It's hard to imagine a couple better suited for running a B&B than Aussies Paul and Susan. Paul is the infectiously enthusiastic welcome committee, who also bakes the bread for breakfast, while Susan is the artist, hand-painting border patterns below the cornices in some of the bedrooms and designing the beautifully bright fabric headboards. Their talents have paid off: Barony House is a gem.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The only downside to this lovely B&B is its slightly out-of-the-way location, in a residential area with a clutch of other B&Bs. But it's close to Arthur's Seat and still only a 20-minute bus ride into the city center.
There are nine rooms in total, all lovely and full of small historic and decorative touches, many of which are Susan's own work. Some overlook the garden, others, Arthur's Seat. Guests are welcomed with Tunnocks teacakes and dry sherry. Two of the rooms are in the servants' quarters (the basement of the house next door) with their own entrance, a lounge, and access to the garden.
Susan's artistic talents run in the family: she's related to the critic and artist John Ruskin.
In the old townhouse style of a lot of B&Bs in Edinburgh, the hallway is traditional, and the welcome from Paul and Susan is second-to-none.
It's all about the breakfast, served buffet-style in a pleasant breakfast room.
There's an honesty bar with local gins and whiskies, and two lounges for guests to relax in.
The B&B is not in the center of Edinburgh but it is in a well-connected residential area that's still only 20 minutes by bus from the action. Walking it is not out-of-the-question either; it's only around 35 minutes on foot.
Delhi Diner (1-minute walk), right by the B&B, is a great Indian restaurant. Or Aizle (16-minute walk) offers inventive Scottish tasting menus.
South Pour (9-minute walk) is a friendly local serving craft beers. Or The Royal Dick (14-minute walk), by The Meadows in the Summerhall arts complex, is a kooky former veterinary hospital now serving very locally brewed gin indeed (there's a distillery and brewery on site) and other toothsome choices.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Funkiness, friendliness, and fun, all in a package that's both affordable and comfortable. Susan and Paul are originally Australia, but say when they came to Edinburgh they fell in love with the history and the beauty so much they never managed to leave.That was a lucky day for Edinburgh's B&B scene.