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Michelin rates Scots B&Bs among Europe's best

Damp and dingy Scottish B&Bs are a thing of the past, with the country now boasting some of the best guesthouses in Europe.

Seven of the 10 small establishments recommended in the Michelin Main Cities of Europe Guide 2012 are in Scotland.

Six are in Edinburgh, including four new additions this year, and one is in Glasgow – putting the city into the guesthouse section – which covers 44 cities in 20 countries – for the first time.

The A-listed Victorian townhouse 15 Glasgow, at Woodside Place in the city's Park District, joins 94DR, Ardmor House, Millers64 and One Royal Circus in Edinburgh as new listings, while Elmview and Kew House in the capital are retained.

The prestigious guide is aimed at business travellers and tourists visiting European cities.

Michelin features a selection of more than 3600 establishments, of which 2100 are restaurants and 1500 hotels. Davenport House in Edinburgh, which was in last year's guide, has now closed.

It lists only 10 guesthouses this year, the three others being Glenogra House in Dublin, the Glorious Inn in Antwerp and Trattoria Bibe in Florence.

Rebecca Burr, author of the guide, told The Herald: "Scotland is now leading the way in B&B accommodation and we've seen a big change in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

"A new generation is taking them forward, with Nespresso machines, goosedown pillows and WiFi in rooms.

"People have never associated B&Bs with Michelin stars before, but readers are eating in our starred restaurants and staying in B&Bs. We list recommendations of where to eat close to each guesthouse.

"The guide sells all over Europe and now Scottish B&Bs are keeping company with places like The Balmoral."

The establishments do not pay for inclusion in the Michelin Guide.

Full-time inspectors go by reader recommendations and visit anonymously.

Paul Lightfoot, co-owner of the 94DR, where prices start at £80, was delighted his six-room boutique guesthouse near Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh was recommended.

He said: "It reflects the demand from AB1 travellers for a more personal touch in their hotels. Our approach is modern/minimalist Scottish and I even prepare a special breakfast every morning using Scottish ingredients.

"There's no tartan or Scottish kitsch here – apart from the Tunnock's Teacake every guest is offered on arrival."

Laura McKenzie, owner of the boutique five-room 15 Glasgow, where prices start at £95, added: "There's a huge demand for boutique guesthouses. We are so busy I would open a second one tomorrow if I could. This is great news for Glasgow."

She runs the B&B while her husband Shane does the cooking at the weekend.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: "This is fantastic news for Edinburgh and Glasgow. Our research has shown Scotland consistently delivers in terms of visitor experience and quality, with 98% of those asked likely to recommend our country to others.

"Such a ringing endorsement of our boutique guesthouses is further testament to this."

The 10 Michelin-recommended B&Bs:

EDINBURGH
94DR, 94 Dalkeith Road.  £80-£150 per double room per night.
Ardmor House, 74 Pilrig Street.  £85-£170.
Elmview, 15 Glengyle Terrace. £67.50 (high season) per person per night.
Kew House, 1 Kew Terrace, Murrayfield. £99-£183.
Millers64, 64 Pilrig Street. £90-£150.
One Royal Circus, One Royal Circus. From £165 plus VAT.

GLASGOW
15 Glasgow, 15 Woodside Place. £99-£180

FLORENCE
Trattoria Bibe £50-£75

DUBLIN
Glenogra Guest House. Around £125

ANTWERP
The Glorious Inn. Around £117

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