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Travel: North Berwick is a fun treat for all the family

© SNS GroupNorth Berwick, Scotland.
North Berwick, Scotland.

As soon as I entered the grand reception and lounge at the hotel, I was struck by the spectacular views over the Firth Of Forth.

My daughter, Caitlin, and granddaughters Layla, 14, and Taiga, 7, and I had arrived for a weekend break in elegant North Berwick. Friendly staff showed us to our room, a double double, and we were thrilled to be able to see the Bass Rock from huge windows. The granddaughters loved how big and comfy the beds were, how spacious the bathroom was, and that we had complimentary crisps and chocolate.

Marine North Berwick is one of four bespoke hotels situated at world-famous golf destinations, including Troon, St Andrews and County Down.

Rusacks St Andrews and Marine North Berwick opened in 2021, and Marine Troon opened in June 2022, all following refurbishments.

Slieve Donard Resort & Spa in Newcastle, County Down in Northern Ireland, will be the fourth property upon relaunching in 2023.

The hotel boasts a spa and heated indoor swimming pool with outdoor (when the weather is nice) hot tub, so we quickly got changed to squeeze in a swim before dinner. Children are allowed in the pool, but not the spa or gym areas.

The girls loved the pool and the fluffy towelling robes and slippers. They didn’t want to get out, but we had dinner booked for 7.30pm in The Lawn restaurant, so it was a quick dash back to the room to get ready.

The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, yet sophisticated surroundings, and attentive staff showed us to a table with comfy banquette seats for the granddaughters.

We could see the sun setting and casting an orange glow over the Forth from our table. There was a children’s menu from which Taiga ordered homemade tomato soup with focaccia, and fish and chips. Layla opted for brown crab with pickled kohlrabi, scallop roe, and crab vinaigrette followed by fish and chips from the bar menu.

Caitlin had mackerel with carrot, romesco (a pepper sauce) and coriander as starter, and salt-baked celeriac with chanterelles, lovage, wild rice and burnt roscoff (pink onions) for main.

I decided on marinated tomatoes with green strawberries, burrata, and cashew nut pasta and then Loch Etive trout with Isle of Wight tomatoes, basil, mussels and capers.

All were absolutely delicious and not a scrap of food was left on our plates. Even Taiga, who is a fussy eater, ate everything. We enjoyed mocktails and delicious desserts too, and the staff did not bat an eyelid when Taiga spilt her drink everywhere, so we really felt children were welcome. Ingredients (with a few exceptions) are Scottish in source, sustainable, and seasonal. Vegetarians and vegans are catered for too.

The Spa is the place to head to for ultimate pampering.

Partnered with leading French skincare brand Caudelie, a full range of facial and body treatments is offered, using gorgeous products. Choose from luxurious anti-ageing facials from £75 to £120, body wraps from £80, and massages from £45 to £100.

Also offered are manicures, pedicures, waxing and tinting. There’s a gym with state-of-the-art equipment and organised classes.

Of course, the hotel, which is situated beside the historic North Berwick course, is hugely popular with golfers, many of whom are from the States, and American twangs are to be heard everywhere.

Impressive-looking golf bags taller than Taiga almost felt like part of the furniture at Marine North Berwick. The bad news is that North Berwick golf course is fully booked until January with a backlog dating back to before the pandemic.

The only person who has been able to jump the queue has been Gary Player. One of the perks of being a golfing legend I suppose!

I like to enjoy a hearty breakfast when staying at a hotel, and Marine North Berwick did not disappoint. There was a buffet with pastries, cheeses, jams, granola, yoghurt, fruits and berries which the granddaughters loved, as you can go for refills.

You can have a cooked breakfast too and we all enjoyed hearty vegetarian breakfasts complete with veggie haggis and tattie scones.

After breakfast we enjoyed a wander round the cute shops and cafes of North Berwick until our train departure time back to Edinburgh, only half an hour away by rail.

All in all we really enjoyed our stay at this resort hotel, and can’t wait to return.


P.S.

North Berwick’s beautiful beaches are the place to go to unwind. Stroll along the east and west beaches. There’s nothing like sea air and the sound of the waves for soothing the mind.

Factfile:

For details of prices at Marine North Berwick and to book, visit marineandlawn.com