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All reviews other guests indian restaurant guest house lovely garden great hosts scottish history an excellent base breakfast table kippers great place to start scottish couple fish choices offered fantastic excellent bus service two nights bus connections slept like a log
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Reviewed 5 September 2017

We booked a large family room as two twins were already taken. Bathroom is an en-suite wet room and would have benefited from a squeegee to clear excess water from around the toilet and wash basin area to avoid wet feet when not actually showering. Bikes were accommodated safely without fuss. We found the pub and indian restaurant very good - both within 1/4 mile albeit in opposite directions. Breakfast was a curious affair (5 fish choices) and at 8:40 prompt. Nevertheless, the fish cakes were indeed excellent (Irene's culinary skills) and the atmosphere around the table with other guests quite relaxing. We all thought Ewan a little eccentric but in an engaging sort of way.

Date of stay: August 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank tommacino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2017 via mobile

Me and my friend did a roadtrip through scotland and this b&b was our last on our trip. the owner was so nice and the welcome was great :). delicious breakfast and the dogs are sooo cute :).

the best thing was: we had to leave very early because of our flight and actually we had no time for breakfast. in the evening he came with fruits and sandwiches and said: breakfast ! :D so funny and very very nice :)!

the room was clean and nicely done up !
we would always come back :)

best wishes for you !
two girls from germany :)

Date of stay: August 2017
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank katharina_ma92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2017

The owners of this B&B go out of their way to make you feel welcome in Scotland. It is in a great location to get the bus or train into Edinburgh or explore the pubs and restaurants of Dalkeith. The rooms are very comfortable, clean & secure. However they are nothing compared to the great hospitality of the Rae's. Ewan kept us engaged with his tales of Scotland & history. Also the breakfasts are taken at communal tables, where we met other travelers from around the world. Ewan's "breakfast surprises" tempted me to stray out of my "full Monty" breakfast comfort zone. They were always interesting & tasty. Loved my stay & will be back as soon as the weather improves!!!

Date of stay: July 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank _donelliot_dkh
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 29 August 2017

A high rating from a recently retired senior executive of one of the world's most eminent hotel groups is a rare accolade. Thank you.

Just at the point of your stay Irene had gone through a rough patch in her elderly parent care duties so we were both weary and hitting a wall. I am afraid our welcome and attentiveness wasn't up to our normal standards and we are both sorry for that. We are glad you felt good about it. We both enjoyed having you as a gracious guest at Rathan.

The next time you come we shall of course "fix the weather for you" and do a lot more to help dig deep into your genealogy and those Elliots who fought at Flodden ( 1513 AD) ........and arrange a meeting with your clan chief? The Elliot Clan gathering would be interesting on your tick box plan. We would also make suggestions for a schedule to help you see a bit more of the off beaten track attractions here.

Of course - next time we really would hope to greet your bonny Hawaian wife.

Irene and I were blown away by your video of wildlife drinking at the pool by your home.

Ewan & Irene MacRae

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2017

Pros: Rooms comfortable, walkable to Dalkeith pub and restaurants. VERY close to bus which takes you into Edinburgh and runs frequently
Cons: Breakfast times inflexible (8:40 - no other choice) and slow (food not received until 9:20 or later). Absolutely no cell phones allowed at the breakfast table.. Owner very helpful, but a tad overly talkative, and a bit of a bully.
Other: 2 large friendly labs on site - could probably be avoided if you had problems with dogs. WiFi password given after 1-pound/day voluntary contribution to cleaning staff

Date of stay: August 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Debera P
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 26 August 2017

Debera

It would make my life a lot easier to add to the 2 prior uncooked buffet courses ( that you don't mention and presumably were eating) ....and set up buffet cooked breakies on a hotplate. I have thought about it . It would speed up the experience for guests and me. It would be easier.

However cooked food which sits deteriorates. In a good restaurant you expect bespoke cooking. I do that. Only a bad cook cooks too quick. I don’t.

