First Look: Native Edinburgh aparthotel unveils revamp and new cocktail bar at its Queen Street property

It’s goodbye to boring Scandi-style neutrals at Edinburgh’s Native.

The Queen Street aparthotel has just reopened after a £500k 14-month revamp that transformed the public spaces and 82 apartments, which consist of Studios, One Beds and Premium One Beds. They’ve also added a new speakeasy bar, The Counter, and a cultural programme.

According to them, the design for the refurbishment of the Georgian building’s interior was inspired by famous inventors, including Helensburgh-born television creator John Logie Baird, Sir Alexander Fleming of penicillin fame and William Cullen, who invented the refrigerator.

Apparently, they’ve subtly referenced them through the decor, artwork and gadgets, though presumably without the use of actual tellies and fridges.

Olivia Immesi, managing director of Native, which has 11 properties in the UK, including one on Glasgow’s St Vincent Place, says; “Each Native site celebrates the best of its surrounding area and Native Edinburgh’s refurbishment reflects the history of the city, and a focus on local culture to allow guests to plug into the city, whether they’re passing through or staying for longer.”

The colours of the bedrooms reference the amber tones of whisky, and the teal shade in the lobby is a tribute to the night sky. This room also features botanical soft furnishings that pay tribute to the Royal Botanic Gardens and there’s wallpaper created by Edinburgh-based designer, Mairi Helena.

The Counter used to be a white and beige space, but now it’s filled with lots of heavily upholstered sofas, botanical wallpaper and printed carpets.

This is designed as a space for daytime coffee, with cocktails at night. The menu includes classics such as an espresso martini or a negroni, but also a few more interesting creations, including the Hippy Fizz with gin, patchouli leaf and pineapple shrub, or a Disco Baby, featuring vodka, watermelon, lemon thyme and soda.

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Their food menu consist of casual options, with breakfast served from 8-12pm, and sandwiches, including one filled with Highland Blue Murder cheese, pear, walnut and rocket, from 12-4pm. As we approach the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Counter’s late summer cultural programme will include neo-soul jazz nights, DJs and poetry readings.

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Gaby Soutar

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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Gaby Soutar

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