Carlowrie Castle opens as stunning exclusive-use venue on Edinburgh’s doorstep
Set amidst an expansive 32-acre estate on Edinburgh’s doorstep, Carlowrie Castle has opened its doors as a stunning luxury exclusive-use venue for weddings and private gatherings. Only eight miles from Scotland’s capital, and a short drive from Edinburgh International Airport, this 19th Century mansion house has undergone lavish restoration under the careful watch of owner Andrew Marshall. The end result is a remarkable retreat that blends rich heritage with modern elegance and luxurious comfort.
The first impression as you travel along the 150m tree-lined drive is breathtaking. Designed by eminent Victorian architect David Rhind, and constructed in 1852, Carlowrie Castle is a striking example of a Scots Baronial mansion with grand stone façade, pitched dormers and high parapets. From the main entrance, the grand hallway opens out to a light-flooded atrium with original flagstone floor and sweeping staircase to the upper level, which houses seven en-suite bedrooms.
The bedrooms all feature handmade beds and cabinetry, and sumptuous soft furnishings. A perfect night’s sleep is guaranteed on bed linen made from the finest Egyptian 650 thread count cotton and Hungarian goose feather-stuffed top loaders, duvets and pillows. There’s even a pillow menu to suit all preferences on pillow firmness. Quarried Italian marble floor and wall tiles, nickel and copper freestanding baths by William Holland, walk-in showers and wireless Sonos speakers enhance the mood of extravagance in the generously-proportioned bathrooms and the towels are all 750GSM, the same as found in the seven-star Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Each room offers decadent creature comforts in the way of robes and slippers, satellite TV, WiFi and Nespresso machines. On the lower ground, with its own private courtyard and a wood-burning stove, sits Carlowrie One: a deluxe 115m2 two-bedroom, two-bathroom self-contained apartment that offers a real sense of seclusion for smaller, more intimate parties. For an indulgent treat, a private chef can cook for guests in the high-end bespoke kitchen, equipped with state-of-the-art Mieleappliances and a wine fridge. A butler can be called upon for an extra-special stay.
Carlowrie’s public rooms are equally as impressive: the lounge boasts an exquisite black and white marble floor and jaw-dropping glass chandelier; the library tall ornate bookcases, decorative cornicing, open fireplace and traditional herringbone parquet flooring. Eye-catching art from Andrew’s personal collection adorn the walls throughout, including paintings from Cuban artist Raiber GoH and a specially commissioned canvas by Lucinda Burman of the Castle, which hangs above the fireplace in the drawing room.
To the east side of the Castle, the newly-built Orangery bestows panoramic views over the gardens, providing a breathtaking backdrop for events. The Orangery seats 120 people and a marquee can be erected for larger functions for up to 450. All food is freshly prepared by the Castle’s award-winning caterers, Wilde Thyme.
Beyond the manicured gardens on all sides extends the 32-acre estate, complete withtennis court, kitchen garden – where all herbs and vegetables are grown for the kitchen; an original Mackenzie and Moncur Victorian hothouse sheltering peaches, nectarines and grapes; grazing pasture and native woodland strewn with meandering paths for quiet walks.
In its entire history, Carlowrie Castle has only ever been residence to two families: the man who commissioned its build - Thomas Hutchison, and the Marshall family, who bought the property in 1982 as their family home and whose son, Andrew, now owns the property.
Its most famous inhabitant was Isobel Wylie Hutchison (Thomas Hutchison’s grand-daughter). Isobel became an illustrious arctic explorer, botanist and author in her adult life. Many of the plants she collected can still be found on the grounds and in the nearby Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh.
Andrew Marshall said: “I grew up in Carlowrie, it was quite a special place to call home so, when it came to renovating it as a private venue, it was a real labour of love for me. The house has such a wonderful history that I wanted to preserve its heritage and treat the re-design sensitively so none of this narrative would be lost. I’m more than happy with what we’ve achieved. But there’s still one room that remains a complete mystery: the tower on the west-facing side of the Castle. It has a second floor with no obvious means of access at all as far as we know – the building still holds a secret or two!”
Carlowrie Castle can be hired from £4,050 for 24 hours (10am-10am) with full use of facilities. And, for a truly individual experience, guests can take advantage of a host of incredible add-ons: chauffeur service from Edinburgh airport, personal training and yoga in the grounds, bedroom beauty treatments, whisky tasting, ceilidh dancing/displays, quad biking, treasure hunts, highland games, segways, cocktail making sessions, fireworks displays, personal shopping at Harvey Nichols, and many more.