Picture - Rocco Forte Hotels

To celebrate the wonder of Christmas Time this year, The Balmoral - a Rocco Forte hotel in Edinburgh - has collaborated with Hamilton & Inches and Patek Philippe to transform the lobby into a spectacular hub for the city's festive celebrations.

Christmas experiences to be remembered at The Balmoral

To mark the festive season, Edinburgh’s The Balmoral hotel has teamed up with Scotland’s most iconic jewellery house and the world’s finest watchmaker to create a unique moment in time for the city. 

 Hamilton & Inches, in partnership with Patek Philippe, are to share centuries of silversmithing prestige and watchmaking excellence at No.1 Princes Street this December with a Christmas Time display and bespoke event series hosted throughout The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel.

Rich in history and heritage, The Balmoral’s 2017 festive installation will honour its long-standing relationship with Hamilton & Inches, which dates back to 1902 when the Royal Warrant holders created and installed the mechanism for the hotel’s majestic clock. 

To celebrate the wonder of Christmas Time this year, The Balmoral has collaborated with Hamilton & Inches and Patek Philippe to transform the lobby into a spectacular hub for the city’s festive celebrations.

The Balmoral clock famously runs three minutes fast to help people catch their trains when departing from the city’s Waverley Station, apart from Hogmanay when it is set to the correct time to lead Scotland in heralding the new year. The wonder of Christmas Time will be celebrated throughout The Balmoral, as they work with Hamilton and Inches and Patek Philippe to transform it into a spectacular hub for Edinburgh’s festive celebrations.

The hotel lobby has become a magical experience reflecting the grand complications of a Patek Philippe watch. A ceiling installation of wheels, moons and stars and a cluster of rotating Christmas trees, mimicking the movement of the world’s most beautiful timepieces, will take centre stage. 

Overlooking the lobby, a Patek Philippe lounge will become the destination for the city’s style seekers to take a moment and relax surrounded by artwork and literature from the Patek Philippe archives in Geneva.

Martha MacKenzie, 2, from Edinburgh, helps with the final touches of a Christmas installation at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.

The Balmoral and Hamilton & Inches Christmas Time events are:

  • The Balmoral’s Festive Afternoon Tea. Served in both the Patek Philippe Lounge and the iconic Palm Court – The Balmoral’s Festive Afternoon Tea has been given a timely twist for December. After enjoying the four-course experience, guests will be presented with a plate of themed gifts to take home as a memento. Scotland’s first homegrown Silver Needle tea will be gifted in a Balmoral tea tin as a nod to Hamilton & Inches’ silversmith skills. Fondly referred to as ‘Grandad’s Eyebrows,’ due to the hairs on the back of the leaf which form a silvery appearance, Silver Needle tea is sweet in taste with a velvety chocolate depth. The second gift is a thyme-flavoured chocolate enclosed in a Hamilton & Inches box, and the third, an ice cream cone with a tangerine sorbet covered in dark Swiss chocolate – the sweetest of nods to Patek Philippe’s heritage. Finally, a beautiful keepsake bookmark by Patek Philippe will be presented to all Afternoon Tea guests.The Balmoral’s Festive Afternoon Tea costs £44pp. Palm Court 0131 556 2414, palmcourt.balmoral@roccofortehotels.com. For the full menu click HERE
  • Patek Philippe Christmas Time Watchmaker Masterclass. Hotel guests, visitors and locals alike can book into a masterclass with a Patek Philippe-trained watchmaking expert in the Patek Philippe Lounge. The age-old skill of understanding the complications of minute repeater and perpetual calendar watches and clocks will be celebrated as guests are invited to enjoy an exclusive audience, focussing on one of Patek Philippe’s greatest innovations, the perpetual calendar.The Patek Philippe Watchmaker Masterclass at The Balmoral on the evening of 12 December is by reservation only (limited numbers). Hamilton & Inches 0131 225 4898, hello@hamiltonandinches.com

To celebrate the wonder of Christmas Time this year, The Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh has collaborated with Hamilton & Inches and Patek Philippe to transform the lobby into a spectacular hub for the city’s festive celebrations.

  • SCOTCH Festive Masterclass: Past, Present and Future. Whisky ambassadors will guide guests through six specially selected drams of whisky; two from new distilleries, two current and established whiskies and two older whiskies from closed distilleries. SCOTCH Festive Masterclass: Past, Present and Future will be held on 13 December at 7pm. Tickets cost £35pp. SCOTCH 0131 524 7142, scotch@roccofortehotels.com. The Balmoral Bar: Past, Present and Future cocktails. The Balmoral Bar has developed a series of Past, Present and Future Sazerac cocktails. Considered one of the first ever cocktails, Sazerac was created in New Orleans in the middle of the 19th century and is the inspiration for The Balmoral’s festive cocktail menu. ‘The Past’ is a classic Sazerac that remains true to the original recipe with Bulleit Bourbon Rye Whisky topped off with absinthe and served in an old-fashioned glass. ‘The Present’ is a Highland Sazerac – a Scottish twist on the American classic featuring local whiskies and smoked with apple wood and cinnamon bark, served over an ice ball. For ‘The Future’ cocktail, both American and Scottish whiskies have been combined to create a Sherry Cask Aged Sarezac that is currently maturing in a barrel ready to serve to guests in December.The Balmoral’s Bar Past, Present and Future cocktail trio, priced £35, will be available throughout December. The Balmoral Bar, 0131 524 7099, thebalmoralbar@roccofortehotels.com.
  • Christmas Countdown Masterclass with Number One Head Chef Brian Grigor. Brian Grigor, Head Chef at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant Number One, will be hosting a Christmas Countdown afternoon to help home cooks efficiently prepare for a memorable festive menu. Guests will be able to enjoy and learn three make ahead canapés for Christmas Day and the inside track on how to prepare some festive favourites.Christmas Countdown Masterclass will be held at Number One on 10 December noon–2pm, priced £80. Number One 0131 557 6727, numberone@roccofortehotels.com
  • Suite Dreams at The Balmoral with Hamilton & Inches and Planet Flowers. A roaring fire. Twinkling lights. An elegant tree…Discover Christmas The Balmoral way with the Suite Dreams package in collaboration with Hamilton & Inches and Planet Flowers. With a suite decorated to your specification thanks to Scotland’s leading florist, enjoy a behind-the-scenes private tour of Hamilton & Inches or an after-hours fine jewellery consultation as well as a bespoke festive gift.The Balmoral Suite Dreams package will be available throughout December. The Balmoral 0131 556 2414, reservations.balmoral@roccofortehotels.com