On Tuesday 22nd January 2019, team Dovetail had the pleasure of experiencing Edinburgh’s first floating hotel and sister ship to prestigious Royal Yacht Britannia. Fingal isa former Northern Lighthouse Board Ship immaculately renovated to launch on Monday 7th January as a boutique hotel following a £5 million investment.
We took over the ship for 24 hours to celebrate its incredible launch with local and nationwide media. With a Fortnum & Mason hamperling and Pret coffee in hand, we departed by train from London Kings Cross at 9am on the dot. Despite Edinburgh being a lengthy 4.5 hour train journey from London, there was pleasure taken from not having strip down to go through security, manage liquid allowance and suffer any flight delays. All heads were down working away thanks to the benefit of being able to stay online as we whizzed north through Nottingham,York, Darlington. As we hit the Northumberland coastline no email or deadlinewas pressing enough to stop all heads from lifting to admire the beauty of the landscapes of Alnmouth and Berwick upon Tweed and of course Edinburgh.
Fingal is located in Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith, just a short hop from the city centre. As we entered the Ship, it was immediately clear that no detail had been forgotten. All eyes were immediately drawn to the statement piece of reception: a circular, glass, art-deco inspired marine elevator bespoke to Fingal.
The Ship has been meticulously restored and displays elegant craftsmanship and design inspired by Fingal’s provenance and heritage. Launched in 1963, Fingal spent most of her service life working out of Oban helping to maintain lighthouses and transporting their keepers, equipment and supplies to some of the most treacherous locations in Scotland. Fingal was originally registered in Leith and has now returned home to Edinburgh’s vibrant waterfront, the largest deep-water port in Scotland. Fingal’s 23 luxury cabins are each named after lighthouses designed by the Stevenson family, whose towering monoliths have shaped the coastline since 1811.
After our journey to Scotland, we were ready for the exquisite afternoon tea accompanied by Dom Perignon Champagne served in Fingal’s Lighthouse Bar. Located at the top of the Ship and with floor to ceiling glass windows, we all enjoyed stunning port and sea views. Dinner was equally as spectacular, held in the Ballroom to the sound of bagpipes, where we sampled haggis and fresh seafood in true Scottish style. Fingal is a true champion of Scottish provenance and showcases the best of Scotland's larder. The Ballroom may host up to 80 guests and offers a beautiful and unique setting for celebrating special occasions.
There were a few struggles to rise the following morning thanks to the comfiest Hypnos beds and the cocooning design of Fingal’s cabins. All present and correct, we popped over the road to Araminta Campbell’s weaving studio, creator of the bespoke design for some of Fingal’s soft furnishing. Finally, a visit to Fingal simply couldn’t have been complete without an exclusive tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia herself and what a treat it was.
Now back at our desks in Mayfair receiving a flurry of emails from the kind journalists we accompanied sharing the most incredible feedback, we urge you to book to experience Fingal for yourself before the secret is out too far and wide.
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