Eskbank Dalkeith, Scotland

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