Feeling fancy? When the Market Street Hotel opened its doors in 2019, it also announced the opening of its rooftop Champagne Bar, complete with marvellous views across Princes Street Gardens. The Nor Loft is named in honour of the ancient Nor’ Loch, which at one time stretched around Edinburgh Castle and acted as part of the Old Town’s defences. In 1813, the loch was drained to make way for the city’s gardens.
The 7th floor ‘loft’ has an “unrivalled Champagne selection”; their table boasts over 20 labels, and the team encourage you to enjoy them over a tempting selection of small plates (try the Pernod braised wild mushrooms on toast!). You can choose to make your way out to the slim paved terrace or enjoy your drinks within the warm, modern bar area. In summer, the terrace is a dramatic place to watch the sunset over Edinburgh and the castle.
The design of the bar has lots of special little nods to Edinburgh and Scotland’s culture. My favourite of these are their ‘staggered’ fireplaces which (I am told) represent the first five musical notes of the Scottish national anthem.
The Nor Loft has no separate entranceway and must be accessed via the hotel’s small lobby area. If you let the doorman know what you’re looking for when you arrive, they’ll point you to the lift to the top floor.