Just a short drive from Edinburgh, is this magnificent Edwardian country house in the village of Gullane. The charming hotel overlooks the world famous Muirfield championship Golf Club. Greywalls was designed in 1901 by Sir Edwin Lutyens and garden creator Gertrude Jekyll. Privately owned and carefully preserved by the Weaver Family, the authentic heritage and homely warmth of this Arts and Crafts mansion is simply enchanting.
Chez Roux, an intimate, green-walled dining room with colourful velvet chairs, has views over the 18th green and Firth of Forth. The classic French cuisine is devised with modern artistry, inspired by local produce from Scottish farms and fishing ports, beef from Kelso, lobsters from North Berwick. Prime seafood, rabbit, venison and game are complemented with organic vegetables and herbs from the garden. The Daily Menu is exceptionally good value for canapés, three courses, coffee and petit fours. A vegetarian menu also available.
A typical lunch begins in romantic style with a glass of Albert Roux champagne and tiny savouries in the Library, before being shown to a window table in the restaurant next door. Starters like Confit hens egg with ham hock and wild garlic or warm brie with tomato and black olives set the tone for a finely tuned experience based on locally sourced, seasonal produce. From the fixed price menu (£32.50, lunch; 35.50 dinner) a main of braised shoulder of lamb with beans, ragu and pesto, is juicy and tender. Puddings include a homemade vanilla fromage frais with strawberry and basil, homemade ices creams and sorbets or a cheeseboard featuring French and UK selections. The wine list ranges from a New World selection to fine French vintages laid down by the late Colonel Weaver (Chateau Lafite, 1986, Petrus, 1966). For celebratory meals, the Sun and Whisky rooms are perfect for private dining, or reserve Greywalls on exclusive use for a family gathering, wedding or corporate event.
Feel at home amongst the comfy old armchairs, soft tweed sofas, log fires, family portraits and memorabilia; the ambience is like staying with friends in their private country home. The 23 traditional bedrooms are individually decorated with paintings, antiques, flowers, bookshelves of classics and Penguin crime novels. Rooms 5 and 18 have sea views; 16, dressed in pretty chintz, overlooks the garden; spacious Lodge suites; room 17 is like a wee cottage with herbaceous borders right outside the window. The Colonel’s House, a few minutes walk down the drive, is a self catering holiday home which sleeps ten, ideal for groups of golfers, families and friends. Breakfast is also a gourmet experience, with a menu offering the freshest eggs from Greywalls’ own chickens, kippers from Eyemouth and omelette Arnold Bennett filled with a smoked haddock and creamy parmesan sauce – a dish originally created for the novelist at the Savoy Hotel, London. Greywalls has its own grass tennis court, croquet lawn and putting green. Stroll around the magical garden of hedges, trees, lavender, roses, moss-covered cherubs. Then indulge in traditional Afternoon Tea – scones, jam and clotted cream, lemon cake. East Lothian is such a tranquil place for a relaxing break of outdoor adventures – golf, beach walks, ancient castles, seaside villages, wildlife islands. Take a tour around the enticing art galleries in Gullane, Dirleton, Haddington and North Berwick. It is an absolute privilege to be able to visit such an historic house to experience its vintage elegance and art deco design matched by contemporary five star hospitality.