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The Bonnie Badger

Gullane, United Kingdom

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The Premises 

Forget what you heard about dodgy tartan: The Bonnie Badger is here to shake up the Scottish country inn. The East Lothian hotspot is the first foray into hotels from Tom and Michaela Kitchin, a chef and restaurateur couple with an embarrassment of awards. The location is prime: amid spectacular stretches of scenic coastline but a half hour from Edinburgh. The individually designed rooms are slices of heated-floor heaven that shine a light on Scottish design. Then, there’s the tidy scran (delicious food): humble dishes like haggis, neeps and tatties and steak pie are rendered sublime. For us, though, it’s the thoughtful extras, smiling staff and supreme lack of stuffiness that makes this Badger so very bonnie indeed.

The Bonnie Badger

Main Street Scotland Gullane, EH31 2ABUnited Kingdom



Compliments of the House 

A glass of champagne and sweet treats on arrival; GoldSmiths will also get a free room upgrade (subject to availability)

At the Hotel 

CHECK-OUT: Check-in is from 3pm and check-out is at 11am. Both can be flexible, depending on availability.
Rates generally include a generous two-course breakfast, served daily in the dining room.


A sandy public beach in reach, free afternoon tea, free WiFi. In rooms: TV, tea and coffee, hand-made Siabann bath products.


For the adventurously inclined, a reminder to bring your swimming trunks – one bracing dip in the Firth of Forth and it’s like those last whiskies never happened.


All ages are very welcome – there’s a ‘cubs’ menu in the restaurant with classics like sausage and mash or macaroni and cheese. Little Smiths will also love the playroom just off the Broc bar, stocked with games, movies, toys and books.


Although the Broc bar, the Stables dining room and the downstairs WC are fully accessible, there are no adapted bedrooms suitable for wheelchair users.
Kitchin’s kitchen is nothing if not rigorous – the cooks forage for sea herbs and mushrooms themselves and even the butchering is done in house: the meat is delivered whole in fur and feathers.


A debit/credit card will be required at check in to allow for any additional charges or incidentals throughout the guests stay. A pre-authorisation for the sum of £100 per room per night will be processed at check in. Payment by cash for any additional charges or incidentals can be made on check out upon where pre-authorisations will be voided. Kindly note any unused pre-authorisation can take up to ten working days to be released back into the guests account.


All the decor in the individually designed bedrooms is inspired by the local landscape and enlists a starry roster of Scottish suppliers – custom-designed wallpaper by artist Mairi Helena in heather pinks and inky blues, luxurious bedding by North Berwick-based Laura Thomas and all-natural Siabann bath products handmade in the Ochil Hills. You can’t beat the Ridge Suite for romance quotient – it has bottle green walls, a four-poster bed and an egg-shaped bath tub in the corner.

Food & Drink 

Unforgettable Features 

Meals at the Bonnie Badger are served in the Stables (no prizes for guessing what the space used to be) – the soaring ceilings, fur throws and grand fireplace lend a sense of occasion, so you may be confused by the seemingly simple menu. Don’t be. It’s all a clever ruse to make you think you’re getting humble pub grub, then the food arrives and knocks your socks off. For instance, ‘ham, egg and chips’? It’s slow-cooked, flaky ham hock on the bone with buttery scrambled eggs, pineapple salsa and thrice-cooked puffs of potato. The ‘burger’? That’ll be Wagyu beef from the Highlands cooked over a Big Green Egg barbecue. See what we mean? This is passionately sourced, hyper-local and seasonal food hiding behind unassuming ‘this old thing’ monikers. It may be tough, but save room for breakfast. You’ll be plied with locally sourced cheese, smoked fish, fruit, home-baked bread and petite pastries – but that’s only the beginning. The second course is cooked-to-order: eggs, bacon, sausages or the full Scottish, which comes with a tattie scone.

Liquid Bliss 

No dark and dreary pub, the friendly Broc Bar is where locals come to play pool, watch sports and nibble on Tom’s ears – the crispy, salty pigs ears that serve as moreish bar snacks. There’s a changing daily menu of soup, sandwiches and home-baked treats, or order anything from the Stables menu and they’ll happily serve it to you here. Try a whisky flight if you’d like to taste the local drams – they range from £10 to £300 (the latter finishes with an incredibly rare 40 year old single malt from
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Experience the Extraordinary 

There’s no escaping that Gullane is golf mad, so if you’ve come to loiter on the local links, you’re in luck – the county is home to the world-famous Muirfield as well as the excellent North Berwick and Gullane courses. But don’t worry if golf isn’t your bag, there’s plenty on offer that has nothing to do with bunkers, birdies or bogeys. From the Bonnie Badger, it’s only a 10-minute walk to Gullane Bents, a sandy stretch of pet- and family-friendly beach where brave, neoprene-clad souls can swim, surf or kayak in the Firth of Forth. East Lothian is also home to the most scenic stretches of the John Muir Way, a coastal walking and biking path that runs across Scotland horizontally from Helensburgh to Dunbar. If your pace is more sedate, pay a visit to the picturesque town of North Berwick and stroll through its idiosyncratic independent shops, visit the NB distillery or take a boat trip to Bass Rock to see the seabirds. Adventure-seeking families should head to Foxlake Adventures, a reservoir with an over-water ropes course, wakeboarding and off-road segways.


You’ll find the Bonnie Badger in golf-loving Gullane (NB: it’s pronounced Gillan or Gullan but never Gul-lane), a charming seaside town on the Firth of Forth that’s home to one of East Lothian’s best sandy beaches.


Edinburgh’s the one to aim for, just 45 minutes away by car. The hotel can arrange taxis on request.


North Berwick is the closest, a 10-minute drive from the hotel.


Rent a car at Edinburgh airport to caper through castle ruins, gallivant to gastropubs or trawl towns like Musselbergh, North Berwick and Dunbar. The hotel has free parking on-site.


Main Street Scotland Gullane, EH31 2ABUnited Kingdom

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