I spent the weekend in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago and thought I would share some of my highlights with you. Before I embark on any weekend away, I try to do as much research as I can – this normally begins with a short list of places to eat and drink at, followed by everything else!
On that theme, I will start with Oink – a great little place at the Grassmarket, serving amazing hog roast rolls, locally sourced from the Scottish Borders. The staff were really nice and talked us through our options. The hog roast rolls come in different portion sizes (piglet, oink or grunter) depending on how hungry you are. We tried the sage & onion and cheese toppings on ours and both were delicious. There are some nice little independent shops around here to check out too.
After refuelling at Oink, we wandered up to a brilliant bookshop on Candlemaker Row called Analogue Books. This bookshop specialises in art, architecture and design books and publications. There is also a small selection of wonderfully designed shelves, stools etc. I bought a copy of Northern Delights by Emma Fexeus and have been drooling over it for the past two weeks. The shop had a lovely feel to it and we had a great chat with the owner. Definitely worth checking out!
After an afternoon of walking around in cold and windy Edinburgh, we decided to drop into Under the Stairs – a cute little basement bar on Merchant Place. I’ve been here before and really like it. I had a beetroot and wasabi margarita (or two!) and they were sooooo good. My husband had a hot toddy (when in Edinburgh…) which the staff were happy to make up for him, even though it wasn’t on the menu. It’s the perfect place to chill out and enjoy a few drinks by the wood burner. I love the mismatched furniture, fish tank and quirky little touches.
We decided to go for a late dinner to Timberyard – a great restaurant located on Lady Lawson Street. Timberyard is a family run restaurant, where everything is reliably and locally sourced. I loved this place! The decor was quite Scandinavian in feel and everything was designed beautifully. I also loved the tartan blankets, placed over chairs – a nice nod to its Scottish roots. As the name suggests, the restaurant used to be a yep, you guessed it, timber yard. There were so many original features from exposed brick walls to plank floor boards and it still retains the industrial character of the warehouse it once was. Why can’t more Scottish restaurants and bars look like this?!
When we were there, the wood burner was cranked up and the place felt really warm and welcoming, despite its size. The stars of the show for me were the vintage ice bark glasses our first cocktail was served in. I thought I was the only person who collected them! The chap serving us was really friendly and talked us through the cocktail menu and the different options on offer. We decided to have a Rum Shrub sip cocktail, which was a short aperitif. After my sip I went onto a Shady Pines refresher and that was spectacular; from now on I refuse to drink cocktails without an alpine twig – it’s my new favourite drink!
Now onto the food, we decided to go for four courses, although we ended up having to skip the sweet course because we were full (I blame the hog roast and cocktail consumption). The langoustine and grilled plaice courses were my highlights: perfectly cooked, full of flavour, exciting and fresh. All in all, a great evening. I look forward to going back in the summer to check out the courtyard outside.
The next day we took a stroll down Broughton Street. There are lots of nice coffee shops, places to eat and shops to browse in. My favourite shop was Curiouser and Curiouser, a lovely independent shop selling homeware goods, cards, stationery, gifts etc. They had some some great ranges such as the Lucie Kaas Arne Clausen and Bordfolk collections, Donna Wilson cushions and an abundant supply of washi tape!
For Sunday lunch, we visited The Gardner’s Cottage on London Road. What a treat it was! We had the brisket, which was a fantastic take on a Sunday lunch and was served with apple, red cabbage, a Yorkshire pudding and potato & onion gratin. Everything is seasonal and sustainable and much of the produce is grown in the cottage’s garden.
The decor of the place is simple with long wooden tables and gorgeous crockery. My favourite thing was the old record player and stack of vinyls!
Since we had to skip dessert the night before, we treated ourselves to the apple, cinnamon and custard doughnuts. They were so tasty and light – a perfect way to end our jaunt to Edinburgh … on a sugar high!
There are loads of other cool places to check out in Edinburgh such as all the galleries, the National Museum of Scotland etc, however my highlights (in case you hadn’t noticed) seem to have been the food.
Next city break is Copenhagen, so look out for my next guide.