QUICK COOKED BREAKFAST. On the day you left very early an another couple wanted early breafast and quick. 2 Courses were laid out at 7.50 - they came at 7.55 and had my quickcook options ( 2 different).. They departed at 8.14.

Now if all your group had had different breakfast times,... and the quick options...then you might have missed eachother ( ??)....and you had come from 4 corners of the globe to see eachother.

I cooked 12 different 3rd courses while you were at Rathan ( for average 13 guests per day). I can not make it different / hebridean cuisine and the same as elsewhere. I get a lot of compliments on quality cooking .

Then there is the issue that we can easily speed it up by 10 minutes /cut the options / and send most of our guests off on a bus to central Edinburgh while the rush hour is still slowing traffic. ....From where we sit / with focus of leisure market - the visiting tourist would get a breakies with fewer options quicker ( by 10 mins ) and then add 20 minutes to the bus journeytime. ..Pointless adition to the time sitting in a bus?

Then there is the issue of Highland house party style. As a shy teenager I was invited to a couple of Highland balls in house parties. Breakfast was fun , lots of stories and not quick. ... with new people to meet ( scary ) but head of house "ice breakers". The house rules were sensible and helped make it tick. It did make me talk to strangers while normally I would just be mute. Ewan and i cannot make it happen like that ..........but our house style enables ( i phone free) conversation with strangers and it very often is like that. Remember, you were in a group of 9 friends gathering from all over the world. I have a notion you would have spent just as long at the table whatever the cooking time.
In my own defence as cook- when did you last produce 7 different cooked options in 20 minutes?

I absolutely hate listening to iphone converations in restaurants. I went to an interview a long time ago where the interviewer spent half the time on the phone. I thought it just plain rude, Many would agree, and we did a survey of 50 guests last year and 84% ticked the box - good rule. I accept it isn't going to please everyone. We discuss it.

I did not talk to you when you were here. I am sorry - I am afraid I have a difficult, and time consuming, family care duty elsewhere right now . Ewan has been trying to shield me from guests over the last 2 years - but it does look as if this burden will be lifted in the next couple of months. The B word is very harsh and I would know more than anyone. He can be very amusing in a good way..

Irene MacRae ( Cook and wife) Report response as inappropriate

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2017

We found the accommodation to be clean and adequate and the owner was very helpful with travel information. The bus stops for Edinburgh are almost outside the gate, are frequent and inexpensive.
If you are looking for typical B&B with cereal, bacon eggs and toast blasted at you as quick as possible to get you out of the door, then don't stay here!
Here we found a much more relaxed style with anything but full English breakfast. Lots of fish to choose from, an eclectic assortment of bread and pastries, fruit - you get the idea- served at a set time for all guests around big tables in a relaxed fashion over 45mins. You do feel you are a guest, definitely not a hotel resident.
(We were served breakfast quickly when we requested this to be on our way.)
There are no keys and all doors have keypad locks so it's easy to come and go as you please. An excellent base from which to explore the many excellent attractions of the most litter free city ever - Edinburgh

Date of stay: August 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Pamsfella
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 16 August 2017

It really is great to be appreciated. Thank You. We are trying to be ;

Different and unhotel like
CLEAN...& Spend more time and money on housekeeping than normal
More 1920's than 21st century
Have great wifi and charge £1 /day.
Cook old fashioned varied hebridean breakies and and do it well ( not quick)
Create a happy breakies where strangers enjoy eachother's company

...and have an IPHONE FREE ZONE during breakies.

...and do it in an unhurried manner. 9 times out of 10 it works and it gives us a wee thrill when we hear the breakies hubub and laughter. It gives Irene a special thrill when people tell her they really like the tastes of 100 years ago.

You clearly recognised what we try to achieve ...and nowadays what we do is
a disapearing feature in the B&B market.

Hope to see you at Rathan again. The fairy pipers would greet your arrival.

Thanks again for your kind review. Makes what we do worthwhile.

Ewan & Irene MacRae ( in last of the Mohicans mode)


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